Youth Organization Revived in the Vicariate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate in the USA and Canada
Ten years after the absence of a Youth Organization of the Vicariate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate in the United States and Canada, youth ministry has resumed.
A milestone, and moreover, an honor for the diaspora on the American continent, is the revival of a Youth Organization which had become inactive and eventually nonexistent due to the apathy of the former secretary of the Vicariate. The Ukrainian community in the United States is convinced that only through the joint efforts of the young and mature generations will Christian Orthodox traditions continue among young Ukrainian families.
On June 22, 2021, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Philaret of Kyiv and AllRus-Ukraine, Hryhoriy Zhoba became the new head of the Youth Organization of the Vicariate of the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate in the United States and Canada. Arriving in Kyiv from the United States, Hryhoriy Zhoba’s first stop was to visit His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, as the ruling bishop of parishes in America, receive a blessing and a corresponding Decree to head the Youth Department of the Vicariate. The new Director of the Youth Organization shared with the Patriarch his vision of the future development of Orthodox Church worship and Ukrainian traditions among young people.
“Now we will have to make considerable efforts to restore the former involvement and commitment among young people in the Orthodox Church. I think that through the efforts of experienced senior members of our Ukrainian diaspora communities, we will be able to achieve this noble goal – to testify to the Gospel of Christ to the younger generation,” said Hryhoriy Zhoba.
His Holiness Patriarch Philaret issued the relevant Decree and congratulated the new Director of the Youth Organization. The Primate had long hoped to find a leaderwho could motivatethe youth of today. He urged Hryhoriy Zhoba to preserve the Orthodox faith and never forget the native Ukrainian language.
“You received your higher education in the United States (FSU – Florida State University), and in Ukraine received a theological education, but at the end of the summer you will begin studying at Harvard Medical School. You are a young and highly educated person, so you will understand the needs of Ukrainian youth in the diaspora. I wish you success in your profession as a doctor. But in the future you will be allowed to become a deacon or a priest, if you wish, to dedicate yourself to the service of God and people,” counseled Patriarch Philaret.
While in Ukraine, Hryhoriy Zhoba also visited the city of Lutsk, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from the Volyn Orthodox Theological Academy as a graduate of the Class of 2021.