Study, Preserve and Pass on to Future Generations

2021-08-13 17:15

August 10-12, 2021 in the village of Kryvorivnya (Ivano-Frankivsk region) within the Ecumenical Formation Program of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of UCU in cooperation with the UGCC Commission on Interfaith and Interreligious Relations and with the parish of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Kryvorivnya) with the support of the Limburg Diocese (Germany) an academic-practical seminar entitled “The Role of Ukrainian Churches in Preserving the Sacral Architectural and Artistic Heritage of the Nation” was held. During the academic part of the event the reports were delivered by:

- Fr. Sevastyan Dmytrukh, chairman of the Commission of Sacral Art of the UGCC Lviv Archdiocese, founder of the church-museum of Metropolitain Andrey Sheptytsky in Lviv;

- Fr. Yaroslav Petrukha, Chairman of the Commission of Sacral Art of the UGCC Sokal-Zhovkva Eparchy;

- Fr. Ivan Rybaruk, rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Kryvorivnya OCU;

- Roman Sulyk, architect, historian of church construction, who has been designing wooden temples and bell towers for 20 years;

- Fr. Ruslan Kornyat, pastor of the Holy Exaltation Church in Kopychyntsi.

Priests of the UGCC and the OCU took part in the seminar. The participants of the event heard how the UGCC, and in particular Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, carried out titanic work on finding and preserving various sacred objects in the pre-war period. The speakers of the seminar shared their experience in restoring and nurturing the architectural and artistic heritage. Successful examples of the restoration of the sacral cultural and artistic heritage were presented, as well as the challenges facing priests and parishes, where there is often a lack of communication and coordination between the community and the authorities, and a need of professional state-licensed restoration professionals. It was hoped that the Churches would be able to recommend for licensing to the relevant state bodies new groups of restorers with whom they had already had a positive experience of cooperation. Therefore, understanding the problem and coordinating efforts between the Churches and the authorities will open opportunities for dialogue and cooperation, as well as promote interconfessional understanding.

Another practical component of the seminar was a visit to local remarkable places, including the pearl of the village of Kryvorivnya - the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. The pastor of the church Fr. Ivan Rybaruk spoke about the long-term work carried out by the community to restore and preserve the church of the XVII century and the ancient icons that are in it. Visits to the Ethnographic Museum of Hutsul Antiquities helped the seminar participants to better understand the culture and way of life of Hutsuls. Communication and sharing of experiences created a positive and fruitful atmosphere among the participants of the event.

At the end of the academic-practical seminar, the participants met with Bishop Vasyl (Ivasyuk), UGCC Eparch of Kolomyia, where they presented their work and asked the bishop to make a Joint Appeal with Orthodox Bishop Julian (Gatala) to the priests of their eparchies on the importance of preserving sacral architectural and artistic heritage.