By Alberto Gilman
Parishioners of Saint Andrew Ukrainian Catholic Church in Campbell Hall gathered together Sunday and prayed, hoping for an end to the fighting in Ukraine.
The celebration of the mass, celebrated and spoken in Ukrainian, was led by Reverend Yaroslav Kostyk.
Within the last several days, the country of Ukraine has undergone a series of aerial and ground attacks from Russian military forces, who continue to advance and invade the country.
As of Tuesday the capital, Kyiv has not fallen and Ukrainian Military forces and civilian citizens continue to withstand and protect the country.
The invasion of Ukraine came under the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin who looks to bring Ukraine back under Russian control.
Citizens of Ukraine have fled to the west to the neighboring countries of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
In Ukraine, Nataliya Leukan‘s parents remain and though she has asked her parents to come to the United States, with Visas available, they do not want to leave.
Her parents have chosen to stay with their fellow Ukrainians. “I wish I can be there and help them,” Leukan said.
Irena Ihnachak currently still has family in the county, but they are located to the west in the City of Lviv.
“Most people are concerned. They’re wondering about what’s happening to their families and they’re hoping and praying that the Russians will withdraw,” Ihnachak said.
She shared that when people think of the Ukrainian people, the automatic assumption is that they are Russian due to some similarities in Russian language and customs.
“We have our own culture, our own language of which we are very proud,” Ihnachak said. “We are a proud nation”.
Ihnachak asks for prayers for Ukraine and hopes this conflict can end soon.
Also in Ukraine near Lviv are some family members of Edward Bartosiewicz. Praying together with his fellow congregation members, he hopes for a swift end to this conflict.
“I’m sure everybody was praying for the people in Ukraine. Hopefully prayers will do something,” Bartosiewicz said.
Irene Cholewka also has relatives in Ukraine. She keeps in touch with them via Facebook presently. She worries about their safety with the attacks that persist.
“We wish that there’ll be more help from different countries. Why can’t Ukraine be free,” Cholewka said. “I just pray that they’ll stop the fighting”.