Ukraine Snapshots

A Simple Gesture From Young Children

At the Missionary Oblate parish of St. Nicholas in Kiev, Ukraine, a touching ceremony recently took place on the occasion of the Ukrainian National Flag Day.

The children of the parish carried their handmade Ukraine flags and placed them on the altar. The offering of national colors to God was a request for His protection during this time of war.

In explaining the children’s gesture, Parish Priest Fr. Pawel Wyszowski, OMI, said: “We want to invite Christ to our future, especially in these difficult times. And we pray for a future that will be fulfilled in accordance with the will and judgments of Almighty God.” 

Hope Wins Over Hate

During the summer, in Tyviv, a village in central Ukraine, the Missionary Oblates organized a festival for young people called “The Breath of Life.”

In an interview with Vatican News, Fr. Vadym Dorosh, OMI, explained that this event has been held every year since 2009. The usual program includes prayer, several workshops, and a Christian music concert. Activities were scaled back this year because of the war with more emphasis on prayer and reflection.

“I am glad that despite the war, I was able to participate in the festival,” said Maria Teresa, 25. “In these difficult times, it was very important to feel ‘the breath of life’ in the meeting with other young people and in the closeness with God through Mass, prayer, and nightly adoration. The very fact that such events are done in such difficult times helps us to keep hope and faith alive that God wins.”

In addition to prayers and sports activities, the organizers offered thematic conferences to the youth, one of which, under the guidance of a psychologist, dealt with the topic of preventing and overcoming stress.