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Ukrainian traveling exhibition "Transfiguration by God`s Love ".

April 13, 2015, the opening of the National traveling exhibition of fine and applied art of prisoners "Transfiguration by God`s Love " has been held in the premises of Chernivtsi Regional Art Museum. The opening ceremony was attended by Basil Ivasjuk Bishop of Kolomiya and Chernivtsi, employees of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine in Chernivtsi region, members of the Department of Culture of Chernivtsi Oblast State Administration, State Authority of  duo "Easter egg", NGOs, artists edge, media, clergy. The exhibition is dedicated to Chernivtsi, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and will last until May 4, 2015.

Bishop Basil Ivasjuk in a speech to the participants said that the fate of the prisoners experienced priests and bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church during the persecution. Therefore, the prison ministry is so clear vocation for us. Address the abyss of alienation, gracious support of our fellow citizens who are in jail, to serve them and restore their hope and heart is calling of the Church. Mitered Archpriest Valery Syrotyuk, head of the Commission of sacred art, culture and sports of Eparchy of Kolomiya and Chernivtsi, thanked the staff of Chernivtsi Regional Art Museum, who carefully placed pieces of exposure in one of its best rooms. Labour officers of the State Penitentiary Service, contributing to the fine and applied art prisoners as a powerful means of purification and spiritual healing, pointed Fr. Constantin Panteley, one of the organizers. Michael Nahirnyak, captain of internal service, chief inspector of protection, surveillance and security department SPS in Chernivtsi region addressed  the guests, who came to the ceremony. He witnessed the central role of the Christian faith in education and change of inmates, who return transformed from the inside. So happened with the winner of Art Competition Eugene Tkachuk, who was serving a sentence in the penitentiary Sokyryany, and after the liberation decided to enter the monastery to serve God and people.

During the opening ceremony organizers honored the award winning "Transfiguration by God's Love" Eugene Tkachuk, born in 1989, whose work "The Night Before Lord's Transfiguration fest" took 2nd place. In his work reflected the joy of conversion. And embroidery techniques and creative vision impressed critics and artists by deep history of finding the Lord's face. After his release, Eugene became a novice in a monastery. His Certificate of Winner got his mother Maria Tkachuk. The work "The Night Before Lord's Transfiguration fest" embroidery by stitch and crosses, had been purchased by by famous painter Boris Yeghiazaryan for donating $ 500. Funds were transferred to the support of the Center for Social Adaptation of women in the Liubech village.

The purpose of the exhibition is to promote social dialogue and reintegration of our fellow citizens who find themselves in prison. The exhibition includes 113 works transferred from the penitentiary institutions of Ukraine.

Ukrainian traveling exhibition "Transfiguration by God`s Love " organized by chaplains of the Ukrainian Greek- Catholic Church in cooperation with the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine began in August 2013 in Kyiv and visited Chernihiv, Poltava, Cherkasy, Dneprodzerzhinsk, Zaporozhye, Kirovograd, Kherson, Zhitomir and Simferopol, Vinnytsia, Ternopil, Zbarazh Ivano-Frankivsk.


Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass "The Lord's Supper" in Roman prison "Rebibbia" and carried out a ritual of washing of feet.

On Great Thursday, 02 April 2015, Pope Francis attended the Roman prison complex "Rebibbia". In the local chaple "Our Father" His Holiness  celebrated Holy Mass "the Lord's Supper," during which he performed the rite of washing the feet of twelve convicts: men, women and a child. Officers of the penitentiary police of Italy, civilian personnel and prison inmates of Rebibbia prison in Rome participated in worship. In the hands of one of the women there was a child of 2.5 years. Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of the child of prisoner women of African descent.
His Holiness Pope Francis told inmates of a Rome prison that God’s love is personal and endless, emphasizing that he too needs forgiveness and purification.

“Today I will wash the feet of 12 of you, but among these brothers and sisters are all of you, all of you, all--all that live here. You represent them,” the Pope told inmates of the Rebibbia New Complex Prison at the April 2 Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

However, Pope Francis stressed that “I, too, need to be washed by the Lord, so please, during the Mass, pray for me, so that God cleans my dirtiness, so that I, too, can be your slave, at the service of the people, as Jesus was.”

For the first time in the history the Bishop of Rome celebrated
Holy Mass "The Lord's Supper" in prison on March 28, 2013. So, as did Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, when he was an Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The worship was not celebrated in the Cathedral, but he said, "in the vicinity of human existence": in hospitals, homes for the elderly, homeless or prisons. A few days after the election, now as Pope Francis, he decided to celebrate this Holy Mass in the Roman correctional institution for juveniles called «Casal del Marmo».
On Holy Thursday April 17, 2014 the Holy Father carried out a moving ritual washing of the feet in one of the rehabilitation centers of Charity Foundation of Don Carlo Gnocchi, in the center of Rome, «Santa Maria della Provvidenza» - «Blessed Virgin Mary of Providence» for patients of varying degrees of disability which also provides vocational training for people with disabilities.
As befor the election, as a Pope, now His Holiness Pope Francis leads the Church to better understanding of crime and redemption, the issue of justice and mercy, overcoming alienation of relatively small ones in this world.
Penitentiary pastoral care of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.


Poggioreale, Naples
Saturday, 21 March 2015

I am glad to find myself among you on the occasion of my visit to Naples. I thank Claudio and Pasquale who spoke on behalf of all. This meeting gives me the opportunity to express my closeness to you, and I do so by bringing you the word and love of Jesus, who came to earth to fulfill our hope and who died on the cross to save each one of us.
At times we may feel disappointed, discouraged and abandoned by everyone, however God does not forget His children, He never abandons them! He is always at our side, especially at the hour of trial. He is a Father “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), who always turns his serene and benevolent gaze to us; he always waits for us with open arms. This is a certainty which instills consolation and hope, especially in difficult and painful moments. Even if we have made mistakes in our life, the Lord never tires of showing us the path to return to and to encounter Him. Jesus’ love for each of us is the source of consolation and hope. It is a fundamental certainty for us. Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love, not even prison bars! The only thing that can keep us from Him is our sin; but if we recognize it and we confess it with sincere repentance it will become a place to meet Him, because He is mercy.
Dear brothers, I know of your painful situations; I receive many letters — some extremely moving — from prisons all over the world. Inmates are often held in conditions unworthy of the human condition, and then they are not able to reintegrate into society. But thanks be to God there are also directors, chaplains, educators, pastoral workers who know how to be close to you in the right way. There are several good and meaningful experiences of reintegration. Work on this, develop these positive experiences which allow a different attitude to be cultivated in the civil community and in the Church community. The basis of this commitment is the conviction that love is always able to transform the human person. Thus a place of marginalization, such as prison, can be in the negative sense, can become a place of inclusion and a stimulus for the whole of society, so that it may be more just and attentive to the people.
I invite you to live each day, each moment in the presence of God, to whom the future of the world and humankind belongs. That is Christian hope: the future is in God’s hands! History makes sense because it dwells in God’s goodness.
Therefore, even in the midst of so many problems, even serious ones, we cannot lose our hope in God’s infinite mercy and his providence. With this certain hope, let’s prepare ourselves for Easter which is now approaching, decisively directing our lives to the Lord and keeping the flame of his love alive in us.

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