UCU Trains Catechists in Kyiv

Thursday, October 12, 2017

‘See a child of God in your neighbor’

The  Catechetical-Pedagogical Institute of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) offers a bachelor’s program in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Students come from various backgrounds.

Vasylyna Tomyshynets, for example, works as an accountant at a Kyiv tourist agency. She is also a graduate of UCU’s courses to train catechists. A priest recommended she acquire catechetical skills for working with children, but she notes that the knowledge she acquired helps her in work with wounded soldiers. She says she was most impressed with the masterly ability of the teachers, who joyfully share their knowledge but at the same time are simple and sincere:

“At the catechetical courses they taught us how to listen, to share our knowledge with others, to organize visits to the wounded,” says Tomyshynets. “The Catechetical-Pedagogical Institute opens new horizons and possibilities. It teaches you to be yourself and not to be afraid. However, the most important thing they teach here is to feel that you are a child of God and to see a child of God in your neighbor. I use all the skills that I acquired here in my daily life and in ministering to wounded soldiers.”

Fr. Petro Zhuk, a teacher for the courses and the head of the Catechetical Commission of the Kyiv Archeparchy (Archdiocese), explains that often people want to help their neighbors to know the word of God but lack the skills.

“Through study in our program,” says Fr. Zhuk, “we give an opportunity to draw from the ‘well’ of theological knowledge that the Church has collected for 2,000 years. Mostly these are theological disciplines taught by professors of UCU and the Kyiv seminary. Our students range from the young to those in their golden years.”




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