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Emmaus Youth Encounter

“Were not our hearts burning inside us as He talked to us on the road…” (Luke, chapter 24: 25-32).

Emmaus Youth Group Shot

Pictured are: 1st row - Sister Laura Palka, OSBM, Provincial Superior, Rev. D. George Worszczak, chaplain,
2nd row - Sister Diya Zahurska, OSBM, Rev. Bernard Panchuk, OSBM, pastor of St. George church, New York, NY, Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM, with Seminarians and participants of Youth Encounter

Sunday, April 25, the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great sponsored the annual Youth Encounter in their Spirituality Center. This year’s theme was EMMAUS, recalling the encounter of the resurrected Jesus with two disciples as presented in the gospel of St. Luke, chapter 24, verses 25-32. “Were not our hearts burning inside us as He talked to us on the road…” Sister Diya Zahurska, OSBM, newly arrived from Ukraine, organized the encounter together with Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM, head of the Catechetical Commission, St. Josaphat Eparchy, Parma, Ohio.

Participants gathered in the Holy Trinity Chapel for the Divine Liturgy offered by Rev. D. George Worszczak, chaplain, who, in his sermon, encouraged the youth to grow in the knowledge of Christ and follow Him closely in today’s hectic surroundings.

Next followed an enactment of the road to Emmaus as presented in the New Testament. As participants vocalized the disappointments of the two disciples, Luke and Cleophas, followed by the teachings of their fellow traveler and culminating in the “breaking of the Bread” inside the Spirituality Center, the young people were able to experience the presence of Christ as their fellow traveler on their own present life’s journey. This concluded with the glorifying of Christ in the singing of “Christos Voskres”!

Sister Diya, OSBM, introduced the leaders of the ensuing talks and dialogs, seminarians Andrew Kelt and Eugene Hulenko from St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington, DC and encouraged all to active participation. The two seminarians ably plumbed the depth of the Emmaus encounter linking it to the daily life of ordinary faithful who are also accompanied by Jesus.

In her talk Sister Ann, OSBM, spoke of the essential role of repentance in each person’s life. She is, at present, in the process of producing a film on the Mystery of Reconciliation. In the discussions that followed, participants posed interesting questions concerning the Mystery of Reconciliation and received in depth answers.

This annual Youth Encounter proved fruitful in helping young people deepen their ties with Jesus and to recognize Christ’s influence in their own lives as well as in the lives of their present day peers. They recognized that Christ does not abandon young people to worldly influence and sin but is ever present in their lives. When it seems that all is lost, Jesus IS present, and there is only one set of footprints in the sand – JESUS’S.

At the conclusion, the young people gladly received decorated breads, Paskha, as symbols of the Resurrected Christ living among us. Sad farewells of the participants were lightened by the hope of future encounters with the Sisters of St. Basil.

 
 
   

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