Pastoral Healthcare

One of the most important ministries of the Church throughout its history has been providing spiritual care to the sick. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has always being sensitive to the needs of this ministry from the years of the Byzantine Empire up until now. Its clergy are active in providing pastoral care to the ill, both on a parish level and in specialized facilities.  read more...

Pastoral Thought of the Week



Humans struggle to shape their lives by building their own fortresses to feel secure, so as not to experience pain and despair. This is equally true for both those that believe and for those that do not believe in God. Believing does not bring an end to the chaos of human experience. In fact, believing –cultivating your faith – brings to surface one’s inner turmoil; the question of how and in what one believes. It does not make human life easier or offer guarantees that there will not be pain, suffering or poverty. Neither is it a guarantee in understanding the mysteries of life, a sure path to full knowledge of things.  

What changes in believing are the determinates within which the human spirit moves; and these may be inaccessible to the mind – to one’s understanding. For the more one believes, the more one walks in the realm of the unknown. We cannot fully understand how God works in our life. We can only trust in His providence.  “Thus, the confidence of the believer never rests upon either his intellectual grasp nor his intellectual control of his experience, but on the fidelity of the heart’s longing to what has been revealed as the only finally satisfying object of its desire.”[1]

In believing, you yearn to come to “know” and to love God, and you desire to love in the way the Triune God acts and reveals His love to man. When you believe, you know that it is God and God alone who can give shape and meaning to human life; and this shape and meaning is granted in the movement of the soul in prayer and in the participation in the Eucharist – the Church.

At the Ascension, Christ sent His disciples to Jerusalem, commanding that they remain there in prayer until they receive the promise of the Father and be clothed with the power from above – the gift of the Holy Spirit.  In this time of crises and disunity, let us not remain in fear, isolated and hidden in our self-centered fortresses, but let us remain united in prayer, in the love of the Father, who will grant us His Holy Spirit, who will guide us to the Church where we will come to know our only desire - Christ who is eternal.

[1] See Rowan Williams, The Wound of Knowledge, Darton,Longman & Todd. Kindle Edition, who refers the reader to the teachings of St. Augustine.