I acknowledge and thank the Lkwungen People
for allowing me to live, pray, work, and play on their lands. I am deeply sorry for the injustices inflicted upon the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Turtle Island by the complicity of settlers in the colonialism inherent in the Indian Act and Residential Schools including racism, many forms of abuse & cultural genocide.
In solidarity with the Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, in unison with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with the people of Ukraine as well as with Canadians of Ukrainian origin and descent, we encourage the faithful and all people of good will to pray for the imminent restoration of peace, dialogue, and human fraternity.
An excerpt from a message from His Beatitude Sviatoslav:
We pray especially for those who defend Ukraine, who in these days are for us an example of loving sacrifice and dedicated service to their people.
May the merciful Lord protect them from every danger and crown their efforts with the victory of truth and good.
We call for the gracious blessing of a loving God and Creator upon Ukraine and its people!
The blessing of the Lord be upon you.
Ukrainian Christian Background Simplified.
In Ukraine Christianity has a fractured history. It is practically an Orthodox country, and most Catholics are Ukrainian Greek Catholics (Byzantine Rite) with about 7 million believers or about 9.4% of the population and Roman (Latin Rite) Catholics at only 0.8%. A few Roman Catholics priests are bi-ritual (Roman and Byzantine).
About 67.3% of the population declared adherence to one or another strand of Orthodox Christianity which is split into at least two strands in spite of the recent unification of four strands.
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine
The church was united at the unification council in Kyiv on 15 December 2018 as a condition for recognition of it by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and was granted the tomos of autocephaly (decree of ecclesial independence) by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul on 5 January 2019. The unification council voted to unite all the existing Ukrainian Orthodox major jurisdictions: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) as well as a part [only part] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (a branch of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church, which claims jurisdiction over Ukraine). The Unification Council elected Epiphanius Dumenko – previously the Metropolitan of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Bila Tserkva (UOC-KP) – as its primate, the Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine.
Formation of the new On 5 January 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitan Epiphanius celebrated a Divine Liturgy in St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul. The Tomos was signed thereafter, also in St. George's Cathedral. The Tomos "had come into force from the moment of its signing." The signing of the tomos officially established the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Protestants are 2.2%.
Read more on the complicated history.
N.B. In solidarity please remember to use the Ukrainian spelling and pronunciation, rather than the Russian, for the Ukrainian capital city. Ukrainian is KYIV (pronounce the ending like “Steve”). Please do not use the Russian KIEV (pronounced like Key ev - ending like the "ev" in “ever”). Ukrainians appreciate this.
2. FRANCISCANS OFM
The province has 16 friaries with 65 friars serving 54 parishes in Ukraine. As you read this, women and children are seeking food and protection at the friaries as the country undergoes siege by the Russians.
Friar Botvina described to Friar Massimo Fusarelli, OFM Minister General, the situation of serious difficulty experienced by the friars who live in the city of Konotop, (about 250 km east of Kyiv) occupied by the Russians last Thursday, February 24. “The friars are well and have remained there with the people, not to abandon them”.
The words of Fr Romualdo, parish priest of the Konotop friary, describe in detail a scenario that no one thought possible until a few days ago. The streets have become a theatre of war, armoured vehicles have been knocked down, cars have been set on fire and, above all, military and civilian victims are scattered throughout the city. The picture is compounded by the despair into which the population has fallen on hearing the news that the city has been lost to the Ukrainian army.
The parish immediately opened its doors to everyone. The friars offered answers to basic needs such as a place to spend the night or to get a meal, but also to the need for a word of comfort. They are mostly elderly people, women and children who have found themselves helpless in the face of the outbreak of war on their doorstep. In spite of these efforts, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide food, medicine and other essentials for those who have all left their homes. The number of people being cared for is increasing and the friars need help.
I ask you to donate to support our brothers and sisters who are suffering in Ukraine. In the letter of the Minister Provincial of Ukraine, (in Italian) Br Danyil Botvina, you can find a further witness of the urgency with which we launch this appeal. Thank you.
3. OFM (Conv) Office of Communications
Minister General: The Situation in the Ukraine
Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in the Ukraine
28 February 2022: The OFM (Conv) Minister General, Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI, has been receiving many questions about the situation with our friars in the Ukraine, since the Russian aggression began on February 24, 2022.
The Minister General would like to assure you that he is in contact with our friars working in the Ukraine along with our Bishop Friar Edward KAWA and our friars in neighbouring countries. The Custos of the Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in the Ukraine, Friar Stanisław KAWA, reports: “All the friars remain in their friaries and are working, making themselves available to the people in every possible way. The bombing has forced everyone, when necessary, to go down into bomb shelters. The most difficult situation is now in BORYSPIL (БОРИСПІЛЬ), where there is an important airport. The other friaries (LVIV [ЛЬВІВ], MACKIVCI (МАЦЬКІВЦІ), KREMENCHUK [КРЕМЕНЧУК], BILSHIVTSI [БІЛЬШІВЦ]) are already taking in and assisting refugees.”
Friar Marian GOŁĄB, reports that the friars, especially those in Poland, are preparing their friaries to take in refugees. The friary in Kalwaria Pacławska, Poland, is closest to the border and is already assisting the needy. The Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania, Friar Damian-Gheorghe PĂTRAȘCU, is in contact with the friars in the Ukraine and is ready to provide any needed help. The Province of Romania has a friary near the border with the Ukraine, in Cacica, Romania.
The Minister General reminds us of Pope Francis’s invitation to pray and fast, and our friars in the Ukraine are also asking for prayer. Friar Carlos assures us that we will do everything possible to help those in need and to support those who are working with the needy.
In summary, we are there, standing with and for the people. Let us pray and work. Amen.
Capuchins in Ukraine
Capuchins have been working for over three centuries in Ukraine
In the Soviet Ukraine, only one Franciscan remained: Servant of God Serafin Kaszuba. After his death in 1977, the Capuchins remained outside the country until 1988, when Ukrainian Franciscan Father Stanislao Padewski, today Bishop of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, was invited by the parish priest of Bar, to return to the Ukraine.
The Capuchins of the Custody of Ukraine dedicated to Saint Pio, responding to the invitation of Bishop Milan Shashik of the Greek-Catholic Diocese of Mukachevo (siu iuris) arrived in Uzhhorod Ukraine (right on the Slovak border) on August 15, 2012.
On November 23, 2020, the bishop of the Greek-Catholic diocese of Mukachevo (close to the Slovak and Hungarian border) gave his written consent for the erection of a Capuchin house in his diocese. This first attempt at the presence of the Capuchins in the Byzantine Catholic rite gives hope for the possibility of extending this ministry.
This is their prayer which we can pray in solidarity:
Holy God, holy Mighty, Holy and Immortal, Have mercy on us …
From air, hunger, fire and war, Save us, Lord!
From sudden and unexpected death, Save us, Lord!
We sinners are asking you, God, Hear us, Lord!
In Roman Catholics in Ukraine see Movements & Communities
A Ukrainian, Dina Franczeska Shabalina, ofs, is a link for Wells4Africa. The Canadian OFS National Minister wrote to her about Canadian support for Ukraine. We can contact her (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to let her know she and all Ukrainians are in our prayers. We support their efforts to maintain their independence and pray for a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian forces. Dina wrote that they are praying twice a day by zoom. Let us also not forget brave Russians and Belorussians who suffer under Putin and Lukashenko and oppose the war. At time of my writing advancing Russian forces were only approx 80 km away from Dina, unless she has moved and become a refugee.
Now I must disclose my personal opinion. First, I am a human being; second, a Christian; third, a Roman Catholic Franciscan and fourth, a retired British and Canadian Army officer. I have attended Ukrainian Greek Catholic church services and worked on a project with an Eparch (Bishop), now retired. I am reminded that Pope Paul VI said: “If you want peace work/struggle/fight for justice.” (different translations use different words but Spanish uses lucha which definitely means fight). Then I am reminded of this saying attributed to Pope Francis: “You pray for the hungry, then you feed them. That is how prayer works.” Authentic prayer always includes action. So we must support the Ukrainian people in the defence of their independence.
For me, but I know not for all Franciscans, that includes their right to, and our support of, their armed defence. That is the Teaching of the Catholic Church (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2265) and is supported by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops of Canada. The New Westminster (Diocese) Eparchy writes: You can send financial support to the Ukrainian army and volunteers, protecting their country against the aggression. Here are the contacts of trusted organizations: Help the people of Ukraine to survive the war. Donate.
Possibly many Franciscans will want to restrict their financial support to non lethal relief and humanitarian support. Others who served in the Canadian or other NATO Armed Forces, [like me] and some as UN Peacekeepers, may want to support the Ukrainian army. Many will realise that Putin would not have invaded if Ukraine were a member of NATO. Without a no-fly zone the Ukrainians have little chance but for NATO to enforce one would risk a larger confrontation for which NATO is unwilling. So Ukraine is fighting with one hand tied. May God bring peace!
on the war in Ukraine
As a Catholic organization, we are people of faith and people of peace, and we urge the international community to unite in the face of Russian aggression and achieve lasting peace in Ukraine. We call on world leaders to find creative solutions that end the invasion without escalating the violence.
Finally, we ask you to join us in prayer, using this adaptation from Pope John Paul II’s “Hear My Voice, Lord for Justice and Peace.”
To you, Creator of nature and humanity, of truth and beauty, I pray:
Hear our voice, for it is the voice of the victims of the war and violence currently happening in Ukraine.
Hear our voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and who will suffer
when people put their faith in weapons and war.
Hear our voice when I beg you to instill into the hearts of all human beings
the vision of peace, the strength of justice and the joy of fellowship.
Hear our voice, for we speak for the multitudes
in every country and in every period of history who do not want war
and are ready to walk the road of peace.
Hear our voice and grant insight and strength so that we may always respond
to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to justice,
to need with the sharing of self, to war with peace.
O God, hear our voice. Amen
The foregoing material is from the Statement 24 Feb 2022 found here.
The following comes from the Statement on Fossil Fuels and war in Ukraine, 28 Feb 2022
“It’s an unprecedented war aggression by Russia, the largest country in the world with 60% of their economy based on fossil fuels exploration and trade. …Currently we observe the big shift happening in these few days against Russian fossil fuels hegemony that fueled and weaponised a war against Ukraine. There is hope for the European Union (EU) and countries outside of the EU to end both war and fossil fuel expansion the soonest. In Berlin there were 500,000 protesters in the streets expressing solidarity against the war in Ukraine and demanding Germanian [sic] government to embargo Russian oil and gas.”
Canada has done that but Canadian banks and insurance companies are pouring millions into Russian oil and gas. See Canada's National Observer: News & Analysis. If you are a customer with one of those banks let them know you are not happy!
Lent is a favourable time for personal and community renewal, as it leads us to the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For our Lenten journey in 2022, we will do well to reflect on Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Galatians: “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity (kairós), let us do good to all” (Gal 6:9-10). It has three subheadings:
- Sowing and reaping
- “Let us not grow tired of doing good”
- “If we do not give up, we shall reap our harvest in due time”
They can be found here: https://laudatosilent.org
Here is the one from week 3:
“Prayer for fundamental human rights.”
“God of Justice, we pray for the courage and determination to defend
fundamental human rights. We ask for the courage to actively combat poverty,
inequality, lack of work, land and housing, and the denial of social and labour rights.
We pray for equality, that there would not be first, second or third class people;
much less the so-called “disposable”.
We also pray for those who defend human rights.
For those who risk their lives while fighting for fundamental rights
under dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and even in democracies in crisis,
that they may see their sacrifice and their work bear abundant fruit.
by Ana Carolina Gutierrez, LSM Spiritual consultant, Italy.
Development and Peace
It is when the bishops of Canada encourage the faithful to give to Development and Peace, especially through the collection on Solidarity Sunday, the fifth Sunday of Lent.
This Lent, let us walk in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Global South who put people and planet first. Join us and bring Share Lent to life in your community!
Bring the campaign to life in your community.
We have many resources to help you run the Share Lent campaign in your parish or school. Visit our Resources section to discover our Mini-magazine Solidarity Calendar, Way of the Cross. See the resources
WAY OF THE CROSS
In this Way of the Cross, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada invites us to understand the experiences of communities in the Global South that are affected by climate change and by the misbehaviour of socially irresponsible companies that do not respect human rights and the environment. Let us be inspired by the resilience that these communities show in confronting unjust situations while respecting nature. May this act of solidarity allow us to commemorate the Passion of Christ and to enter into the mystery of God’s love, manifested in his Son Jesus.
For an example here is the 1st STATION.
Jesus is condemned to death
Celebrant: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.
Scripture: “[Pilate] took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’” ― Matthew 27:24
Meditation: Under pressure from the crowd, manipulated by an elite anxious to maintain their domination and privileges, Pilate unjustly allows Jesus to be condemned to death as if he were a criminal, and washes his hands of the deed. In the name of economic interests, companies that operate with no social and environmental responsibility are complicit in criminalizing human rights and environmental defenders.
Quote: “Now more than ever, we need mandatory supply chain due diligence to stop corporate abuse and guarantee global solidarity. Through their operations, irresponsible companies are complicit in acts of violence and suffering. We, Catholic leaders throughout the world, call on states to put an end to this.” ― Worldwide bishops’ statement in support of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation.
Celebrant: Let us pray in silence for a moment.
Let us pray together: Lord Jesus, teach us to denounce human injustices so that we do not become accomplices. Give us the courage to not remain silent before powers and legislations that do not respect human rights and the environment.
You can print the whole Way of the Cross here
Another thing you can do is check the resources for Bulletin announcements and ask your pastor to insert them. Here is an example:
Week 3: March 20
The power of mobilized citizens
One of Development and Peace’s strengths is our ability to mobilize thousands of Canadians like you to amplify marginalized voices from the Global South. Our partners want businesses to not be able to perpetrate abuses in their countries with impunity. That is why our People and Planet First campaign is asking you to help ensure that Canada adopts strong due diligence laws to prevent Canadian corporations from abusing human and environmental rights across their global operations.
Sign our petition for this at devp.org/act and spread the word.
Thank you for supporting our campaign!
If you are brave enough you can ask your pastor to let you give the Short Talk.
Here is the one page text.
The Development Council of Andohatapenaka (CDA), a Development and Peace partner, has implemented 51 climate change adaptation microprojects in the capital of Madagascar. CDA is also helping residents transform one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods into an ecological village. This project was realized with financing from the Government of Quebec and meets the objectives of its 2030 Plan for a Green Economy.
Our programs and our partners in the Global South promote alternatives to unjust social, political, economic and environmental structures. To learn more or make a donation: https://www.devp.org
Rarivoarinoro Hanta Manana, project manager, CDA says:
“What makes the collaboration between Development and Peace and CDA special is that the beneficiaries of the project participate. They don’t wait for us to give them something. They are both beneficiaries and actors in the realization of their initiatives.”
Here is a video about this ecological conversion in Madagascar (4 mins 51 sec)
Pope Francis Speaks about Ukraine
Pope Francis spoke at length about the war in Ukraine after the Angelus prayer on March 6, 2022. He expressed his closeness to “this troubled country” where “rivers of blood and tears flow” inviting once again to resume the path of negotiation. He also expressed a heartfelt tribute to the journalists working in this extremely dangerous area.
Two cardinals sent to Ukraine
He said that “the Holy See is willing to do everything to put itself at the service of this peace,” explaining that Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Apostolic Chaplain, and Cardinal Michael Czerny, acting Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, have been in Ukraine in recent days to assist the population. [because of his work with refuges]
“This presence of the two Cardinals is the presence not only of the Pope, but of all the Christian people who want to come closer and say: ‘War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!” implored the Bishop of Rome.
“Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all” (Galatians 6:9-10)
“The developed countries ought to help pay … by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development.” (Pope Francis. Laudato Si’, 52)