From coast to coast, US bishops join consecration of Russia and Ukraine – Catholic World Report
Denver Newsroom, March 25, 2022 / 4:06 p.m. (CNA).
Preaching the homily at a mass in Philadelphia on Friday, the voice of the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the United States trembled with emotion.
“Ukraine has united the world,” Bishop Borys Gudziak said. “Never in the history of mankind have people of goodwill around the world been so united,” said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
“The fragility of our human nature is glaring before our eyes, and yet there are so many graces that God gives,” he said, preaching that even in the face of evil he sees God’s grace at work as the whole world comes together. in prayer for Ukraine.
The Mass in Philadelphia was one of dozens held that day across the United States, as bishops answered the pope’s call to pray the prayer of consecration together.
From the tip of Florida to Southern California, from Seattle to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, every U.S. diocese has participated in one form or another. The Bishop of Fairbanks prayed the consecration on the shores of the Bering Sea, facing Russia, their neighbor a few hundred kilometers to the west.
Many bishops have shared photos of crowded churches.
Rarely have I been so moved as today to see the response of the People of God to the call of the Holy Father to pray with him as he consecrates Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A profound act of ecclesial communion. For peace.https://t.co/nMf3Dr6wxj pic.twitter.com/JyS6edCfU0
— Amigo of Frodo (@bpdflores) March 25, 2022
Christianity joined ours @BishopBurbidge today in a special Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Please join us in prayer that peace reign again in the hearts of men through the intercession of our Blessed Mother! pic.twitter.com/9iH6CnxylN
— College of Christendom (@ChristendomVA) March 25, 2022
“Queen of heaven, restore the peace of God to the world.
Queen of the Rosary, make us aware of our need to pray and to love.
Queen of the Human Family, show people the way to brotherhood.
Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.
— Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC (@WashArchdiocese) March 25, 2022
In Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley prayed the consecration immediately after noon Mass, around 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Among the priests concelebrating was Father Yaroslav Nalysnyk, pastor of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church in Boston.
Father Nalysnyk made remarks after Mass, before the consecration, and told the congregation of around 150 people that, like Christ, Ukraine is “bleeding” and “going through its own passion”. But Ukraine will rise again, he said, with the love of the risen Christ as a model.
Nalysnyk, who said he was secretly ordained a priest in the underground Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Soviet Union, called it “a great honor to be part of this solemn consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Nalysnyk also said, “This liturgy will send a message of hope, a message of peace, a message of healing and a message of solidarity against evil, war and destruction.”
After Mass in Boston, CNA spoke with Taras Leschishin, cantor at Holy Cross Cathedral. A grandson of Ukrainians, Leschishin was raised in Ukrainian Orthodoxy and now practices Catholicism.
“I think [the Pope’s decision to consecrate and today’s ceremony] was amazing and wonderful. I can’t stop myself from crying. Any mention of it and I break down,” Leschishin told CNA.
“But it’s very encouraging. I know people say, what can we do? And I think prayer is the first answer.
the worldwide consecration took place on the Feast of the Annunciation.
Archbishop Nelson Perez presided over the March 25 Mass, joined by Gudziak, at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. The two archbishops make a prayer of consecration at the beginning of the mass, shortly before Pope Francis made the same consecration in Romeentrusting the whole world — in particular Russia and Ukraine at war — to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Gudziak, in Philadelphia, noted that in Byzantine tradition, the Annunciation is described in a hymn as “the beginning of our salvation” because it is when the Son of God became incarnate.
“Today is the beginning of salvation — let us say with Mary, Thy will, Thy word be done. And do not doubt that God is with the world, with the suffering, and that his truth will triumph. He will give peace and he will give life,” Gudziak said.
“We trust, O Mother of God, that through your heart, peace will dawn once more.”
There are probably close to 4 million Ukrainian refugees, 80-90% of whom are women and children, and several million internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Gudziak said his chancery’s phone kept ringing with offers from people wishing to offer solidarity, prayers and help. But there remain millions of separated families who will need help for a long time to come, he noted.
Gudziak had previously warned of the likelihood of persecution of his Church in Ukraine.
“[O]Our Church realizes that a Russian occupation will undoubtedly lead to the persecution of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. It will probably call for martyrdom,” he told CNA in a Feb. 25 interview.
“The Church has said that bishops and priests will try to stay in place and be in total solidarity with the people… She responds with prayer, invoking the grace of God, with the sacraments, with the healing of presence, listening healing and morality. support for those denigrated and violated.
The devil is at work, and yet the Annunciation reminds us of God’s grace, Gudziak said. Many people are “living this Lent like never before,” he said in his homily.
“We are reconsidering what is important, we are adjusting our priorities,” he said.
“This party, and this dedication, speak to you and to me. Receive — like Mary — Jesus into your heart.
“Glory to Jesus Christ. Glory forever,” he concluded.
At the end of the mass, Gudziak added that while he considers the consecration of Russia and Ukraine as “a turning point in history”, he does not expect it to be the end of the trials . The “true resurrection” requires the purifying power of the cross, he said.
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