SCJs remain with the people of Ukraine

“We do not want to leave our parishioners,” said Fr. Tadeusz Wołos, SCJ, of the Dehonian community in Ukraine. “We do not want to leave our parishioners without pastoral assistance. We will stay with them until the end of this matter. We remain open to welcome people, providing them places to sleep, necessary food, some financial help, etc.

“People are scared but well organized. They would rather stay in their houses than escape. If not, they would have already escaped out of Kiev. For the moment, people have food and all necessary means to survive.

“Everyone is waiting for it [the war] to end as soon as possible.”

There are currently two SCJs from Poland and one from Moldovia in Irpin, about 12 miles from the center of Kiev. Fr. Andrzej Olejnik, SCJ, one of the parish priests in Irpin, told Dehonians in Poland to “pray for us, pray, pray.”

“We can hear the artillery shelling of Hostomel Airport all the time. I never expected to experience a war as an adult,” he said. “I had already survived the 1992 war in Moldova-Transnistria as a child, but at that time I did not understand what happened. What I know and hear now is terrible for me.”

Last week Pope Francis invited people throughout the world to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace.

“I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war,” he said.

Click here to download a PDF of an Adoration Service with a focus on Ukraine prepared by Br. Duane Lemke, SCJ, province director Justice, Peace and Reconciliation.

Pictured above are Ukrainian children at a Dehonian parish in Ukraine late last year.