Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 264

November 15, 2022

A calm night. In Kyiv the morning was without electricity. Common prayers by flashlights, phones, as who can. On the front fierce battles. God, give us peace!

The Word… Yesterday a blind man at Jericho, shouted, “that I may see.” Today, another who does not see because he is of small stature—does not see Jesus. He embarrassed himself, climbs a tree and is seen and hears, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stop at your house.” “Today salvation has come to this house, for he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to find and save that which was lost.” We are Children of God, and we are called to see, to hear, to love means to be happy. “Christ the leader! Christ the king! Christ, ruler over us.”

We live in war, we do not live by war.

Our President, V. Zelensky, visited Kherson liberated from Russian occupation. He has courage. Congratulations, Mr. President. (photo)
A resident of Kherson, a patriot of Ukraine buried a Ukrainian flag under a sidewalk slab. The time has come… to bury the flag out and manifest. Kherson is Ukraine, Херсон це Україна. (photo)

Our children rejoice, and rejoice, with sunshine in the Ukrainian calm sky. Deo gratias! (photo)
Alpha course in Kyiv. (photo)
Church of the Mother of God of the Church, on 1b Perova Boulevard. (photo)
Eucharist. Christian Relief Service next to Fr. Pio. (photo)
Daily Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Brother Igor. (photo)
Brother Victor happily arrived in Kyiv, at his new fraternity. After the common Eucharist, fraternal breakfast. (photo)

May God guard us and reveal His true face to us.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 263

November 14, 2022

Morning. A good morning. The sun is shining, there is electricity, so far. God has given us a new day. Deo gratias!

Kharkiv was shelled again at night. After a moment of peace. God, give us peace!!!

The Word… “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” So cried the blind man near Jericho, and Jesus healed him, saying: “What do you want me to do for you?” He answered: “Lord, that I may see.” Jesus answered him: “See through, your faith has healed you.” “Immediately he saw through and followed Him, glorifying God.” What did the blind man regaining his sight see? A very simple answer, that God is love! Seeing that God loved him, he worshiped God. This is the Jesus Prayer, this is true Christianity. God loves you, start worshiping God.

We live in war, we don’t live by war.

Today in our Franciscan liturgical calendar, we remember St. Nicholas Tavelić and companions, martyrs of today’s Croatia. We greet Brother Jure Sarcevic and the brothers of the Province of Croatia. Peace and Good.  Thank you for your prayers and financial assistance. Thank you! Jure, keeping our spirits up, writes about the war that you as Croats lived through. Your war lasted 4 years. Maybe this aggression of Russia on Ukraine will be shorter. God, grant us peace.

Patriotism from childhood. Mom asks a girl: “Why do you put the money in your wallet?” The girl answers: “For the ZSU, for the soldiers.” (photo)

Tears and joy, when people meet Ukrainian soldiers. (photo)

City Hero, with no comments. (photo)

Yesterday by noon, Ukraine once again “red.” (photo)

Prayer of worship at the Cathedral. (photo)

A group of people, refugees, displaced persons, who agreed to be photographed together with Sr. Bogumila, a Nazareth Sister—the heart of our ministry to those in need.
A photo in our church, in front of the altar. (photo)

Kapshagay, Kazakhstan:
Our angel, Marcin Izyk, while at the Alpha Conference, visits parishes where we preached retreats together years ago. A man of God, Fr. Artur Zaras, runs homes for children.
Artur we greet you, pray for you and thank you for your spiritual and material help.
God is love. (photo)

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, our parishioners were able to enter the church through the central entrance. The stairs and plaza are still under construction, but the results are already visible. (photo) We prayed for our Benefactors. God is love!

May God protect us and grant us peace !

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 262

November 13, 2022

Yesterday in Kyiv we fell asleep hearing sirens, air raid alerts. Commands in messenger apps: go down into hiding and stay in a safe place until further notice. None of the brothers, and I suspect just a few other people go down to basements and shelters. This is not a form of courage—more of a habit, maybe indifference, a kind of war syndrome. I don’t know, time will tell.

Today is a new day. The Lord’s Day. We have opened our eyes, we will celebrate, another “little Passover”, which is every Sunday. Jesus is alive!

The Word: Today is the second last Sunday of the Church Year. Next Sunday is already Christ the King. The Liturgical Year is coming to an end, all readings talk about the end of the world, eschatology: “And for you who worship my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, and healing in its wings.” And for us, it does not end, for believers, for Christians, “life changes, but it does not end.”

Fear not, God is love and “in true love there is no fear.”

We celebrated the Eucharist at 9 a.m. Another alert. Thank God for everything and at all times.

God loves you!

We live by war, we do not live by war.

Another Alpha Course. (photo)
Present at the Eucharist was Mr. Volodymyr, provincial of the Ukrainian province of the Knights of St. John Paul II. He is also our angel, angel of Ukraine. (photo)
We pray for our Benefactors.
In our lower church, without lights, by flashlights, first therapeutic training took place: How to deal with stress and war anxiety. A practical lesson. Ola, thank you.

Brother Sergei, the custos, makes changes in our fraternity and parish community in Kamianske. The old and new guardian and pastor, Brother Adam, moves to Kyiv. Brother Vladislav from Starokostiantyniv to Kamianske. Brother Paul goes to Vinnytsia. Eucharist and farewell to the brothers. Joy about those who are coming to us. We are waiting for brother Volodia. (photo)

Our angel, a good man, is already in Kazakhstan at an Alpha Conference. Meeting after years with Fr. Arthur, where years ago we preached retreats together. “We are still missing only you,” writes Marcin from Astana, Kazakhstan. (photo)

Invitation to next Prayer of Worship. (photo)

Peace! Everyone is invited to Krasyliv to celebrate the name day of the Leonid brothers (Kushneruk and Michalets). Festive dinner will be held on November 16th at 1.30 p.m. We are waiting with longing! We will host everyone with wild pleasure!

Lviv/Krakow, Poland:
Greetings from Poland from Rev. Stanislaw Kantor who “got up from his coffin,” as he says himself. He is planning a pilgrimage from Khmelnytskyi to Berdychiv. (photo)

May God grant peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 261

November 12, 2022

Another night and another day are gifts God has given us. We are alive—thanks to God. We have opened our eyes—thanks to God. We can pray together—thanks to God.
For everything and at all times, including war, give thanks and praise to God.

Alarms, airstrikes, casualties “traditionally” in the east and south of Ukraine. God, give us peace.

A statement by one western Ukrainian politician: “If Russia stopped war, there would be no war. If Ukraine stopped war, there would be no Ukraine.” Unfortunately, this is the truth about this senseless aggression of Russia against Ukraine.

The Word… We have been praying for peace in Ukraine since 2014, since the seizure of part of Donbass and the annexation of Crimea. There is no peace! We are praying very fervently already 261 night and day. Another Word and prayer from today’s Gospel: “Defend me from my adversary!” (from the Russians).
“And God, will He not take up for Himself His elect, who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay in their cause? I say unto you, that He will speedily take them into His defense.” There is one personal doubt/question that the Evangelist himself asks: “But will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He comes?”
What should I believe? That God exists? That God will end the war? How about believing that God is in the story and that God loves you and God is love.
You believe that only God can bring good out of this senseless, cruel war for you and for Ukraine, for the World. Only God. Do you believe that?

God is love!

We live in war, we do not live by war.

Let’s once again remember yesterday’s holiday together. (photo)

Kamianske (Kyiv):
Today (yesterday) with Lyonka we were with a humanitarian aid in the village of Vil’nopillya (our military stood there), and then Mala Kamysholy (the Russians were there for 5 months). Then we were in Izium and finally in Kharkiv. We talked to people who were under occupation. (photo)

God, bless us.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 260

November 11, 2022

God gave us another day. We went to bed in the dark, we also got up without light, but thank God, we are alive and can pray together with our brothers—without light, but together. (photo)

As of yesterday, the region of Dnipro Province was shelled. In Mykolaiv a five-story building was destroyed. The search for victims is underway. God, give us Peace!

A festive holiday!!! In Poland there are solemn celebrations [Polish Independence Day—SJP Communications]. It is appropriate at this point to quote the well-known words of Marshal Józef Piłsudski delivered in Vinnytsia: “There is no free Poland without free Ukraine.”
We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Poland and the Polish people for all the help shown to Ukraine and Ukrainians. Long live free Poland! Long live free Ukraine!

By the way, we thank the Polish Ambassador in Kyiv, Mr. Bartosz Cichocki. The Polish Ambassador and the Apostolic Nuncio did not leave [Ukraine–SJP Communications] when the war started. Mr. Cichocki, all the best!


The Word… Once again, maybe someone is already bored, because I am often bored with this constant writing: listen and listen. Today also “Blessed are those who listen to God.” Happy the one who listens to God. Unhappy who does not listen to God. I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy. God “made me a capuchin” so that I can be happy. Listening to God, even this war that is unnecessary to anyone will not prevent me from being happy. One condition—listen to God. God is love! God loves you! Do you hear? You will be happy!

We live in war, we do not live by war!

Our Benefactors write letters, Br. Marcello from Milan wrote a letter to Br. Sergei, the custos:

Dearest Sergei,
I apologize for writing to you in Italian, but I hope you will be able to translate this… I am very happy that the ophthalmic equipment reached its destination intact. We thank the Lord, who suffers in every innocent person, because in this situation so tragic and full of suffering, He gives us the opportunity to help and love. What we have been able to do is a drop in the ocean, but we will continue to be close to you. I wish I could hug you personally, and with you hug and thank all your brothers for the witness that remained close to your people, risking their lives every day and every night. I read the diary written by Brother Blazej, sent by Brother Henryk, and suffer with you.
I ask the Lord to grant me one day the joy of welcoming you here in Milan, at the Opera San Francesco.
May God bless and protect you and all your brothers!
fr. Marcello Longhi
President of Opera San Francesco for the Poor

A form of protest against the war, among other things, is to work, to rebuild what the Russians and their war destroyed. (photo)

Endowed by the Capuchin Friars and the Caritas [Catholic Charities—SJP Communications], the refugees give back as much as they can and with what they can. (photo) And we continue to pray with Fr. Pio for our Brothers and Benefactors.

Invitation to the next “Night of Vigil with Mary.” (photo)

Our angel, Marcin Izyk, is already in Kazakhstan today. Warm greetings from the Alpha Conference. There was a time when we were once there together. (photo)

Greetings to the Polish brothers on the occasion of the great Independence Day! May the Lord stir up your Polish blood for God’s great things!


May God show us the true face and guard us!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 259

November 10, 2022

Yesterday, at noon, another day (red Ukraine) that is, all over the territory of Ukraine missile attack: drones, kynjals and everything that brings danger and death. We are alive, thank God, we are alive. (photo)
Thanks to God, we have opened our eyes. God has given us a new day. We are alive. There is light. In Dnipro Region night air raid attacks. God, give us peace.
In every place and at every time glorify God. God is love!!!

Today two of our Brothers from Krasilow are celebrating their name days. Brother Leonid Michalec and Brother Leonid Kushniruk. May God show His true face to you. Best wishes!

The Word… Happiness!?! Happy!?!? What is the answer to this question? A happy man is a man, strong, self-sufficient, of course, rich and healthy, living in peace with everyone. The word, the refrain to the psalm, gives an interesting answer: “Happy is he to whom the Lord God is a help.” A happy person is one who needs God, help from God. God is love… I need love means I need God. Great!!!

We live in war, we do not live by war.

The training I wrote about in the previous letter has ended. Participants very satisfied and grateful to the presenters, Mr. Karl from Denmark and the organizers, Christian Relief Service (ХСП). (photo)

Rome, Italy:
Meeting of Pope Francis with clergy of the Greek Catholic Church. In the photo, among those gathered is Sr. Myroslava, provincial, who, before flying to the Eternal City, stayed at our monastery in Krakow, Poland. She takes the opportunity to thank Brother Cezary, the guardian, and Brother Andrew for their hospitality and assistance. (photo)

Social with Brother Igor in Kyiv. Cleaning the gutter before autumn rains. (photo)

Kamianske (Kyiv):
Br. Lonka with the cook prepares fish (he caught it himself in the Dnipro River) in jars for the military. Together we will be victorious. (photo)

Task force from Staryi Ostropil’ creates our chapel and pastoral facilities. (photo)
“Nighbor Stepan’s Mechanized Motorized Brigade!” We donated aid in the form of diapers for a sick man.

This is how we distribute humanitarian aid in Starokostiantyniv. (photo) We greet all Benefactors .

May God protect us…

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 258

November 9, 2022

Thank God, a new and even sunny day dawns. Electricity shutdown on schedule, every 4 hours, for 5 hours with electricity.
In Kyiv, yesterday alarms were around 10:30 p.m. War “normal.”
At night, terrorist (war) air raid attacks on Dnipro. On the fronts regular war, people are dying. God, give us peace.

The Word… Here is the true Church: “Brothers: You are God’s building.”
The foundation of the true Church: “For no one can lay a foundation but that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Knowing this: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Be careful: “If anyone destroys the temple of God, that one will be destroyed by God. The temple of God is holy, and you are it.”
This is the true Church, in Ukrainian “tserkva”: She, Mother and Head. God is love, He gave us a Mother!

We live in a war, we do not live by war.

A two-day therapeutic seminar is held in the premises of our monastery. It is led by Mr. Karl Presner from Denmark and organized by the Christian Relief Service (ХСП). (photo)

Invitation to the Eucharist and praise of God for the gift of Br. Vladislav, who has ended his ministry in Starokostiantyniv and is beginning his life and work in Kamianske. May God bless you. (photo)

Thanks to our Benefactors, we can purchase groceries and support our brothers and sisters, families who, because of the war, had to leave their homes, apartments and became displaced persons, refugees.
Unloading of another delivery. (photo) Similarly in our other Capuchin houses.

At our monastery, the Nazareth sisters run a day-care center for children. Traditionally, at lunchtime the children sleep. The war affects everyone, children included. Perhaps in not very comfortable conditions, but more safe, our children rest in the basement, the former Cana café. (photo, Br. Sergei, custom)

A form of protest against the war and the “spirit of war”, is to create something new, new projects, which have been financed even before the war. Stairs and square in front of the Capuchin church. (photo)

May God grant us peace and keep us safe.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 257

November 8, 2022

Thank God we are alive. We woke up in darkness and morning prayers, community Eucharist were without light, but we are alive.
Russian terrorism is spreading before winter, but so far our people endure. Economy is doing worse without electricity though.
Yesterday Monday in Kyiv was calm, there were no air raid alarms, but often there was no light.

The Kyiv City Council so far doesn’t plan to evacuate Kyiv residents.

The Word… I have a gray beard, I’m 58 years old.  I don’t know if I’m “old” or if I’m an “old man,” but the Word is unequivocal and demanding: “…. that old people should be sober, steady, prudent people, characterized by sound faith, love, patience.” This give God… Amen!!!

The second Word is from Ps. 37, a Word for the time of war days and nights: “Have confidence in the Lord and do what is good, and you will dwell on the earth and live securely. Rejoice in the Lord, and He will fulfill the desires of your heart.”

Trust in the Lord, and He will fulfill the desires of your heart… What do I desire? What desires do I have? I need to think about it. Am I only concerned with ending the war…?
We live in war, we do not live by war.

With my brother Andrzej Kinel we visited the Darnyts’kyi Cemetery. Polish soldiers who fought alongside the Soviet army are buried here. They fell in 1943. The youngest of them was 17-year-old Zdzisław Kalinka. (photo)
Well, and such a story one must accept and pray for the dead. Eternal rest grant to them, o Lord… Let us remember in prayer our heroes who died in this war since 2014.

Convention of the Franciscan Youth, which ended on Sunday. (photo)

Three friendly girls. On the left and right are girls from Mariupol, currently residing in Transcarpathia. In the middle, a volunter, Anna, who often went to them, to Mariupol, before the war. Our Kyiv parishioner. (photo)

Mr. Szymon from Poland, a young married man, asks me, us Capuchins and the people reading this letter to pray for children for their young family. St. Padre Pio, pray for us.
I would also like to add that a donation has also been made to our account. Let us pray for our Benefactors.

Invitation to a meeting with Mrs. Olga B., a therapist, at our monastery. The topic of the meeting: “Emotional stability in the dangers of war.” (photo)

Today Lonka and I were with soldiers in the Kherson District, near Arkhanhelske. We brought them food, a power generator, a stove. On the way we visited Russian trenches. Our people expelled them from these territories already on July 1. (photo)

In Chernivtsi there is a course “The Way of the Inmate” for chaplains in prison. There are 6 of us Catholics from Lviv. (photo)

We continue to support refugees with medicine and items. It’s worse with food.


May God bless and protect us.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 256

November 7, 2022

In our area the war night passed quietly. Like yesterday, rocket fire in the Kherson and Dnipro regions. Innocent people are suffering and dying. Russian terrorism is expanding. We pray for peace in our hearts and in Ukraine.

Announcement—today there will be a very large electricity deficit in Kiev. What does this mean in practice? We will find out!
Monday, is the day when Kyiv is attacked more with drones and rockets. God grant us peace.

The Word… “Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
“You appear as a source of light in the world, holding fast to the Word of Life.”
“Take care of yourselves!
If your brother fails, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if seven times in a day he should fault against you, and seven times he should turn to you, saying: “I repent of this,” – forgive him.”
Come Holy Spirit!
God is love.
We live in war, we do not live by war.

Kyiv and Starokostiantyniv:
Brothers and Sisters with volunteers assist refugees and displaced persons.

We have, as specified in the media, the so-called cascading light shutdowns. We are slowly getting out of power surge-sensitive equipment. Not everything can’t be secured. In this atmosphere, the President of Kiev mentions the difficult upcoming winter in the city itself. God give us Peace !!!

Worship at the Lviv Cathedral. (photo)

Toruń/Lubicz, Poland
One of our “angels”, helping Ukraine and us Capuchins, Mr. Marcin Izyk received an award from the tato.net foundation for helping Ukraine.  We thank God, for Marcin, spouse Ela and their and our Benefactors. Dear friends, we thank you. (photo)

On November 4-6 in Starokostiantyniv Franciscan Youth Retreat “Celle di Cortona” took place. It was attended by about 60 people from various cities of Ukraine! We thank God and Mary for this time together! (photo)

“Night of Vigil with St. Sharbel. After the conference and adoration, people present went through the stations:
1. Capuchin prayer (me).
2. gazing at the icon of Saint Sharbel.
3. Honoring the relics of the saint.
4. Anointing with the oil of Saint Sharbel (Brother Casimir). (photo)

May God grant us peace and guard us….

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 255

November 6, 2022

Thank God, in our area of Kiev, the night passed peacefully. Alarms, bombings in the Zaporizhzhya and Nikolopol areas. We are waiting to see what the next war day will bring.
In the morning, I received a prayer request for Sergei, who was severely wounded in battle and is lying in resuscitation in the Dnieper River. His brother Igor is in Russian captivity. St. Pio, pray for us.

The Word… Today’s Liturgy of the Word is very deep and challenging, because it deals with death and life. It is not just the month of November. For us, it’s the war we live in, and every day we thank God for life and pray for those who have passed away because they were faithful to the laws of the state to protect the border of our homeland, Ukraine.
A word from the book of Maccabees.
1. “For we are ready to perish rather than transgress the native laws.”
2. “You criminals, you take away this present life from us. The King of the world, however, will raise us who die for His laws and revive us to eternal life.”
3. “From Heaven I received them (life) but for His laws I despise them, and I expect from Him to receive them again.”
4. “It is better for those who perish at the hands of men, for they can put their hope in God, that they will be raised again through Him. For for you there will be no resurrection to life.”

These numbers, it’s not math, order, it’s people – brothers, and theirs were seven with their mother, who gave their lives for fidelity to God’s law. 2 Macc 7.

Further my words are unnecessary. Heroes do not die. Герої не вмирають.

God, give us peace and eternal peace for those who gave their lives for Ukraine.

We live the war, we do not live by war.

Another session of the School of Christian Living and Evangelization, whose founder and director is Br. Piotr Kurkiewicz. Despite the war-like atmosphere, participants turned out in good numbers. (photo)
First Saturday of the month. The Knights of St. John Paul II held a joint Rosary with the men of the School of Mary. (photo)

Wałcz, Poland:
Yesterday I mentioned the Word from the remembrance card from my first mass. My dear sister Małgosia from Wałcz, sent me a picture of the picture and the whole Word…. Gosia, thanks. (photo)

Capuchin and Franciscan youth. (photo)

Br. Sergey Kippa, the Custos yesterday distributed to us friars of the Custody of Ukraine the new layouts of the fraternities. The brothers accepted the changes, as the Custodian writes, with “openness and availability.” In the near future I will be sending letters, God willing, as the Custos asks and allows, from Vinnytsia.

God is love.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 254

November 5, 2022

We are alive. Thank God. In the morning there were shellings of Odessa and Dnipro districts.

Yesterday after 4 pm, all of Ukraine was “red” i.e. an alert declared throughout Ukraine. 9.15 AM Kyiv time, the alert started in our Kyiv area and all of Ukraine, just like yesterday. God, grant us peace. According to the schedule, electricity is off for 4 hours. We are now without light.

The Word… Note: There is a Word for those who claim, or who were told as children, that they are good for nothing, that they can’t do anything, that… etc. St. Paul, in today’s letter says clearly “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” Do you hear this Word? In God, in Jesus and with Jesus I can do all things, all things in You who strengthen me. I take this Word very personally. Among other things, I put this Word on my priestly ordination image. Only in Jesus, one can survive this and other wars. In this one in the head and in the emotions too… God is love and with God you can do everything…!!!

We live in war, we do not live by war.

Continuation of the renovation of our chapel. We pray for our Benefactors. Ora et labora. Prayer and work. (photo)
Invitation to the Night of Vigil with Mary.

This is what an ambulance that returned from the Kharkov area looks like. No casualties have been reported. (photo)

Yesterday, aid was once again distributed to our refugees. Essential products already bought in Ukraine, finances received from our Benefactors. With prayers and gratitude for our Benefactors.
Yesterday’s daily adoration was in the dark, only by candlelight. (photo)
Another session of the School of Mary. A while in the basement and a while by candlelight.
Today our brother Slawomir Plonski celebrates his name day. Brother, may God show you His true Face. (photo)
Continuation of work on the steps and square in front of the Capuchin church. Photo with special wishes for Br. Rafal P. (photo)

Retreat of the Franciscan Youth has begun. (photo)

Blessing of an apartment in Vynniky near Lviv. They have a community there whose patron saint is Saint John Paul II. I didn’t know about it, but coincidentally I took a relic of Pope to pass on through Piotr to Denver in the USA. As it turned out later, John Paul II also went to other people in the neighborhood.
“And God’s blessing descends on this house.” Your ways are not our ways but it is good that we know that. (photo)

May God guard us and grant us peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 253

November 4, 2022

We’re alive. During the night in almost all over Ukraine, at different times, there were air raid alerts. Alerts were in Lviv too. God, give us peace! Almost 4 times a day we have no electricity. As I’m writing this letter, I have no light. There will be difficulties with the Internet and sending the letter later. God, give us peace!

Best wishes to all Charles on the memorial of their patron saint!

The Word… As a child, I heard and sang without understanding, this traditional [Polish—SJP Communications] Lenten song, “He who recognizes the cross, will not fall.” Hence, I am not surprised by the following words of St. Paul from today’s readings: “For many are acting as enemies of the cross of Christ, of whom I have often spoken to you, and now I speak with weeping. (…) For our homeland is in heaven. From there, too, as Savior, we await the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our humiliated body into one like His glorious one…”
Our cross, that of San Damiano, is that glorious cross where Jesus triumphs, with eyes wide open, i.e. it is true that death has been defeated and Christians do not die. Heroes do not die! Герої не вмирають!

We live in war, we do not live by war.

We pray for our ancestors who resisted the evil that was and still remains communism and who gave their lives. The cemetery in Bykivnia is a place where heaven and earth are united, different nations are united. I am moved by this monument of a humiliated man. “People dealt this fate to people…” (photo)

Nazareth nuns who work with us in the parish, dedicated to working with young people. (photo)

Another invitation to a night of vigil. (photo)
Brother Zbyszek, among people praying for the dead in Lychakiv Cemetery, Cemetery of Eaglets. (photo)

Brothers at the municipal cemetery. (photo)

By the way, I want to ask you for one “Hail Mary” for my deceased parents, Wojciech and Florentyna. (photo)

The Russian flag was removed from the regional parliament. So far, a symbolic victory. (photo)

With Br. Andrew we went to one of Kiev’s cemeteries named Lisove. We prayed over the grave of Victor, our Kyiv Benefactor, who about 15 years ago, before his death, donated his apartment to us. The profits from the sale of the apartment were used for our church, which was under construction at the time. Some of the brothers know this story. Let us pray for our Benefactors. (photo)

We also visited graves of our heroes who gave their lives for Ukraine, defending our freedom and sovereignty. Some gave their lives even at the beginning of this war from 2014 to today. (photo)

The youngest is Vyacheslav Artamonov, age 19, who died on 16.04 2022 (photo). Other soldiers are 20, 22 years old. Among them, a soldier of Tatar nationality from Crimea. Write on the epitaph, “Crimea is Ukraine.” (photo)

On another grave an inscription in Ukrainian: “Remember me. I too lived, loved and smiled.” (photo) How important it is to remember! Here we should add: “Heroes do not die” (Герої не вмирають).

Symbolic photo from Kharkiv Cathedral. Crosses by names of Mariupol, Melitopol, Izium, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, Berdyansk. (photo)

Despite the rain and cold weather, work on the church square continues. We pray for our benefactors and workers. God, give them health. (photo)

May God grant us peace and keep us!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 252

November 3, 2022

Thank God, we survived another night. In some areas there have been shellings on power plants since 5 a.m. Brothers are alive and well. God, give us peace!

The Word… It is the Word that judges me and urges me to repent: “But all that was gain to me, for Christ’s sake I considered as loss. And yes, I even consider everything a loss for the sake of the supreme value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” God, what a miserable Christian I am.
There is hope for my conversion and yours. God is love! God loves you!

There is a Word for this war, a Word of encouragement, of hope… “Come to Me, all you who are afflicted and burdened, and I will comfort you.” God is, he did not leave Ukraine.

We are living in war, we are not living by war.

With Brother Custos, Sergei, we went to a nearby cemetery, one of the four so-called “Katyn Cemeteries”. We prayed for the dead buried in this forest. There are Ukrainians, Poles, Jews and others there, who in one way or another defied communist rule in the former Soviet Union, especially in present-day Ukraine. (photo)
Of course, we thought about the current victims of the war, also buried and already exhumed in various forests of Bykivnia, Irpin, Izium. Brother Sergei often said, if the Russians occupied Kyiv, these forests would be similar to those and maybe we would be buried in them.
Brothers Slawomir, Andrey and Igor were at Baikove Cemetery in Kyiv, where the Eucharist was presided by Bishop Vitali Kryvytsky.

Cemetery. Current war. Young people who gave their lives for the Homeland. The youngest of them, 20-year-old Yura.

In the afternoon, unloading of humanitarian aid for our refugees, purchased in Ukraine, from finances of our Benefactors. (photo)
Once again, Mrs. Dr. Yula, Colonel of the Ukrainian Army addressed us thanking our Benefactors for such valuable ophthalmological instruments. We join in the gratitude and thank once again the director of Opera San Francesco of Milan, Br. Marcello Longhi. Brother Marcello, may God reward you and your (our) Benefactors and bless you. (photo)

Prayer at municipal cemetery. (photo)

Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki at the grave of Venerable Servant of God Fr. Seraphim Kaszuba. A beautiful gesture towards Fr. Seraphim and the Capuchins. Deo gratias. (photo)

May God protect us and grant us peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 251

November 2, 2022

We survived the night. Thank God.

Air raid alerts and explosions were heard in Dnipro, where our brothers live. In Kyiv, where we arrived yesterday with Br. Sergei, the custos, the night was calm. Even the light was on all evening until midnight. A friendly welcome for Br. Sergei—a poster on the door of his room. (photo)

The Word… Today is one Word about my life and impermanence: My life does not end, but changes. Maybe this truth is not wanted, not understood, but there is a way of happiness for me—Jesus walked before me on this road, therefore it is the best way for me, the way of happiness, for the time of war and before and after the war. Jesus lived, died, a funeral was held and… he rose from the dead, that is, he is alive. This is also my way, a gift from God, who is LOVE! God loves you.

We live in war, we do not live by war.

A great gift of heart. With the help, through Br. Henryk Cisowski, from the Capuchin ministry L’Opera San Francesco of Milan, Italy, the military hospital in Kyiv has received specialized (very expensive) equipment for treating eyes of wounded soldiers and civilians. The doctor, Yula, a colonel in the Ukrainian army, is very impressed and has indescribable gratitude. The transport was coordinated by Br. Sergei, the custos, the recipient on behalf of the Capuchins in Kyiv was Br. Sławomir Płoński.

On the way to Kyiv, we visited Sr. Myroslava, provincial of the Greek Catholic Sisters Servants of the Mother of God. (photo)

Already back home. Br. Sergiei left for chapter as guardian, he returned as custos. Deo gratias!
Realities of war. Beginning at 6 a.m., the electricity is scheduled to be turned off. In our area from 9 a.m. As I’m writing this letter, there is no light….

Procession of all the saints in Novomoskovsk. (photo)

Our children from Vladyka Milan Academy in expedition. (photo)

May God bless us and grant us peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 250

November 1, 2022

It was a peaceful night. Everything is still ahead of us because now scary are not nights but days. Yesterday all of Ukraine was put on alert. Air raid alerts were in all provinces. (photo) Bombs fell on Kyiv. There is no water or electricity in some areas.

There is water and electricity in our “capuchin” area. The officials said that the occupiers want to deprive us of water, electricity and heating for upcoming winter; terrorism in its purest form. God, grant us peace.

Despite everything, thanks be to God, we happily arrived in Lviv.

The Word… Holiness—not a very popular word in the modern world. Below, this is the whole secret of holiness:
“Beloved ones, look at what love the Father has bestowed on us: we have been called children of God, and indeed we are.”
Simple, right? From Holy Baptism, you carry within you Holiness: “And everyone who places this hope in Him sanctifies himself, just as He is holy.”
Don’t be afraid of Holiness. As a Christian, be yourself, that is, be Holy as your Father is Holy. God is love!!! God loves you!!!

We live in war, we do not live by war.

We are at the friary. Br. Rafał, provincial vicar, and Br. Sergei, custos. (photo)
We visited our former, pre-WW2 Capuchin monastery. On the facade of the church you can still find St. Francis. Our church is now a Greek Catholic church. (photo) Yesterday there was a meeting of our superiors, Rafał and Sergei, with former participants of the School of Mary.
The day of our patron saints: Br. Sergei, the custos, presides at convent Eucharist in the Capuchin community in Lviv. (photo)
The famous church of St. Anthony, our Conventual brothers. (photo)

Despite the war, young people want to grow spiritually in a common Franciscan Youth formation. (photo)

Invitation—Formation retreat “Celle di Cortona” for Franciscan Youth will be held next Friday-Sunday.

War prank—Brother Rafał with a militant attitude to life. (photo)

New vocation from Pidvolochys’k. God hears our prayers! (photo)

May God grant us peace.