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The image of Mary in Berdychiv’s Carmelite Monastery and Church is a shrine for Ukraine’s Catholics. The monastery and its attached church were originally built in 1630 by the family of a Polish nobleman, who also donated the image of Mary. Since then, it has drawn large numbers of Catholic faithful, who lay their cares and concerns at the feet of the Mother of God. One of the shrine’s most significant moments was its crowning by the local bishop in 1998, with a crown blessed by Pope John Paul II.
“The birth rate currently stands at 1.38. It needs to be 2.1 simply to replace the present generation. Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, summed up the problem very well, saying: ‘there is a lack of hope in society and a lack of love in families.’”
Ten years ago the Congregation of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara founded a convent in in the town of Burshtyn in West Ukraine. It seemed an almost impossible task at the time, since the Sisters had to start from nothing. Thanks to their perseverance and their deep trust in God, their great dream finally became reality.
Father Werenfried wanted to ensure that the Western world knew what was happening in the East. He preached hundreds of sermons on the situation of the persecuted Church, giving a voice to the voiceless.
“Many families cannot afford to go on holiday. However, the risk of becoming addicted to computers, the internet, drugs or alcohol is particularly high for children and adolescents who spend their holidays on the streets, bored.”
In the 1930s, a dozen girls from Ukraine began preparations for the country’s first-ever Redemptorist convent, but its opening was delayed indefinitely by the outbreak …
“My impression is that the young people who discover this community for themselves no longer want to leave their country, in spite of all the difficulties. They want to remain and make a difference.”
“CHRISTMAS is the celebration of the longing for our better self, for the heaven we search for in vain here on Earth, and for the carefree life that exists only in heaven.”
“More than anything, the mission of the Church is to bring God to the people and proclaim the truth to them. We should not only give them bread and forget the soul. It is not enough to just do good deeds, we should not cheat the people of the grace necessary for their salvation.”