Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada
(UCYC) in the Edmonton Eparchy
Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada (UCYC) has existed as a vibrant organization within the Eparchy of Edmonton for over fifty years. In 1943, the first four branches were formed, which included St. Josaphat’s Cathedral and St. Basil in Edmonton, Dormition of the Mother of God in Calgary, and Holy Trinity in Vegreville. With the enthusiasm of the young people and the cooperation of the clergy several more branches were established in Edmonton and surrounding rural parishes, as well as other cities within the province of Alberta.
The purpose of the UCYC organization is to educate Ukrainian Catholic Youth spiritually and culturally, within the sphere of our Ukrainian Catholic Church, preparing them to serve the Church and the society in which they live. This is accomplished by fostering the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person. Because youth ministry is comprehensive, it requires the skills of many people such as youth, bishops, clergy, religious, parents, adults, and other community members. The richness of the Person of Christ can only be presented to youth through a collective ministry of several individuals who make up the Church.
As baptized members of the Christian community, young people are responsible for sharing their unique talents and gifts to enrich the Body of Christ and build the Kingdom of God here on earth. Youth ministry seeks to make parishes “youth-friendly”. This second goal can only be fulfilled if parishes appreciate and celebrate the dynamism of youth by allowing them to take an active and vital role in parish life. The overall mission is to develop leaders so that they may reach out to the unchurched youth and stand as advocates for other young people already participating in the life and work of the Church.
The purpose of the Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada is best described by its motto: “Alive in Christ through our faith and heritage.” The emblem of the organization is the Coat of Arms of Ukraine – the Tryzub, with a cross upon a maple leaf. The Patron Saint is St. Michael the Archangel.
Due to the tremendous importance of Youth Ministry as defined by the Second Vatican Council, as well as a need for a more effective structure, the Eparchy of Edmonton has hired a full-time Youth coordinator to assist Ukrainian Catholic Youth in the development of programs at the parish and Eparchial levels. By promoting a model for youth ministry based on the current understanding of youth development and faith growth, activities are organized to respond to the educational, physical, psychological, spiritual, and social needs of young people and their families. Emphasis is placed on participation in all Liturgical services of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Through catechesis and educational endeavors focusing on the Ukrainian rite, young people are able to learn about their Eastern Christian heritage, in order that they may cherish and appreciate more fully this treasure which has been handed down to them through centuries. In addition, many spiritual and social events emphasize the importance of preserving and enhancing our native Ukrainian language, culture and traditions.
All youth ministry programs in the Eparchy of Edmonton are committed to demonstrating and communicating to young people that they are extremely important, both as individuals and as members of the Christian community. With energy and devotion, our Ukrainian Catholic Youth will keep our precious 1000-year old Kyivan Church traditions alive for the benefit of future generations as they carry the Ukrainian Catholic Church into the next Millennium.