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Catholic Churches pray for peace in Ukraine

Lakeland student worried about parents in Kyiv
Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church Chad Mills WFTS.png
Posted at 5:16 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 17:47:35-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Congregations worldwide are praying for peace in Ukraine.

On Friday, bishops around the globe gathered for a noon prayer vigil in hopes their collective voices will spur divine action as Russia continues to invade Ukraine and the death toll climbs.

“We can offer our prayers because we know god has the ability to change minds and hearts in ways we are not always able to do,” said Bishop Gregory Parkes at St. Jude The Apostle Cathedral in St. Petersburg shortly after their service.

Their prayers are directed to families like Maria Rezhylo’s. Rezhylo is a Florida Southern College student in Lakeland but she is originally from Ukraine. Her family is in Kyiv doing everything they can to survive and fight.

Rezhylo says it’s scary, “Not knowing when you’re going to see your family and just the thought of do I even have a home?”

Rezhylo says her mom, a midwife, is helping to deliver babies in bomb shelters. She is also baking bread and cookies to give to those in shelters and fighting for their country.

Rezhylo says she’s proud of her parents but also worried.

“We had this belief that nobody is going to take away our home and our confidence in tomorrow now that all changed and nothing is promised anymore,” she explained.

There’s also rising concern about food shortages in Ukraine and Europe. That shortage could drive up food prices in the United States.

Catholic Relief Services are raising money to send food and other supplies to Ukraine and Poland and they’re hoping their prayers will be answered.

“There’s always hope. As people of faith, we have hope for a better tomorrow and we are called to do our part,” Bishop Parkes added.

Ukraine Catholic Church

Pope Francis invited bishops across the world to join him in consecrating Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration in St. Petersburg, FL happened simultaneously and at the same time, the Pope formally made the consecration at St. Peter’s Basilica.