The letter is from Fr. Vitliy Podolan, OMI Superior of our ministries in Ukraine.

As Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, we stand by the people who gather in our churches. Some of our buildings have become refugee shelters, food and drug warehouses and bomb shelters. We continue to serve people through the administration of the sacraments, the celebration of worship along with moral and spiritual support. We collect humanitarian aid and then deliver it to our parishes, where it is distributed to the needy.

Among the missions cared for by the Oblates is the Shrine of Our Lady of Tyvriv. Our celebration of Easter there was very different. We were joined by about 40 of the refugees from other parts of the country that are currently living with us. Several of the ‘defenders of our homeland’ were also present for the services.

We began the celebration with Mass on Holy Thursday. In these difficult times special emphasis was placed on the traditional foot-washing ritual. On Good Friday there were several events: including a walk of witness with our brothers and sisters from the Orthodox church. We joined together in a common prayer for peace and victory.

Next came the celebration of the Lord’s Passion, which was led by Fr. Vadim Roadosh, OMI. In his sermon, he spoke to us of the importance of silence, suffering of Jesus and he linked it to the context of the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

On Easter Sunday, the Mass was led by Fr. Andrei Cancer, OMI. In his sermon he spoke about the importance of placing our hope in the Resurrection of the Lord. At the Easter Mass we also expressed our deep gratitude to each of you for your support in our ministry and for the support of those who had to abandon everything to save their lives and their loved ones.

I pray that you experience many triumphs during Holy Week and throughout the year. Please pray for our Oblates in Ukraine and know that every day they pray for you because of your generous heart.


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