Hope, courage, and faith as Ukraine is devastated by Russian invasion

IRINA AND ALEXANDER FROM GVOZDAVA: Alexander received notice that he was to mobilize and report to the barracks in four hours. A close witness told Aid to the Church in Need that with only four hours to say goodbye to each other, they decided to spend one of those hours with a priest, preparing for the sacrament of marriage.

Irina and Alexander

Then they both went to confession, received Communion, and made their marriage covenant. At the end, sad but inwardly happy, Irina told Alexander: “Now you can go and defend your country.”

The Church at work: thousands of refugees have been staying on the grounds of the Leopolis/Bryukhovychi seminary. Many continue on the road to the border with Poland, but before reaching Poland they stop at the spiritual retreat center, which is on the grounds of the same seminary.

Ukraine refugees in the retreat house in Lviv Bryukhovytschy on their way to Poland

Amid much need and tension, the Church is there to help: Convoys of military trucks, black smoke from explosions, destroyed warehouses and anguish on the streets of the Diocese of Kiev-Zhytomyr. The situation gets more difficult every day. Supermarkets are empty. There is no bread or water. The auxiliary bishop of Zhytomyr, Aleksander Yazlovetskiy, busies himself sending food, personal hygiene products and medicine to Kiev. He even helps load the vehicles that will do the distribution.

Calling on divine help: Parishioners from a Carmelite parish in Hvizdava village in the Zhytomyr region took part in a procession for peace. Godly intervention is the only hope Ukrainians have after ruthless attacks during the past ten days, resulting in many victims and lots of destruction.

Pray for Ukraine.