The Founder and first Director of the Sheptytsky Institute, Fr. Andriy Chirovsky addressed the participants of the international francophone conference, “La Mystique Démystifiée,” organized by Saint Paul University Theology professor Fabrice Blais. His presentation ‘La quête mystique comme remède à phtharsis, la maladie du monde contemporain’ (The mystical quest as a remedy for phtharsis – disintegration – the illness of today’s world) provoked a wide discussion about lifestyles, moral choices, multi-tasking, stress and their connectedness to the phenomenon of the disintegration of the human being, Church and society. The keyword to the description of patristic spirituality is wholeness, integrity as opposed to phtharsis or disintegration. A human being on the mystical quest is a creature who turns first to his or her Creator for healing and wholeness.
At the same conference, beautiful voices from Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral in Ottawa treated the Saint Paul University community and their guests to Eastern Christian church singing. Their concert prompted Prof. Fabrice Blais, the organizer of the conference, to remind the audience that here was confirmation that the human voice is the most beautiful musical instrument on Earth. Farther John Jillions, Rector of the Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral and Professor of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies introduced the spiritual hymns, performed by the choir.