Local Ukrainian Catholics turn to prayer amidst crisis

March 3, 2014

EDMONTON – The turbulent times in Ukraine call for prayer and international political support, says the chancellor of the Edmonton Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy.

Father Stephen Wojcichowsky said local Ukrainian Catholics are responding with daily prayer at some parishes and spontaneous liturgies.

"Here at the chancery we pray every day," said Wojcichowsky. "Everywhere people are just putting this whole thing before the Lord."

Wojcichowsky said he is heartened by how much the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has been in the forefront of pastoral support to the people in Ukraine as have other churches and faith groups.

"This has been a real moral struggle as much as it has been a political and social struggle," he said in a Feb. 24 interview.

"I am encouraged by the efforts of the religious groups to be able to give the kind of support that is necessary at this time."

People are also using their power, he said. "Where there are insights, capability, connections, people are also advocating and writing to their members of parliament.

"When leaders in the West can put any kind of pressure on a situation that needs pressure, and when they can give support where support is needed, that's going to be very helpful."

Wojcichowsky said the current situation in Ukraine is precarious.

"Anytime there is an interregnum, there is always a trying to determine who is going to be in authority, who is going to lead, how is it going to be structured. That is where Ukraine finds itself right now."