To the Reverend Clergy, Consecrated Religious, Seminarians, Faithful and Friends of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada!
22 January 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“For peace throughout the world, for the well-being of God’s holy churches and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.”
At the start of every Divine Liturgy we pray this petition. Its significance has become increasingly important in recent days as we witness the worsening crises in our ancestral land of Ukraine. On behalf of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in Canada I address these words to our faithful and to all people of good will concerned with these ongoing events.
In first place, we call on everyone to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine. For over two months our people have been protesting peacefully in defense of their political, economic and social future. This is their democratic right and no government, political party, army or police force can deny them of this right, especially through violence.
Secondly, we pray for the well-being of God’s holy churches. After many years of denied legal status and underground existence, our Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine is again being threatened by the ruling authority with loss of status for standing beside and praying with her people in the streets of Kyiv. Their well-being is our concern.
Thirdly, we pray for the unity of all people of Ukraine. After centuries of subjugation by outside powers, in recent years the road to self-determination has been opened to Ukraine’s citizens. Our prayers and support are needed to encourage them in this undertaking, something we in Canada assume without question.
Dearly Beloved in Christ!
We call for prayers during all Divine Liturgies throughout our churches in Canada for the people of Ukraine in these turbulent times, including the following petition in the litany (ektenia) after the Gospel reading: We also pray for the people of Ukraine, that with the help of the Holy Spirit, they may obtain social peace, political harmony and economic stability: Lord, hear us and have mercy.
May the peace we enjoy in this country, not lessen but rather increase our concern for our brothers and sisters in our ancestral land, through the prayers of the Mother of God and all Ukrainian saints.
On behalf of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in Canada I send our Episcopal blessing! Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak OSBM, Metropolitan