A Vehicle for a Parish in Ukraine
Three Oblate Fathers care for the parish of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, but the town itself fell into the hands of the Russian army at the start of the war. Large sections of it were destroyed in bomb and missile strikes, and many civilians were killed, too. But the Oblate Fathers refused to leave, even when given the chance to do so. They would not abandon their people, and as a result, the parish became a place of refuge, and not just for Catholics.
The bombings left many parts of Chernihiv without water, electricity, or gas supplies, but fortunately, the monastery was spared. It still had a functioning water supply, and the priests had candles to get through the power cuts, both of which resulted in long lines outside the building.
They also traveled around the area on behalf of those with missing relatives, or people they couldn’t contact. They also brought food, water, and other essentials to people unable to leave their homes.
But the hardest part of their work was service to the dead. Every day, the Fathers would go to a mortuary in town to pray for those who’d been brought there, who were mostly buried in mass graves due to continued fighting. (Thankfully, the coffins were marked in such a way that the bodies could be reinterred after the war and given a proper and dignified burial.)
Chernihiv was finally liberated at the end of March, but the town still needs the priests. Today, they spend most of their time visiting the faithful: praying
with them, consoling them, and providing what material help they can, especially to people who have lost their jobs and possessions and must now contend with rising prices.
A car would greatly help the priests with this work, since they care not only for the faithful in Chernihiv, but also for those elsewhere in Ukraine, like the towns of Slavutych and Snowsk, which are 40 and 55 miles away, respectively. We have promised them $25,400 for a suitable vehicle.
Can you help these priests purchase a car so they can better serve the people of Chernihiv and Ukraine at large? We are sure they will remember you in their prayers.
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