EUROPE/UKRAINE - "We are desperate but we are not afraid, we are very determined, all of us" says Fr. Mikola from Lviv

Friday, 4 March 2022

Lviv (Agenzia Fides) - "The war started only a few days ago, everything works normally here, shops are open, public transport works. The situation is calm but we are preparing. There are also air warnings but at the moment the war has not arrived". This is how Father Mikola Orach, OFM, parish priest of the church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Lviv, has just explained to Agenzia Fides what they are experiencing.
We manage to get in contact him while he is going to his parishioners to bring them the Blessed Sacrament, so at the beginning of the conversation he seems like a normal parish priest who is dedicated to his daily tasks, but we know that this is not the case. "We have a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. We take care of the refugees who stay with us for one night and then continue on their way to Poland. Here they wash, eat, sleep... they arrive in desperate conditions, the children cry, the cold is a real pain. Now the border is calmer, in a few hours you can cross and there are no longer 60 km of queues as we have seen in recent days. "The Russians say that they are liberating us from the fascists and the Nazis - says Fr. Mikola - but that is not true, they are fighting against the entire Ukrainian people".
"We are not afraid, we are very determined, all of us, we are going to fight until the end, we are very angry. The Russians ask us to find an agreement, but our politicians say they have to go and pay for all the orphans, the widows, and then peace. We are not afraid, our children are, our men, our parishioners are preparing, our city is already prepared for the invasion. Our President asks the West to close the sky over Ukraine. I don't know what it means, but we are desperate, Russian planes are coming, they are bombing our cities, they have attacked the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant, we are in danger of a new Chernobyl".
"Please help us ask the Americans and Europe to close the Ukrainian sky to all airplanes", concludes the priest. (GF/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2022)