“Our goal is not so much to promote a specific cultural expression but to celebrate all that we as Byzantine Catholics can do to build a proper American culture consonant with the Christian message, a culture of life rather than death, a culture of unity rather than division, a culture of respect for common values while allowing for individual expression.”
Most Reverend John M. Kudrick , Bishop of Parma
remarks at the dedication of the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center on June 28, 2009
“Like any authentically Eastern Christian experience, the Center must remain solidly rooted in a genuine liturgical spirituality. ….The liturgical life…will serve to foster the life, vitality, and authenticity of the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center, including local components and the Eparchy-wide evangelization efforts.”
Most Reverend John M.Kudrick
Bishop of Parma
The liturgical spirituality of the Byzantine Catholic Church forms and informs our entire mission and activity.We welcome anyone seeking to nourish a relationship with God and develop a deeper spiritual life, as well as those curious about the artistic, musical, and spiritual traditions of the Eastern Church to join us for prayer.
The Catholic Church is a communion of churches. Churches from the Eastern Tradition and the Western Tradition comprise the universal church called the Catholic Church.
Eastern Catholics are in union with Rome. We share the same basic faith and the same mysteries (sacraments). However, our liturgical expression follows the same tradition as the Orthodox churches. In reality, there are many Eastern churches, each with its own heritage and theology, liturgy and discipline.
Jesus sent his disciples to the four corners of the world to spread the Gospel. Eventually, four great centers of Christianity emerged with distinctive Christian customs, but the same faith. These centers were Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome and Alexandria. Nearly three centuries later when the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to the Eastern city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople, an adaptation of the Antioch celebration of the liturgy was made.
From this powerful cultural center the Byzantine Church emerged.
Like the other East Slavs, the Carpatho-Rusyns received Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. Our ancestral homeland known variously as Carpathian Rus’, Transcarpathia, Carpatho-Ruthenia, Carpatho-Russia, and Carpatho-Ukraine is currently eastern Slovakia, southwest Ukraine, northeast Hungary and northwest Romania.
In the year 863 AD, two Byzantine Greek missionaries, the brothers Cyril and Methodius, the “Apostles to the Slavs”, introduced Christianity and the new Slavonic alphabet to Greater Moravia, the present Czech Republic and Western Slovakia.
The followers of these Byzantine missionaries moved eastward, eventually converting the Ruthenian people, and the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church was born.
Portions adapted from A Brief Explanation of the Eastern Catholic Churches by Joseph Radvansky.
The Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center promotes the culture of life as proclaimed and lived by Jesus Christ. The Center celebrates those Christian cultures rooted in Constantinople, and promotes those elements of contemporary culture consistent with the Gospel message as lived by Byzantine Christianity. Likewise, the Center challenges those contemporary cultural elements contrary to the Gospel of Life.
Accomplishing the Mission
The Center coordinates and facilitates the education, formation and evangelization activity of the universal Church in the Eparchy of Parma. Under the guidance and direction of the local bishop, the Center enables the Eparchy to participate in the Church’s mission through planning and programming on both the eparchial and local levels.
“The various events have created relationships, and it is in fact in these relationships, and through the relationships, that I see individuals of the Eparchy and beyond the Eparchy developing or strengthening their relationship with God.”
Most Reverend John M.Kudrick
Bishop of Parma
The Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center Pastoral Council enables the Center to accomplish our mission. The Pastoral Council consists of individuals from the Eparchy of Parma and resources outside of the Eparchy with varied life experiences and professional expertise. This group of men and women apply their zeal for the Gospel of Life from the Byzantine Catholic perspective to help people grow closer to Jesus Christ.
Through varied education and formation experiences, including worship, museum exhibits, concerts, films, lectures and web-based initiatives, the Center provides integrative Eastern Christian Formation programming for children, teens, young adults, and adults.
Ultimately, the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center makes the Gospel of Life a truly living reality in the contemporary culture of 21st Century American society by offering individuals dynamic and relevant Christian experiences from the Byzantine Catholic perspective.
Sharing the Mission
“His Eminence, Adam Cardinal Maida and the Board of Directors of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center are delighted to pay tribute to the effort of our sister center, the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center…. The undertaking of such an effort and its success is critical to the laity and the religious community. It is only through understanding our own faith and roots thoroughly that we can authentically reach out and embrace our brothers and sisters of other religions.”
Father Stephen A. Boguslawski, O.P., Executive Director
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington, D.C.
Letter of congratulations for dedication of the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center on June 28, 2009
The Center enjoys an associate relationship with the Pope John Paul II Shrine and Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., and partnerships with the Byzantine Catholic Heritage Museum of the Eparchy of Passaic in Woodland Hills, NJ; The Ukrainian Catholic University in L’viv, Ukraine; the International Theological Institute in Trumau, Austria; Orientale Lumen TV in Fairfax, Va.; Tabor Life Institute in Homer Glen, Ill.; Eastern Christian Media in Cleveland, as well as a number of ethnic museums, including the Croatian, Hungarian, Slovak and Ukrainian museums in Northeast Ohio.