The Ukrainian Catholic bishops of Canada are asking for prayers and for support one year after Russia invaded their homeland.
“Thousands of innocent men, women and children have lost their lives; many have been tortured, held in prisons and camps, and forcibly deported. Millions are forced to wander around the world, having lost everything, seeking refuge far from their homes,” the bishops said a Feb. 24 letter to the faithful
“Many cities and villages have been erased from the face of the earth, leaving only traces in the history and memory of those who lived there. Countless are the deep emotional wounds from the losses, tragic memories, and longing for relatives, inflicted by the war on those who survive and are suffering – especially the children.”
Rallies are planned throughout Alberta on Feb. 24, the anniversary of the 2022 full-scale invasion, including a candlelight vigil at the Alberta legislature.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton has also planned a daylong vigil and day of solidarity on March 1.
In their letter, the bishops appeal for prayer, kind words, as well as good deeds,
Donations can be made through the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton. Over $2.5 million has been raised for Ukraine. Four charitable families, St. Stephen’s parish, and Crystal Glass have also pledged $1,250,000 in matching donations.
The war is not just an armed battle, but an existential threat, according to the letter from the bishops, including Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton.
“Ukraine is called to discover a deeper awareness of his or her national, political and ethnic identity. The enemy are those who want to stop this process and plant other values which contradict the truths of the Christian faith, the foundations of our spirituality and our Ukrainian identity. And they are looking for all kinds of insidious ways to achieve their goals.”
Donations can also be made through the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
“The outcome of this war is crucial and will have global significance and consequences. We pray for victory, which will be realized only when we put all our efforts together. Let us unite, pray, and work for the common good!,” the bishops add.
“Let this Lenten season be an opportunity to reach new spiritual heights and to better ourselves so that we can carry out our part in bringing to an end the tragedy of war.”