From coast to coast, US bishops join consecration of Russia and Ukraine – Catholic World Report

The interior of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Philadelphia during a Mass on March 25, 2022 following the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. /Archdiocese of Philadelphia/Screenshot

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.

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.

Father Yaroslav Nalysnyk, pastor of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church in Boston, approaches the ambo during a March 25, 2022 mass at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston.  Joe Bukuras/CNA
Father Yaroslav Nalysnyk, pastor of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church in Boston, approaches the ambo during a March 25, 2022 mass at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston. Joe Bukuras/CNA

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.

Taras Leschishin, cantor at the Holy Cross Cathedral.  A grandson of Ukrainians, Leschishin was raised in Ukrainian Orthodoxy and now practices Roman Catholicism.  Joe Bukuras/CNA
Taras Leschishin, cantor at the Holy Cross Cathedral. A grandson of Ukrainians, Leschishin was raised in Ukrainian Orthodoxy and now practices Roman Catholicism. Joe Bukuras/CNA

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.

Bishop Borys Gudziak preaches the homily during a March 25, 2022 Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Philadelphia, following the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Archdiocese of Philadelphia/Screenshot
Bishop Borys Gudziak preaches the homily during a March 25, 2022 Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Philadelphia, following the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Archdiocese of Philadelphia/Screenshot

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.


If you enjoy the news and views provided by Catholic World Report, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers around the world for free, without subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to the CWR. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.


Comments are closed.