Our hearts break for the Ukrainian people, especially the overwhelmingly sad suffering of children, painfully on display with the evening news.
All of us in the Nativity community are praying for an end to the conflict and the restoration of national boundaries that reflect the autonomy of the Ukrainian people.
But no matter what the diplomatic outcome of the current conflict, there will still be a serious refugee crisis. Reports from the U.N. have determined that more than 2 million refugees have left Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion. This makes it the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. The ongoing violence amidst the migration out of the country and harsh winter conditions make this crisis particularly severe.
Nativity has made prayer for Ukraine a priority during this time, including joining the Pope in prayer on Ash Wednesday and prayer during weekend Masses. But we are also committed to doing more.
We have decided that, as a parish, we will be tithing 10% of our collection to support victims of conflict in Ukraine. Our tithe will be in place for each weekend of Lent and will go directly to Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services, who are on the ground in Eastern Europe. Through their partners Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Poland, CRS is providing safe shelter, hot meals, hygiene supplies, transport to safe areas, counseling support, and more. For many refugees, the volunteers of Catholic Relief Services will be the first faces they see as they cross the border.
For anyone who wishes to join us in support of Ukraine, we encourage you to give directly to CRS. You can do so here. We also encourage everyone to join us in prayer.
A statue of Saint Michael the Archangel stands in the center of Kyiv, the patron saint of the city and the defender of Ukraine. It was the Archangel who led the battle against Lucifer and his angels and let’s not forget how that battle turned out:
There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough and they lost their place in heaven. – Rev. 12:7-8
we pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
especially the children and the most vulnerable,
that you will be close to them and protect them.
We pray for Ukraine’s Leaders, especially their President,
Ukrainian military and first responders,
for continued strength, courage, and resolve.
We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength, wisdom, to guide their choices.
We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may learn to cherish peace and discover renewed respect for all life.