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Meeting of the ICCPPC-Europe working group in London.

13-15.06.2014 in Parish House of Our Lady Help of Christians in West Byfleet (Surrey, on the London & South Western Railway) has been held the Meeting of representatives of the ICCPPC of European countries under the guidance of Mngr. Malachy Keegan, who accepted the role of European Coordinator as long as Fr. Mark Helfer has resigned from the position of European Regional Representative of ICCPPC.
Fr. Robert Friskovec (Slovenia), Péter Takács (Hungary), Rev. Msgr. Malachy Keegan (Great Britain), Martin Schmitz (Germany), Martins Kruklis (Latvia), and Fr. Constantin Panteley (Ukraine) (from right to left).
This working group of The ICCPPC-Europe has discussed the main contemporary problems of European region and  developed approaches  how to revive International communication and solidarity of European Catholic Prison Ministry in the ICCPPC.
The tasks are as follows:
1)      communication development: to collect all actual contacts of national representatives for the ICСPPC-Europe, create share database and initiate ones a month Skype conferences to spread news and to exchange the information (responsible Fr. Robert Friskovec and Fr. Constantin Panteley);
2)      connection with the Board of the ICCPPC for more active cooperation and common support (responsible Martin Schmitz);
3)      for every annual meetings have to be organized trainings and other issues of pastoral support (responsible Mngr. Malachy Keegan);4)      European fundraising & resources (responsible Fr. Robert Friskovec and Martin Schmitz);
5)      living contacts with Holly See (Fr. Brian Gowans);
6)      Social doctrine of the Church in penitentiary policy, human rights protection, lobbying, mapping political situation, analisis of legislations in European countries, links with UN Office in Geneva (we would like to ask Mark Platzer and Christian Kuhn)
7)      theological reflections on prison ministry, spirituality and applied theology (responsible Péter Takács and Fr. Constantin Panteley).

The working group has expressed support and living prayer for Ukraine in very hard but, still, inspiring for other countries time during 24-th year of independence, when Russia breaks the International low, escalates aggression and provides hybrid war. 


Prison Art exhibition and contest called "Transfiguration by the Lord's Love" will be held in Kiev in August 2013.

The Penitentiary Pastoral Care of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has announced the Exhibition and Contest of Art of Prisoners called "Transfiguration by the Lord's love". The purpose of the exhibition is to facilitate better communication and social reintegration process of our fellow citizens who find themselves in prison, and on this occasion to introduce to a wide audience the fruits of cooperation of the Church with the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine in realm of return to society of citizens who served teir term. The exhibition will include over 300 of the best peaces of art would be transferred from prisons from all over Ukraine. The prize fund will collect citizens of Ukraine. The best works will be selected for an international competition of art of prisoners. In special way would be judged works of minors.The exhibition, which opens in Kiev 14 August 2013 under the patronage of the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Major Archbishop of Kiev and Galicia, will be an opportunity for national selection 50 works for the International Fine Art Competition.


On the Eve of the Lord's Nativity prison personnel has received the Bethlehem Peace Light.

Since 2000 A.D. the Bethlehem Peace Light is being transferred for Ukrainian community annually to all who through some circumstances is being away from family, so that everyone might feel the warmth of the Lord's Feasts.

In Kyiv, Bethlehem fire has been received by members of Plast - The National Scout Organization of Ukraine. In January 4, 2013, on the day of memory of St. Anastasia, Holy Protectoris of Prison Ministry, scouts Jaroslav Chernega and Paul Cheberyak shared Christmas Light from  Bethlehem to the General Office of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, Department SPSU in Kyiv and Kyiv region and in Kyiv prison. Accompanied by their priests Board members interdenominational mission prison ministry at. Eugene grout (UOC-KP) and. Constantine Panteley (UGCC).

This tradition has become an important symbol during the celebration of Christmas in recent years for many people in Ukraine. Because by the Light from Bethlehem people light candles for the Holy Supper. Bethlehem Peace Light as light of warmth, peace, hope. It travels around the world, breaking boundaries and uniting Christians on the eve of Christmas. The idea of Bethlehem light has very simple symbolism - peace, joy and brotherhood.  Ukrainian community favorably addopted this tradition.

Scouts Jaroslav and Paul have presented a brief history and symbolism of the tradition, and priests Fr. Constantin and Fr. Eugen have greeted  staff the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine on behalf of the Interdenominational Christian Mission of Prison Ministry.
Burning flame symbolizes the waiting period of Christmas fast, complete sacrifice. Light is a symbol of warmth, peace and harmony, and love for people and to the world. Simultaneously, this glimmer - a solidarity with all those who are far, solidarity with the poor and union with Christ. Traditionally, the fire is kept in the church of the Epyphany -   to 19 January.

More photos from the event:

Greetings with Christmas in Prison Service of Kyiv Region.
Fr. Constantin and scout Paul are explaining the tradition.
Scout Paul is giving the light to Christmas candels.

Psychologists of Prison personnel are receiving the light.

Officer on duty is taking the Bethlehem Light for Christmas days.

Scouts in the General Office of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine.

Remand prison of Kyiv.

Fr. Eugen is explaining the history of St. Anastasia.

Officer on duty has received the candel.

Scouts Paul and Jaroslav in remand prison of Kyiv.