Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 310

December 31, 2022

Morning quiet. Since 12:00, alarms. All of Ukraine “red.” Late afternoon and evening alarms. Over Ukraine kamikaze drones. Ukraine all “red” again. A new day begins. Positive temperature. More and more light. We wait to see what time will bring….

The Word… Jesus was born in the history of the world and your life story just because: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. To all who received Him, He gave power to become children of God.”
Hence, today too when you receive the Word you will become a child of God again.
“There was a Word in the world, and the world became through Him, but the world did not know Him. He came to His own possession, and His own did not receive Him. But to all those who received Him, He gave power to become children of God…”

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

Recalling yesterday’s feast of the Holy Family.

In the photos, people close to our hearts who respect the values of the family and uphold these values. (photo) They support our presence. We pray for our Benefactors.

Yesterday evening Eucharist, renewal of wedding vows. A wonderful celebration with the traditional korovy, which was distributed after the end of the Eucharist. (photo)
We thank God for our families.

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv/Kremenchuk (Bro. Leonid Kushniruk):
Kremenchuk today celebrates the indulgence and enlargement of the Christian community. Baptism of two children. They are children of refugees. (photo)
About 45 people attended the Christmas Mass. This is info for those brothers who used to speak out against building a chapel, because there is supposedly no future.

Jesus is born!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 309

December 30, 2022

Yesterday’s air raids lasted almost 5 hours. Various numbers of rockets are reported to have been over Ukraine, from 60 to 100 missiles. Most were shot down by defense systems. Unfortunately there are casualties in homes and critical infrastructure. Lack of light, cold, etc. is a daily reality in some cities and regions of Ukraine.
God, give us peace!

This morning in our area it was calm. There were kamikaze drone raids in Kyiv at night. Shut down. God, give us peace.

The Word… Two Words today. The first: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not show them fretfulness. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is pleasing in the Lord. Fathers, do not irritate your children, lest they lose their spirit.”
The second: “In your hearts let the peace of Christ reign; Let the word of Christ dwell in you in all its richness.”
We ask you to pray for families that have been separated by war in any way, so that they may return to unity and mutual love as soon as possible. God, we ask you.

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

Caritas-Spes-Vinnytsia renewed the operation of the “Life Window.”
The new opening and consecration of the “window” was carried out and on the Day of the Children of the Martyrs of Bethlehem, Bishop Radoslaw Zmitrovich. I would only add that the “Window” is located adjacent to our monastery on 12 Soborna Str. (photo)

A wartime joke from President Zelenski himself:
The UA President’s interview with an American journalist about the war, of course. As a comedian he said that times are tough so jokes give inspiration. He told a joke:
“Two Jews from Odessa meet. One asks the other: How are things going there? What do people say? The other replies: Well they say there is a war. War, what war? Russia is fighting NATO. Really? Yes. And how is it going? 70 thousand Russian soldiers are dead, artillery stocks are running low, a whole lot of equipment is damaged and blown up. And this is how it goes. And on the NATO side? NATO HAS NOT ARRIVED YET.”

News from the brothers:

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):

Lviv (Br. Zbigniew Sawczuk):
Michael and Volodya are two young men who live with us during Taize meeting. They study in Horodok at the faculty of theology and journalism. Let’s pray for… (photo)

Kyiv (Br. Sergey Kippa, yesterday):
At our place 3 shots were heard during Mass, but rather PPO and far away, not loud. Now 7 shots can be heard, 8 already louder PPO. (Anti-missile system)

Jesus is born!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 308

December 29, 2022

Yesterday morning quiet. Around noon the first anti-aircraft alarm. Apps on phones confirm the sound of sirens howling outside the windows.
God, give us peace.

Night very restless. In Vinnytsia, the first alarm that woke me up around 1:30 a.m. The next around 6:30 a.m. Now around 9 a.m. there are about 100 rockets over Ukraine. They are flying from different directions. All of Ukraine “red.”
There are alarms in regions where our brothers live. We are in prayer. God, give us peace! Anti-missile systems are working.

The Word… St. John the Apostle is very specific in his word:
“He who claims to live in the light, and hates his brother, so far is he still in darkness. He who loves his brother abides in the light and cannot stumble. But he who hates his brother lives in darkness and acts in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has touched his eyes with blindness.”
Who is my brother?
Who is my neighbor?
A Russian? Ukrainian? Pole?
Blind or seeing? What does it mean to see, to see Jesus?
The answer in today’s Gospel:
“Now, O Lord, You let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared toward all nations: light to enlighten the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.”
Jesus is born, we begin to see Him, meet Him, or better—it is Jesus who reveals Himself to us.
“The Child is born to us, the Son is given to us.”

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

Alert—our monastery basements, unfortunately, again filled up with mothers with children and teachers with children. Lessons were conducted at this time. (photo)

How good and nice when the brothers live together: they come together for the name day of Br. Sergei, custos, and Br. Adam, Kyiv guardian. (photo)

This is Ukraine despite constant shelling, destruction. (photo)

Capuchin friars invite you to “New Year’s Eve Night” from 8:30 pm to 6 am. “Vigil Night with Mary.” Welcome!

News from the brothers:

Dnipro (Br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
In Dnipro, a billboard fell down in front of the church. (photo)
(Vandalism or opposition against celebrating Christmas on December 25?)

Kyiv (Br. Sergey Kippa):
From Br. Matteo (Assisi provincial)

Peace and Good! I am glad that the generator has finally arrived in Kiev! certainly use it as you see best based on the needs of your Custody. At the moment I am in Medjugorie, and I pray with all my heart for all the brothers of Ukraine and for you. Queen of Peace, may we receive days of peace! Cordial greetings to all the brothers!” (Photo)

Thanks to the brothers from Vinnitsa for bringing it!!! (photo)

Dnipro (Br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
Today we were attacked once again by Iranian drones. But the brave anti-aircraft troops destroy them. The explosions, however, were not quiet…

Jesus is born!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 307

December 28, 2022

Yesterday in our area a quiet morning. Around lunchtime, all “Ukraine red.” Such is our diet with our neighbors, Russia and Belarus. There are air raid alerts all around Ukraine when fighter planes take off from Belarusian airports.

The Word… The Church’s prayer for today’s Feast Day. “God, our Father, on this day the holy young martyrs proclaimed Your glory not in words but in death,† grant that we may profess faith in You with all our lives,* which we proclaim with our lips. Through Christ our Lord Jesus. Amen.” They proclaimed God’s glory not with words but with death! Jesus Newborn accept to Your glory our Ukrainian children who were killed by modern Herod. Amen. Below is a request from Br. Yaroslav of Dnipro.

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

Italy (Sr. Beniamina, Benedictine):

Христос народився! Славімо Його!
Dear and esteemed Brother Retiree and the community in which you currently live… I wanted to make a tiny wish on the occasion of Christmas—An event beyond all events of “human history”—God with us—is the best wish for our suffering nation! Tiny Jesus in the manger is waiting for me to bend over Him—lowers the bar—makes present every smallness, frailty, weakness—which I, usually put on greatness, power, might, so as not to be left behind. It is not possible to convert “with one’s own hands” to this way of thinking, this must be done by God Himself—overflowing with His love, to the point where we believe that He loves us for free! May this Love, which was revealed in the form of the Divine Child, fill us more and more, and may it overflow from our hearts to everyone who approaches us!

See you there… s.b

Bethlehem. Bet Lechem / House of Bread. The real Bread, the Greatest Sacrament, the real Bethlehem. Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. (photo)

Christmas scene, staged by children, youth, parents of our parish. (photo)

Our church beautifully decorated by Mrs. Ilola. Beautiful photographs taken by a professional, Br. Patrick Jankiewicz. (photo) In a word, everything for the glory of the Newborn Jesus.

Kraków, Poland:
Capuchin Poor Clares, living behind the cloister (in confinement) for years have been praying for us Capuchins, including for us Capuchins in Ukraine. They have been with the Ukrainian people in prayer since the beginning of the war, since 2014. (photo) Dear sisters, we sincerely thank you.

Drink the love of Saint John. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Kamianske (Br. Vladislav Gmyrko):
An early Christmas meeting of the two communities of Dnipro and Kamianske. (photo) We are not indifferent to help children affected by warfare.

Krasyliv (Br. Maciej Styburski):
Caroling of Krasyliv and Starokostiantyniv fraternities and sisterhoods. (photo)

Sharing the opłatek (Christmas wafer) in Krasyliv town council and caroling in the square. For the first time according to the Gregorian calendar.
Христос народився! Славимо Його! (photo)
Christ is born, glory to Him!

Vinnytsia (Br. Pavel Lasocki):

Kyiv (Br. Adam Wróbel):
A press article about the meeting of the brothers with Cardinal Krajewski.

Jesus is born!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 306

December 27, 2022

In our area, the night and yesterday morning as in wishes: calm and peaceful.  In the east and south, unrest, alarms. In Bahmut, war. People are being killed.
“… a on earth peace to people of good will…”
Already there is some talk, of increased rocket attacks for the New Year. May God protect us. God, give us peace!
“Drink the love of St. John!” [words spoken while consuming blessed wine on the feast of St. John the Apostle—Henryk]

The Word… The words of St. John in the first letter, have very deeply touched my heart.
The first Word: “In this love is manifested, that not we have loved God, but that He Himself loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Second Word: “In love there is no fear, but perfect love removes fear, because fear is associated with punishment. And the one who fears has not perfected himself in love.”

For me, once and now during the war, this Word is very relevant.

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

Christmas play. (photo)

Walcz, Poland:
Solidarity with the war-tormented Ukraine. Prepared “Christmas Eve table” decorated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. (photo)
Let’s pray for our Brothers and Benefactors.

Our guardian, Br. Joseph, loves the brothers, serves the brothers and prepares the Christmas dinner. Co-worker, helper Br. Igor M. (photo)
A letter was received by Pastor Br. Joseph Chromy received a letter—Christmas wishes from the Regional (provincial) Authorities. Thank you. (photo)

“We endured at the beginning of the war—attacks, threats, nuclear blackmail, terror, missile strikes. We will endure this winter as well. Because we know what we are fighting for. We go forward through the thorns to the stars, knowing awaits us at the end of the trail. We believe that tears will turn into joy, after sorrow will come hope, and death will be conquered with life.” (photo)

News from the brothers:

Kyiv (Bro. Adam Wróbel):
Today (yesterday) in Kyiv there was also a performance about Christmas: “The Little Prince and the Christmas Light.” The performance was prepared by the children of the parish. (photo)

Krasyliv (Bro. Maciej Styburski):
Christ the Lord is born!
Warm wishes from our community to all the brothers!
By the way, I will send a few photos, because we write little and the impression may arise that nothing is happening, … and the truth, however, is different. Rather lack of time and perhaps conviction… (photo)
A cake for the Lord Jesus! A tradition at the Capuchin Sisters. It was today! (photo)
And this is the “Maltese” oplatek (Christmas wafer), which took place in Slobidka-Krasylivs’ka at the initiative of the Knights of Malta with the participation of Bishop Leon and under his patronage. Of course, combined with the presentation of gifts.

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
Meeting after Mass with Brother Sergei. (photo)

Jesus is born.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 304/305

December 25-26, 2022

Yesterday Christmas, but for terrorists, no Christmas no Christmas, alarms. Once again Ukraine all “red”—twice! In the atmosphere of Christmas, the martyrdom of St. Stephen and war-tormented Ukraine. Jesus lives and we will live. Nikopol, this is the third night without shelling, a quiet night…

The Word… Stephen was born for heaven. The preparation for the new life of Saul has begun. Death that gives life!!!
“A brother shall deliver up his brother to death, and a father his son; the children shall rise up against their parents and put them to death. You will be in hatred with everyone because of my name. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” He will be saved! Persevere even in war… He will be saved!

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

This was recorded during the visit of the Assisi brothers. Now it has been published.

True story—Religious and patriotic wishes from Clara Studio. Thank you. (photo)

Joy, “the Kyiv style.” Br. Sergey, custos with former parishioners. (photo)

Christmas scene. (photo)

Capuchin sisters.

Capuchins, with best wishes.

9:30 a.m. Ukraine all “red” i.e. alarms all over anti-aircraft, anti-missile. (photo)
Our reality. Christmas, Nativity scenes. Military. ЗСУ. (photo)

Croatia (Brother Jure Sarcevic):

Dear brother Blažej! Merry Christmas and the blessed birth of Jesus. May God’s peace prevail in the hearts of all people in the world. Especially in Ukraine. Thank you for your reliable daily report on the situation in Ukraine. We share this report with many people and pray that this aggression will end as soon as possible. Thank you to all the Capuchins in Ukraine who bear witness to their faithfulness on the front line of defending freedom and civilization. Our general once said: Capuchins go where it is most difficult. Today it is Ukraine. I am convinced that God will reward you generously with the abundance of His grace. You tell us every day: God is love. Yes, God is love. Greetings, God’s blessings and peace to you all.
Fra Jure and brothers from Croatia”
Fra Jure, thank you, we sincerely thank you.

Poland (S. Rachela):

I read your messages every day and you know… I adore GOD in your hearts, in the good that you do. You are very mature internally, and because of this the war is more peacefully experienced by the people who are entrusted to you. Well, and living by the WORD. Blazej, one day in heaven you will know that for many you were the only Bible they read. I am with you with my heart and prayers. I hug you.

S. Rachel worked in Ukraine and part of her life, she left on our land. Sister, we sincerely thank you!

Gabon, Africa (br. Peter Michalik, Capuchin):
How good that Jesus has no regard for person or place, that’s why he was born in Gabon and Ukraine. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Lviv (Br. Zbyszek Sawczuk):
He is here, He is alive! Born as Bethlehem used to be. (photo)
Visiting the hospital, our wounded, the military. (photo)

Kyiv (Br. Adam Wróbel):
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski visited our parish community today. There was a short prayer at the relics of Fr. Pio and agape at the table with the sisters. (photo)

Jesus is born to us!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 302

December 23, 2022

A quiet night. Worse during the day. In Vinnytsia, Kyiv during the day alarms. We all have a schedule of turning off the lights. Thank God and our location, in Vinnytsia we have light.
By the way, in Ukraine yesterday was the day of the energy specialist. We salute our power engineers, who are fighting very bravely on their front. Thanks to their struggle we have as much electricity as we have. We thank them. With best wishes.
Come, Lord Jesus!

Christmas Eve ahead of us, think of the defenders of our borders, on various fronts and services. A wartime symbolic Christmas Eve table. (photo)

The Word… Two similar situations, maybe your situation will be similar. Mary saw Elizabeth in the sixth month and adored God. Zechariah similarly.
“And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue was loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.” You and I, we hope that when we hear and see that the Word became Flesh, that Jesus was born, we will glorify God.  There is another possibility. “Then fear fell on all their neighbors. All over the hill country of Judea, word was spread about all that had happened.” Like the first experience, worship and joy in place of fear and despondency. And You?
Come, Lord Jesus!

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

We have received wishes.
Rome, Italy: br. Piotr Stasinski, general councilor.
Krakow, Poland: br. Marek Miszczyński, provincial minister.

To the address of our custos, Br. Sergey Kippa, came a letter—an email from Brother Bill Hugo from America, who is a Capuchin, our brother, benefactor and friend of Ukraine.
Bill, in his letter once again assured us of his and their prayers, closeness and solidarity with us, the Ukrainian people. He shared his impressions of our President Volodymyr Zelenski’s visit to Washington. The Americans and our brother Bill were delighted with the person of the Ukrainian President and his team. In a letter Bill wrote:

For me as an American it was a moment of pride to host the President of Ukraine in our country and in Congress.
With gratitude your brother
Bill Hugo

Let us pray for our Brothers and Benefactors.


Dear Brother Blazej,
difficult, hard times that the Ukrainian people are going through with courage and fortitude.
How to find the right words to give people confidence and hope.
The heart wants to speak, reason speaks against it.
Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is a sign of comfort in this brutal world of war.
When will this killing end? – one wonders. One wishes people an end to this war, wishes for peace.
Why, why are people being killed, why does our God allow it, questions we cannot answer.
Material and moral support is a small help in great suffering, it can be endured together.
Can anyone be of help to you and your fellow brothers and sisters?
Merry Christmas with the hope of a quick end to the war and peace in Ukraine,
wishes you all,
united in prayer
Brother Karl

The above letter was sent by Mr. Karl Frey from Germany, who was the main architect of the interior of our church in Kiev. During our meetings in Kiev, for us he was and is “Bruder Karl.”
Let us pray for our Brothers and Benefactors.

These days we are on duty in our church, we hear confessions all day. Thanks to God and his inspiration, people come and ask at God’s mercy. After confession spontaneously, they stop and pray at the tomb of the Venerable Servant of God Fr. Seraphin Kashuba. (photo)

Torun, Poland:
A short film about our angels.  I invite you to watch.

News from the brothers:

Kamianske (Br. Volodymyr Procko):
In Kamianske, the Rorate masses have ended. Christ is near! (photo)
Contest for Nativity scenes made by our children. (photo)

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 300

December 21, 2022

Yesterday morning and a quiet day. The biggest inconvenience is the lack of electricity and related, heat, water mobile telephony and internet. This “jubilee” night was peaceful in our area. God, grant us peace!
In Kyiv and Dnipro, extreme light shutdowns.

The Word… The Lord is near. Listen, these are prophetic words, for us, for Ukraine and for you…
“Sing out, Daughter of Zion! Lift up a joyful shout, Israel! Rejoice and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has removed the judgments upon you, He has removed your enemy; The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you shall no longer fear evil. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Fear not, Zion! Let not your hands grow weak!” The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One who will save, exult over you with joy, renew you with His love, raise a shout of joy.”
Like Mary in the presence of Elizabeth: “Glorify my soul to the Lord… for great things has the Almighty done to me…”

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

Bucha, Irpin:
Let us recall those most terrible nights and days, which took place in places where innocent people were tortured and died by the hands of Russian occupiers, terrorists. As experts say, it can hardly be called an army. (photos by Reuters Agency)

Preparations for Christmas are in full swing at the Capuchins. The Advent Retreat has ended. All-day confessional duty and Christmas tree time are beginning. In cooperation with Franciscan Youth and seminarians from “Redemptoris Mater” br Igor Mularski is decorating our church. The tender eye of br. Alexander Mogilny makes the appropriate corrections. (photo)

Come, Lord Jesus!

At the Shrine of Fr. Pio, Br. Adam celebrates the Eucharist, attended by the Christian Relief Service. (photo)
Christmas tree in a city square. Modest for obvious reasons, but there it is. Comparison by year. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Dnipro (Bro. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Meeting with our God, Lord, Creator, Savior. (photo)

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 299

December 20, 2022

Last night was very restless. In Kyiv, Vinnystia night alarms. The morning quiet. Around noon alarms. People in our shelters (monastery basements). In the East and South regular war. People are dying on the front.
In Donbass night shelling, two people were killed. (photo)
God, give us peace.

The Word… “How will it happen if I don’t know my husband?” Question, still questions…
How can Jesus be born in my life, in my family, in my community, in Ukraine? How? There is an answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will cover you with a shadow… For nothing is impossible for God.”
And one more thing, your answer: “… be it unto me according to thy word.”
This is the way of the conception and birth of God in you… Holy Spirit…

Come, Lord Jesus!

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

Croatia (from Jure Sarcevic):

Dear Sergei!
A truck with humanitarian aid for Ukraine has arrived in Lviv. Unloading is in progress.
Greetings and God’s peace to Ukraine,

Let’s pray for our benefactors!

Photo from a concert in our Capuchin church. (photo)

Christmas tree. Christmas decoration underground… in subway. (photo)

Consequences of Russian terrorism in Kyiv and Dnipro. (photo)

Polish painter, Maciej Fogel. In Kharkiv in a destroyed building in the center of the city. It was a brand new large office building. Destroyed in the first days of the war. (photo)

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Today, for St. Nicholas Day, in the eastern rite, Russian terrorists “gifted” Ukrainian children with new strikes… This has already happened: Ukrainian children in their letters to san Nicolas ask for PPO (anti-missile systems), armor and victory. They understand everything. (photo)

A day of recollection and a visit by Santa Claus to a day care center for children and youth at the Josephite Sisters. Brother Sergey Voronyuk, leads the day of recollection. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Kyiv (Br. Sergey Kippa, custos):
Today we are almost all day without light, the batteries went out. I don’t know if it will be possible to join. We will see what will happen. Or we won’t see because it will be dark.
The ophthalmic equipment donated earlier from Milan (Opera San Francesco) in action. (photo)

Dnipro (Br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
A brief meeting with the Bishop and a blessing for the holidays. (photo)

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 298

December 20, 2022

Sunday morning is calm. In war, it’s the calm that is slightly disturbing. The proverbial calm before the storm. God grant us a just peace! From 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., there were alarms in Vinnytsia and Kyiv. Twenty drones were launched on Kyiv. Five of them hit critical infrastructure, electrical and heating networks. There were extreme light shutdowns in Kyiv. Thank God, no one were hurt.
God, give us peace!
Come, Lord Jesus.

The Word… The core of preparation for the birth of Jesus in my heart is humble, hopeful listening to the Word of God, which is brought by the “Angel Gabriel.” This is how Samson was born, John the Baptist, this is how Jesus will be born in my heart. Listen… “Root of Jesse, who stands as a banner of the nations, come to set us free, deign to delay no longer.”
Come, Lord Jesus !

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

Franciscan Youth once again collects money for radio stations for the ЗСУ [Ukrainian Armed Forces]. (photo)

Krakow, Poland:
Today Br. Mykola Shyra, our theology student and post-novice, celebrates his name day. Brother, 100 years, Многая літа
May God show His Face to you and bless you.

At 6 pm. I preached a retreat homily, during which the city’s alarms and phone alerts in the listeners went off. It was practically ” do not be afraid” and so an hour.
At 8 p.m. the alarm ended and an organ concert accompanied by trumpet began in our church. Songs dedicated to the Mother of God, Mary, expecting offspring were played.
As for the war and the ongoing alarm, a lot of people came. There were even visitors from the Vinnytsia area. (photo)
Organ music, a wonderful form of prayer, rest and even therapy.

War Joke:
Today is St. Nicholas Day at our Greek Catholic brothers. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv (Bro. Maciej Styburski):
And in Krasyliv there was a fair for ЗСУ. Thanks to Sr. Malgorzata and the Capuchin nuns, who together with parishioners prepared and carried out everything. Thanks to Br. Piotr, that despite the ongoing session of the School of Mary, he made available a room in the Retreat House. (photo)

Starykostiantyniv (Br. Sergey Gubitsky):
A Fair organized by the Franciscan Youth was held. Many people had the opportunity to sustain the ЗСУ and Youth. Thank God.
Many things are taking place, I do not know if it is necessary to write and post about everything?
As well as each of our Brothers meet various obstacles, regardless of this we continue to serve our parishioners and refugees.
God be thanked and we thank our Benefactors.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 297

December 18, 2022

It was a quiet morning in Kyiv yesterday. Ukraine is healing its wounds (electricity), which it suffered after the recent Russian kamikaze drone raids.
Rocket airstrikes near Kherson.
On the way, on the train, on people’s phones, alerts were turned on announcing the danger of bombing raids. Ukraine all “red.”
The train continued on its way. God, grant us peace!
In Vinnytsia Sunday frosty morning. Peaceful. We wait what the day will bring us. God, give us peace!

The Word… It’s the greatest message: “Here therefore, O house of David…”Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel” i.e. God with us. “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take unto you Mary your spouse; for of the Holy Spirit is that which is conceived in her. She shall give birth to a Son, whom thou shalt name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.”
Listen, this is the only way for Jesus to be born in your heart. Listen…..
Come, Lord Jesus!

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

Yesterday, together with our guests from Italy and Br. Rafal, the vicar, we left Kyiv. We traveled by the same train: I to Vinnytsia, the guests to Przemysl and on to Krakow and Rome. Thank God for our brother guests and the brothers of the Kyiv community for their wonderful hospitality. The last photo from Kyiv. (photo)

Children at a Rorate mass, welcomed their pastor (superior) with the Gift of Wisdom. Brother Joseph, according to his kindness and wisdom, returned the favor to his little protégées (parishioners). (photo)

Working meeting with our brothers from Italy and, among others, with Mrs. Ludmila, director of the “House of Fr. Pio.” (photo)
We visit our monastery and pastoral rooms, halls. (photo)
A brief meeting with children in the common room (shelter).
Volunteers, women with Sr. Bogumila in anticipation of the preparation of refugees, displaced persons. (photo)

“Saving the Future.” At the railroad station, an exhibition of history was held at the beginning of the war. “Exodus” of mothers with children to Poland and other countries of Western Europe. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv (Bro. Leonid Kushniruk):
Candy on the occasion of Sapientia. (photo)


Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 296

December 17, 2022

Kyiv. Yesterday morning from 8:00 alarm. All Ukraine in red.
We received messages, kamikaze drones, 60 pieces over Ukraine, over Kyiv. We are alive. Thank God. God give us peace.

In Kyiv, the morning was calm. Even the light was there. 9 o’clock, the light is gone. We are alive. Thank God.

The Word… This is the essence of our faith, of being in the Church, in community! “Gather and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father!” The fruit is peace in our hearts, in our heads and, of course, where there is currently war, in Ukraine. “Peace will blossom when the Lord comes.”
Come, Lord Jesus!
God, give us peace!

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


Yesterday with our guests we wanted to go to Bucha, Irpin… To pray over the graves of the terrible war.

As we were leaving our monastery, we heard a kamikaze drone explosion in the near distance, and so we left and returned to the monastery three times because of the explosions. In Kyiv, 3 drones hit their targets. Since morning we have no light and no water. It is getting colder and colder. Phone calls are getting weaker and weaker. Our guests from Italy are bravely surviving these moments.
Finally yesterday we visited Bucha, Irpin. (photo)
Meeting at the “House of Fr. Pio.” (photo)
Opening of the new project and cooperation with “House of Fr. Pio.” Cutting the ribbon. (photo)
Once again we experienced the words of the Psalm, “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers stay together…” Dinner together. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Kamianske (Br. Vladislav Gmyrko):
After yesterday morning’s rocket attack, there was no electricity or water throughout Kamianske. Tonight the light appeared at our place. Oops… the light is no longer there.

Dnipro (br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
Yesterday, Friday, from 06:00 am to 01:00 pm there was no light in Dnipro. Neither in the church nor in the mini-convent. During the morning Mass we could hear very strong explosions. In addition, cellular communications practically did not work. Heartfelt greetings.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 295

December 16, 2022

Yesterday, at the request of the custos, Br. Sergei, I arrived in Kiev. Leaving Vinnystia in wartime is unpredictable and impossible to plan. The train was 2 hours late, and in a short time the delay increased to 3 hours. I made the decision to change the means of transportation and arrived by “bus”. To my surprise, the driver himself reduced my ticket price by almost half. I do not know what was the reason for his gesture? Thank God. Let’s pray for our benefactors.
As befits Kyiv, there was no light. (photo)
We are waiting for the arrival of our Benefactors from Italy, two Capuchins and two lay men. The guardian angel is Br. Rafal Pysiak, the provincial vicar, a well-known traveler, experienced in Ukrainian voyages.
Dinner with guests unfortunately without light, but in a fraternal atmosphere.
Morning in Kyiv.
Eucharist, breakfast, limited light. Missile alert. (photo)

The Word… “Let all peoples glorify You, God.” These people I’m writing about in this letter, brothers from Italy, from America, know us, although not physically, because God has opened their hearts, to Ukraine, to this war nobody needs, and to the people they pray for and want to help. “Come, Lord, and visit us in peace, so that we may rejoice toward You with a pure heart,” said the Lord. These aforementioned people are other angels who bring us peace. Hence, they are the cause of joy for us.
God is love.
Come, Lord Jesus.

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


Dear Blazej,
Br. Larry Webber of my Milwaukee community found in the memoirs of our Blessed Capuchin—Solanus Casey—a prayer that seemed very relevant to what is happening in Ukraine, although it was written in the 1950s during the Korean conflict… asked me to send it to you with a remembrance in prayer:

Almighty and eternal Father, God of Wisdom and Mercy whose power exceeds all force of arms and whose protection is the strong defense of all who trust in You; enlighten and direct, we beseech You, those who bear the heavy responsibility of government throughout the world these days of stress and trial. Grant them the strength to stand firm for what is right and the skill to dispel the fear of discord. Inspire them to be mindful of the horrors of atomic war for victor and vanquished alike, to seek conciliation in truth and patience. Grant the strength to see in every person a brother or sister – that the people of nations may, in this our days, enjoy the blessings of a just and lasting peace. Conscious of our own unworthiness, we implore Your mercy on a sinful world in the Name of Your Divine Son, the Prince of Peace and through the intercession of his Blessed Mother and all the Saints. Queen of all Saints pray for us. Queen of peace, pray for us.

Br. Henryk Cisowski

Henryk, my sincere thanks to you and greetings to the brothers in America.

At the railroad station, an exhibition about the suffering of children during the escape from the war, resettlement. (photo)

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 294

December 16, 2022

Thank God, a peaceful night in our area. The night has passed, a new day has come. A gift from God. Live this day for the glory of God and the benefit of people… Come, Lord Jesus!
In the East regular war. God, give us peace.

The Word… God loves you.
This is what God’s love for you is:
“For the mountains may be moved and the hills shaken, but my love will not forsake you, nor will my covenant of peace be shaken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”
Do you hear this word? Take courage. Believe and begin Advent.
“And all the people who listened to Him, and even the tax collectors acknowledged the rightness of God, receiving the baptism of John.” Baptism of conversion…

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

Capuchin friars invite to night vigil with St. John of the Cross.

Christmas is getting closer and closer. First decorations at our place. That dark spot in the photo is brave Br. Igor Mularski, on the ledges of the church, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Ilona. (photo)

Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Dear Blazej! Today a truck (19,500 kg) with humanitarian aid left for Ukraine. This aid was collected by the Franciscans of Bosnia and Herzegovina and “Bread of St. Anthony”. We thought to take everything to the Capuchins in Ukraine, but we couldn’t find a driver, so we had to go through Caritas. They have already taken 27 trucks to Ukraine and have experience in this. This aid, through Caritas of Ukraine Spes, will be given to the Franciscans (OFM), Capuchins and Conventual Franciscans in Ukraine.
We do what we can, because we in Croatia know what war and aggression are. We lived through it all from 1991 to 1995, when we liberated our country from the aggressors. This is what we want for Ukraine and what we pray for.
I reported this to the custos of Brother Sergei, who will organize the reception and distribution of aid.
Peace to you, brothers and everyone in Ukraine.
May this Christmas bring peace and freedom to all. Attached a photo.
Br. Jure (photo)

(Below is a report from Br. Sergej, custos)

News from the brothers:

Lviv (Br. Zbigniew Sawchuk):
On the 13th of each month, a Rosary Uprising is held in the center of Lviv with prayers for Ukraine.

Lviv (Br. Sergey Voronyuk):
Brothers from Austria—Zbigniew Żaba and Przemysław Poczynek—again delivered aid to Ukraine from Benefactors from Austria! We thank God for the good and warm hearts of our Brothers and Benefactors! May the Lord Jesus, whose coming we await, be your greatest reward! (photo)

Kyiv (Br. Sergey Kippa):
Brothers, today at 11:00 a.m. almost 20 [metric—SJP Communications] tons of humanitarian aid left from Croatia for Ukraine, directed to the East (to Dnipro and Kamianske and partly for Kremenchuk OFMConv).
We thank through the hands of our confrere Jure Sarcević for all the benefactors! Let us pray for our benefactors!
And as the Lord Jesus taught also for the thieves!

Come, Lord Jesus!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 293

December 14, 2022

It has been quiet for some time, without alarms. Yesterday at about 2:44 pm all Ukraine turned “red”, that is, threat of combat and shelling on the territory of all Ukraine. This morning first short alarm around 6:00 am. 13 kamikaze drones in Kyiv. All of them were shut down by anti-missile systems. Residential houses were damaged by fractions from the drones. No one was hurt. We are alive! God, give us peace!

The Word… There is hope, there is light because God is God, not man.
“I am the Lord and no one besides Me. I make light and I create darkness, I cause prosperity and I create misery. I, the Lord, do all these things.”
“I, the Lord, am the Creator of it all.”
A powerful Word!
“Am I not the Lord, and is there no other god besides Me? The righteous and saving God does not exist apart from Me. Turn to Me for salvation, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and no one else!”
There is hope, we have a chance.
“…… the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead rise from the dead, the gospel is preached to the poor.”
Come, Lord Jesus!

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

Night shelling in Dnipro region: residential houses, and innocent people in them. (photo)

Minsk, Belarus:
New custos of the custody of Belarus: Br. Siarhia Maciuszonak. (photo)
Congratulations to the brothers in Minsk on their new organ. (photo)

We were clearing snow from the steps in front of the church. A siren sounded, an alarm. People began to descend into the basement of our church, (the shelter under the church). They were mostly women, children, a group of schoolchildren with a teacher. City transportation did not stop. Life continued to go on. We cleared snow from the stairs and the church yard while the alarm continued. People stayed in shelter, in our monastery cellars.

It’s history now. Our angels Marcin and Zbyszek are already in Poland. Photos from Kamianske, at our brothers. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Kamianske (Br. Vladislav Gmyrko):
Some photos from yesterday’s trip. (photo)

Come, Lord Jesus!