Kiev (Agenzia Fides) - "We are fine but we live in precariousness and uncertainty. Our help comes from the Lord and our hope is his Providence and we live these terrible moments immersed in prayer. Let us put our lives in the hands of God the Father and Creator". This is what was reported to Fides by Father Pawel Vyshkovskyy, missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Kiev, in the Church of St. Nicholas. The small community of the three OMI missionaries in the Ukrainian capital, says Fr. Pawel, are preparing the whole community of the faithful for the Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace announced by Pope Francis for tomorrow, March 2, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
"We express deep gratitude to the Pope - says the missionary - for his attention and pastoral concern, we feel his closeness in these terrible moments. It is of great comfort for us to feel the solidarity and fraternal love of the Pope, of the baptized throughout the world. We will be united in the great universal prayer for tomorrow's peace. This gives us great comfort and hope".
The Oblate missionaries, who took refuge in the crypt of the Church, spend their time in contemplation and in charitable action: "We are constantly dedicated to Eucharistic Adoration and we also try to help those most in need. We are with Jesus and with the people. We will stay here, we will not leave Ukraine", Father Vyshkovskyy announces, reporting that the OMI will continue their pastoral work in the nation. The approximately 30 Oblate missionaries present in Ukraine reside in 10 houses, in different cities in the Ukrainian territory, and carry out a flourishing pastoral work, evangelization, works of social apostolate.
The missionary reports that "there is great fear and uncertainty among our faithful, which is why many are leaving the city to temporarily move to the west of the country or even abroad". "Many Catholic churches in Kiev during the night are transformed into shelters for families. People are shocked, disoriented and frightened. We offer spiritual and material comfort, living alongside the people in this dramatic moment, in abandonment to the will of God and in incessant prayer". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 1/3/2022)