Alexandria becomes the cradle of modern Ukrainian Chaplains

That’s right – Balahivska`s council – you can call the event, held a joint initiative of the Union of Officers of Ukraine, NGOs’ olive branch of Ukraine “and Kirovohrad regional fund” Coast of Hope “. At thirty former military (and military) gathered at the beginning of August 2012 in a summer camp organized by the two speakers, from Kyiv reserve colonel Valentin Korenevych, he is the President of “Olive Branch” in Ukraine and the director of the “pastoral-Chaplaincy leadership” in Kyiv Theological Seminary and Alexandrians, lieutenant colonel in the reserve Valery Trufanova to discuss on chaplaincy – spiritual life serious moral and psychological support to people present in most armies of the world, and such a useful current Ukrainian society.

The concept of chaplaincy, now very wide, has its origins in military history. And for good reason. After the soldiers at the time deprived family and his small homeland, while his hard life requires moral and spiritual support, which in full cannot give him any direct military chief or officer – teacher. After standing army on a clear chain of command and unfailingly follow the orders of military commanders. However, because the soldier is born car, and a man, not all army consisting situation best for his conscience, besides humanly warrior needs spiritual care – elementary help, not under the ordinance, but which, nevertheless, this army ordinance does not contrary, educating high army spirit.

Chaplaincy emerged at the dawn of Christianity in the fourth century AD One winter night with Martin Rook met beggar who needed help. Lacking money, Martin cut the cap in half with a sword – a cloak – and gave half of its poor. The case, which started serving army priests or just Army Institute pastoral illustrates what should be engaged at all times any chaplain – to listen and make confession and painful to those who need it, sharing with them a part of their benefits that may at one time or another significantly improve physical and psychological life of another person. Ukrainian chaplaincy historically occurred, particularly in the institution of the priesthood field Zaporizhzhya Sich, where clerics of different level and status acted as spiritual pastors Ukrainian soldiers. Institute chaplaincy existed and was purposefully very well developed before 1917 and in the army of the Russian Empire, which included then Ukraine, and Austria-Hungary, where was the rest of the Ukrainians. Since gaining independence, the Ukrainian State, Ukraine experienced a sharp and substantial need just the Chaplaincy, not just ceremonial and church ministry in the Ukrainian army. Indeed, in the Soviet era political officer or commissioner of his role is not intended to answer the savior of souls, and therefore Soviet soldier in moral and spiritually always been one-on-one with problems. However, while today in Ukraine there is a “concept of pastoral care in the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, which allows and encourages scatter Chaplaincy Institute in the State Chaplaincy service in the Ukrainian army is not completely organized or well-structured nature. The presence of a military chaplain in some of the modern Ukrainian army is due to simple enthusiasm – both from the military command, and by the clergy respective faiths. Such is the case with the other branches Chaplains – serving the spiritual needs of prisoners and patients in hospitals and hospitals: everything depends on the performance of individual clergy enthusiasts, which, however, entirely dependent on assistance or not to assist this process by the chiefs and commanders places.

Provide chaplaincy in Ukraine signs of good ordering – just this purpose and dedicated their debate, those who gathered to confer Balahivka. And it was, in particular, people who already have a personal practice Chaplaincy services widest range (modern global chaplaincy, ie work with care and rescue souls expanded its boundaries to work with patients in hospitals, prisoners, etc. – up to work on chaplains large companies and sports clubs in the area clergy psychologists. Latest in Ukraine, unfortunately, that was practiced). Arrived Vladimir clewline from Dnepropetrovsk, Aleksandrovka Valery Trufanov, Vladislav Galata (military chaplain), Alexander Ratushnyuk, Jaroslaw Jaworski and George White and another group of Alexandrian enthusiasts who want to serve the people as future chaplains Valentin Korenevych from Kyiv, Nicholas Dudko with Cherkassy (hospital chaplain), Leonid Smetanin of Luhansk (penitentiary chaplain), Chaplain Don Kramblit (U.S. Navy Lieutenant in reserve that served in the Navy Chaplain 28). City Nikolaev delegated officers to meet Nicholas Zolotov and Yuri Sidorenko, and Donetsk – Sergei Otrokova.

It is safe to say that four-assembly of people willing to continue to serve society as a confessor, unable to glory. After all, to bring to an end a significant deal, you should not just talk, but actually act. But before committing to anything, you need experience. And that experience their own chaplains in ordinary to Europe and America meaning Ukraine still does not know. No wonder that the chaplain Don Kramblit having this experience, kindly shared it with his military brothers from Ukraine. He said he served as a chaplain and a submarine, and ship with a crew of 1,500 people, where he was the only chaplain, and the aircraft carrier with a crew of 5,000 people. Don explained that the chaplain service differs significantly from the service the priest. For the priest, those whom he serves – is first congregation, but to the chaplain those concerns and opinions which he takes – especially men, then – specialists in their field, and then congregation of believers of one religion. In practice, this means that the chaplain, according to Don, should serve everyone – believers and unbelievers. So how did warrior Martin, who did not hesitate, shared his cloak with those who do not have to cover their bodies. Often during CHAPLAINCY service turns out that you have to try to be a friend and helper and Christian, and Buddhist, and Muslim, and nonbelievers. After the army, as in the present society, people from different faiths. Yet chaplain as a spiritual guardian should care about any of them.
Chaplain – often the only person trusts her any greatest secret military, imprisoned, sick or anyone else. In such cases, the secret should die with the chaplain. Don Kramblit, in particular, told the following story. One day he came one Marine and said he just wants to talk. During the conversation Marine told about sexual harassment on the part of the ship’s doctor. Two weeks later marine police caused Don to learn about the content of his conversation with the military. The temptation to tell everything, according to Don, was for him a particularly great because the same surgeon repeatedly went into the family trust Don invited to his apartment to spend the night their son. However, Don told the police that he was chaplain, and make known the mystery of that if you cease to be. Are there cases where the chaplain could share a private secret of power. This question Don replied: if came to me and told the woman that has AIDS and do everything possible to infect the disease all the crew members of the submarine, and if I could not persuade her not to do that, only then. By the time 38-years of service Don Kramblit visited more than 60 countries and was not at one point armed conflict. Therefore, service experience, which he shared with Ukrainian, was invaluable.

After all, debating on chaplaincy, the participants decided to create a non-governmental organization, which aims to streamline Chaplaincy services in Ukraine, making clear its specific techniques and wide for its implementation in Ukrainian society.
President of the “olive branch” Valentin M. Korenevych, in particular, took the happy word and noted that: “Indeed, why organizations nationwide scale should always began in Kiev? Let Alexandria will go down in history, I suggest in Alexandria, a nationwide NGO chaplains Ukraine. And if Valery Trufanov, the person who submitted the idea of this meeting and purposeful development of chaplains in our state do not mind, we can offer him to be the head of the organization. ” All participants agreed with the idea of Valentine Korenevych that it is an urgent and fair. A chaplain Don Kramblit handed Colonel W. Trufanova symbolic eyed Chaplaincy staff movement and along with fellow soldier blessed to work for the development of chaplaincy. In addition, the working group was created with the entry of representatives from different parts of Ukraine, which is currently working on the elaboration of the statute Ukrainian chaplaincy issues and registration organization. Thus, Aug. 2, 2012, the day on which this decision was made, shall enter into the history of the city of Alexandria as the day when this city became the capital of the Ukrainian chaplaincy.

Posted by Vitaly Kvitka