If you received and had an opportunity to read the March issue of Eastern Catholic Life you may have already read Bishops Kurt’s letter concerning the difficult financial situation our priests are facing in Ukraine. We have learned that the financial situation is bleak for many of our priests from the Eparchy of Mukachevo in Transcarpathia. In many European countries, the priests receive financial support from the government. This is not the case here, these priests rely on liturgical stipends (the money offered for liturgical intentions) as their source of income. Many parishes in this region are tiny some have no more than 10 families, and do not generate enough stipends for the priest’s needs. In the past. Bishop Milan Sasik was able to obtain donations, which he used to support the parish priests. With his passing, the donations have been greatly reduced. There is a call for liturgical requests and stipends from our Eparchy, which will be sent to these priests, who will celebrate the Liturgies requested and benefit from the stipends.
Father Vladyslav would like to expand on this idea within our parish. Father Vladyslav knows a young priest in Transcarpatia named Fr. Myroslav Plesha. Fr Myroslav was ordained at the same time that Fr Vladyslav left Ukraine to come here to the USA to serve the people of our Eparchy. Fr. Myroslav is a married priest with a young child approximately one year old. He is currently serving three parishes mission there, with 10, 15 and 35 parishioners. One in Volosyanka, one in Lug, and the third in Uzhok. Father Vladyslav would like us to assist this young priest for the next year. Our goal is to collect $150-$200 each month. This will be sent directly to father Myroslav. This amount would go a long way towards supporting him and his family as he serves our people in these small villages. Father has shared his plan with both Bishop Kurt and the New bishop of Mukachevo, both of whom have given him their support for this idea.
Beginning next week, there will be a basket available in the back of the church to place donations in. Just as in the letter from Bishop Kurt, we will not be able to include these donation in the annual tax letters we prepare. Please help us support Fr Myroslav’s ministry as he provides for the souls of the people in these small parishes.