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Photo by Rostislav Artov on Unsplash
Photo by Rostislav Artov on Unsplash
World News

'We will definitely win if we are together': Ukrainian Church leader urges resilience amidst Russian invasion

by Lydia Davies

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, delivered a powerful message during his recent visit to the United States on 3rd March 2024, urging Ukrainians to remain steadfast in the face of adversity amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia.  

"Thank you very much for your tireless prayer and work for the good of Ukraine and our speedy victory in the Russian invasion," Shevchuk said.   

"We will definitely win if we are together – together with God, together with each other, no matter where we live in the world, and together with Ukraine."  

In his sermon, Shevchuk celebrated starting his week-long visit to the United States, which will include meetings with church leaders and lawmakers and stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York.  

Prominent figures attended the divine liturgy, including Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl. 

Shevchuk praised and thanked all of the American bishops in attendance.  

In particular, he responded to Broglio's prior visit to Ukraine, saying the archbishop gave "special testimony of the solidarity of Catholics in America with the suffering people of Ukraine".  

Acknowledging the recent Russian drone strike in Odessa that claimed the lives of at least ten individuals, Shevchuk conveyed heartfelt gratitude to Ukrainians in the United States for their continuous support and prayers during "these challenging times".  

"On behalf of those who are the weakest and most vulnerable in Ukraine today and whom our Church was able to serve for two years thanks to your sacrifice and generosity, I express my heartfelt gratitude," he said.  

Accompanying Shevchuk on his visit are five bishops of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.   

Their presence in the United States coincides with a critical period marked by the ongoing budget negotiations in Congress, which could determine the allocation of billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine.  

In the latter part of his sermon, Shevchuk addressed the spiritual struggles of Ukrainians amid the conflict, particularly emphasising the importance of finding meaning and resilience during times of adversity.   

He spoke of the Great Lent season as a period of spiritual pilgrimage, where he recognised individuals may encounter feelings of being "burnt out" from the ongoing battle against evil. 


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