Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 353

February 12, 2023

The previous night and day had been emotionally, mentally exhausting for all of us. This night was calm, the morning also. We are waiting to see what will happen next.

The Word… God’s Word today gives us in abundance. “For great is the wisdom of the Lord, He has great power and sees all things.”
God sees that by our own efforts we are not able to fulfill the word, to live the word. Because of this, we may grieve, we may be dissatisfied with ourselves. There is Good News: we need God to live this Word to ensure our happiness.
God is love.

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

Brothers in Lviv invite you to the next prayer meetings and night and day. (photo)

Invitation to Art-Therapy, a meeting at our monastery in Kyiv. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Lviv (Br. Zbigniew Sawchuk):
In Lviv, brother Volodya Procko, Zoya Kutrysh the elder of the Khmelnytskyi community and deputy elder Alla Gucol attended the meeting with the SFO general. (photo)

Kyiv (Bro. Sergey Kippa):
I thank my guardian for visiting my parents on the way back from Kherson! There was supposed to be only coffee.
And I’m off to the seminary in Horodok for a day of recollection for seminarians.
Then I’m taking our regional brothers in charge of the SFO to Kyiv for a meeting hosted by Volodya P.
To all a blessed afternoon and Sunday. +

Kyiv/Kherson (Bro. Adam Wróbel):
Brothers we happily returned to Kyiv with the Sisters. One can tell many stories. One can admire the priests who minister there. You live in constant tension whether another rocket will not fall on you. Tonight there was heavy shelling of the city (as there is every night). Mass in the morning, then departure. At the end our occupants bid us farewell with shelling.
Today we got information from the doctor at the hospital where I was yesterday, that another baby was born (photo). In the photo, the room where he lies, and then during the shelling with his mother goes to the shelter. We received a thank-you note from the hospital. On the way back we were with Sergei’s parents. (photo)
More. The optimism, the joy of Dr. Svetlana is great. Despite everything around her, she gushes with joy. (photo)

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
The Minister General of the SFO visited our House in Lviv. (photo)

Krasyliv (Br. Maciej Styburski):
In Krasyliv, traditionally on Saturday, the process of making candles for the army is underway! (photo)

Kamianske/Lviv (Br. Volodymyr Procko):
Meeting with the Minister General of the Secular Franciscan Order Brother Robert Kauzerom in Lviv. (photo)

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
Night vigil in Lviv. (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 352

February 11, 2023

Yesterday was a very difficult day for Ukraine. Numerous alerts, air strikes by terrorist rockets. Ukraine’s anti-missile system destroyed 61 missiles out of 71 launched from various sides of the aggressor state. Almost all day alerts, danger. Exhortations to stay in shelters.
God, give us peace!

The Word… God calls me by name: “Adam, where are you?” God, the Father sees that I am suffering after sin, seeks me to help me i.e. give me love and peace again.
“I hid,” says Adam. Sin, departure from Love is the source of my fears.
Eve, the woman: I am not the guilty one. After sin, there is always someone to blame… not me, it’s Eve.
Sin, this is the source of my suffering, anxiety…
There is a way out! Let’s return to God. The source is God, who is love!
God is love!
“Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Healing of the sick, pray for us.

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

Ms. Tania. Kharkiv attacked by “neighbors”: C-300 from Belgorod and by “further ones” from the Caspian Sea, like all of Ukraine. Such is the enemy we have: he and near, and far, the same fierce. He tries to attack from everywhere. Intense shelling… on Sunday morning, Tuesday evening and in the morning today, and in powerful: 6 rockets, 12… Not to mention the Kharkiv district: Kupiansk, Dvorichna—hell there. From there people flee to Kharkiv, because it’s a little safer here. Praise the Lord, He makes that there are no civilians killed for the last days, or a rocket landed in a park, straight into the ground.

Now we have no electricity, no light. Are we in despair? Are we losing hope? Are we cursing the Ukrainian authorities? Individually—possibly, but for the most part—NO! Is it not a miracle of God! (photo)

Below is a touching update from brother Adam, who is currently in Kherson. Some faces are not visible for obvious reasons. (photo)
Let us pray for Adam and Margaret, the Nazarene sister and all those who remain there…

The war face of the city of Bahmut. Bahmut is synonymous with pain. Captions: “Bahmut loves ZSU”, “With us God, ataman Zaluzhny.” (photo)

War reports. Below is the touching information of our brothers. Please read.

There is life in war. In Vinnytsia in the “Window of Life” of Caritas-Spes, in the vicinity of our Capuchin monastery, a newborn baby was found: a boy. As the doctors determined, the baby was born 3 hours before he appeared in the “Window”.
Reports in Ukrainian below:

War Joke. A small, big mistake by TVP Info. (photo)
President Zelenski, president of…. Great Britain.

News from the brothers:

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
Meeting of the “Bible group” in Lviv. (photo)

Kyiv/Kherson (Br. Adam Wróbel):
Second day of our stay in Kherson.
At night there was shelling of the city and the island with rockets including phosphorus rockets. We are about 2 km from the island. It was noisy. In the morning Mass in the church in the background you can hear rocket launches and the sound of explosions. Then a tour of the city. In the afternoon I was in the maternity hospital that was shelled. I talked to the only surgeon in that hospital. They showed me the ruined rooms where newborn babies were lying. I also saw an ambulance (the only one in this hospital) for transporting babies.
All day we could hear the gunshots of our boys and the Russians. We have already learned to recognize who is shooting.
Another night is ahead of us. Probably again the Russians will rouse us at midnight or 3 am. (photo)

Dnipro (Br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
Antiseptic gel, stoves, blankets, soups, were given to our defenders today. (photo)
Today were delivered fruits to the hospital, to at least give some relief to the wounded. (photo)

Kamianske (Br. Volodya Procko):
Peace, brothers. Thank you all for praying for my nephew Pavel, who disappeared without news on the frontline a month ago.
I am in a hurry and want to share the happy news with you—he has been found, he is in captivity. Please pray for his happy return.

Kyiv (Br. Sergey Kippa):
I have just received the news. My childhood friend was killed near Bakhmut.
Every year I spent the whole summer at my grandmother’s house. We spent a lot of time there together.
The last time I saw him was 2 years ago. He became a history teacher. Married, he has 2 twins. He made good renovations to the house. But a horde of possessed people came…
Pray for Alexander.

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 351

February 10, 2023

Alarms sounded during the night. Terrorist kamikaze drones flew overhead. Fire suppression systems were working. Thank God we are alive.

During the morning meditation, sirens are heard. Missile alert already all over Ukraine. God, give us peace!

The Word… The master appears, lying, manipulating and putting people in doubt. It is an evil spirit…
“Did God really say, Do not eat the fruit of all the trees of the garden?”
In another place… “If you are the Son of God…”
If God loves you, why are you suffering…? Constant doubts…
The answer is one: God is love. How do I know this?—God’s Word: “Open, Lord, our hearts, that we may listen attentively to the words of Thy Son.”
“Even to the deaf He restores hearing and to the mute He restores speech.”
God is love!

We live in a war, we don’t live by war.

Brother Leonid Kushniruk sent us Capuchins, a list of 16 young boys, men, who from a small village went to war.
“A census of boys from Slobodka who are now at the front. The village is small, and many were taken away. Let’s pray for our parishioners.”
“Ora et labora” From the same village, a piece of meat will give ZSU. (ЗСУ).

Photographs from the 50th anniversary of Sr. Egidia’s religious life. Deo gratias! (photo)

Brussels, Beligum:
President Zelenski’s visit to the European Parliament was met with great echoes, optimism and hope.
Let us pray for those who govern the states, so that they too will consciously, unconsciously fulfill the service of a just peace in Ukraine. (photo)

Ms. Tania… Again morning shelling. 10 explosions. Without light and water.

News from the brothers:

Br. Sergey Kippa:
Adaś W. is already in Kherson.
Our joint action “Medicines for Hospitals” with the Nazareth Sisters.
We are waiting for reports from him.
We pray for his safe return.

Br. Adam Wróbel:
The first day of our stay in Kherson. We sleep in a church, about 3 km from the Russians. We brought humanitarian aid with the Sisters: food products, chemicals and medicines. So far during the day we have heard one explosion. Night is beginning, they say, the most difficult time. We can already hear explosions outside the windows. (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 350

February 9, 2023

In our area the night and morning were calm, sunny, frosty, but peaceful. On the front heavy fighting. Tension is rising. Closer and closer to February 24, the anniversary of the new escalation of the war. God, give us a just peace!

The Word… Beautiful Word: God does not want, my loneliness, He called me to love, to relationship, to love and be loved.
“The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for a man to be alone; I will therefore make him a suitable help for him.’”
Adam’s answer, my answer: “This one only is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! This one shall be called woman, for this one was taken from man.”
The consequence of choice, vocation, the path of happiness: “Therefore it is a man who leaves his father and his mother and unites with his wife so closely that they become one flesh.”
To be loved and to love is my vocation.

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

Antwerp, Belgium:
Our Capuchin brothers, Brother Luc and Brother Martin invite you to the Eucharist on February 24 on the anniversary of the outbreak of the war. Brothers, heartfelt thanks for your prayers and help.

Invitation to another concert of classical music, music that can affect our spirit and emotions. Let’s relax within the Capuchin walls, with music. You are welcome. (photo)

One of the scenarios for another invasion of Ukraine, an independent state, by Russian terrorists. (map/photo)

News from he brothers:

Dnipro (Bro. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
Today in Dnipro, we visited the house renovated by the displaced, a multi-story house, giving them produce. (photo)

Lviv (Br. Zbigniew Sawchuk):
Items we received from a German company were given to soldiers who went to the East. (photo)
I am going today to the rehabilitation hospital to the soldiers who lost their arms and legs. I ask for your prayerful support.
We are helping out for the oblates, they left for a meeting, at St. Mary Magdalene Church.
Tomorrow a help-out at the parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Perpetual Help.
Tomorrow meeting with parents at a private kindergarten.

Uzhgorod (Br. Roman Pop):
Vasily, who is restoring, renovating our iconostasis is also mobilized.
We pray for him to return alive, safe and sound. (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 349

February 8, 2023

Night and morning were calm, but only in our area. Bombs fell on the center of Kharkiv. We are waiting for information.
In the east there were night alarms, rocket raids. War. God, give us peace!
More and more earthquake victims in Turkey.
Only God can bring the ultimate good out of these tragedies of ours for us humans. God is love.

The Word… “The LORD God gave man this order: ‘You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.’”
I am a child of God, but not God. What happens when man wants to take the place of God? War!
“Your word, Lord, is truth, sanctify us in the truth.”
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
God is love!

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

Meeting of the Board of Custody with our superiors, the guardians. The convention of guardians began.
And before that there was the Eucharist.
Fraternal meetings. Recreation.
Chaplet to the Divine Mercy.
Family, community photo. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Uzhgorod (Bro. Roman Pop):
Our children from the first year of the Vladyka Milan Academy held a scientific expedition in the village of Bilky.
This time they researched and discovered FORCE: physical and strength of spirit. PHYSICAL FORCE—based on the life story of Ivan “Croton of Force” Firtsak—the strongest man of the 20th century, who was born and died in Bilky, being a Catholic. They studied the strength of the spirit on the basis of the figure of Fr. Petr Oros, the last parish priest in Bilky, who was murdered by the Soviets, and who in July of this year (if the war ends) is to be declared blessed. (photo)

Kyiv (Br. Sergey Kippa):
We’ve already talked enough about the brothers. Now a little information about the sisters.
Sr. Egidia who serves in Starokostiantyniv had her 50th anniversary of religious life. Parishioner Victor Levitsky edited a video of the event.
Meanwhile, Sr. Veronika (Kyiv) has already been operated and returned to her room, is resting, is coming off anesthesia, wants to drink, but is not allowed to.
We wish the sisters serving at our parishes blessings, health of spirit, soul and body.

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 348

February 7, 2023

Night and morning were calm considering the circumstaces of our war normal. Nikopol region was shelled by missiles.
Let’s pray for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey…
Last night was calm. Thank God for the calm.

The Word… “God said:… Thus created God…”
We modern people find it hard to believe that the Word has power, has authority and is effective.
And further… “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.”
Ps 8: “What is man, that you remember him, what is the son of man, that you care for him?”
Man, that’s me and you…
God is love!

Creation of the World by Clara Studio:

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

Kharkiv (Ms. Tania P.):

“Anton’s mother—Olena Pushkar—worked for many years in the magazine “The World Between Us” and was a poet. The mother was able to pass on her faith to her son. From the first days of the invasion, Anton went to Kharkiv Teroborona to defend his hometown of Slobozhanshchyna, as he already had experience in an anti-terrorist operation. He loved Christ, he loved Ukraine, he loved life, he loved people, he loved animals (he was a veterinarian by profession).
He always united everyone around him, and at his funeral Anton brought together two Christian communities: Greek Catholics and Roman Catholics, a community of his civilian friends, neighbors and fellow soldiers. He followed Christ to the end: he gave his life for his friends. He last contacted us on January 25 and wrote: “With God we will prevail!”
He died near Bachmut” (photo)


News from the brothers:

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
Humanitarian aid goes to the military. (photo)

Krasyliv (Br. Maciej Styburski):
Children from Slobidka-Krasylivs’ka, together with their teachers and Sr. Alexandra, showed a nativity play in Kam’yanets’-Podil’s’kyi—in the Cathedral and the Church of the Christ Fathers. Parishioners gave them a standing ovation 2 times. (photo)
Diploma: Thanksgiving, for our parishioner Ms. Wanda, who together with her neighbors cooks and bakes various dishes for the military at the front. (photo)

Lviv (Br. Sergey Voronyuk):
A biblical retreat for young adults (ФБР) was held in Lviv-Briukhovychi February 3-5. This is the third retreat in the FAITH series, led by Brothers Sergiy Voronyuk and Sergiy Gubisky together with Mrs. Viktoria Kondratiuk. The retreat brought together youth from Lviv and Vinnytsia. Deo gratias! (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 347

February 6, 2023

The night and this morning passed peacefully, in the so-called war normal.

The Word… And we start from the beginning of the Scriptures: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
And the wonderful story of creation by… the Word… begins.
“Then God said:…” And so to this day, God speaks the Word and creates, for example, a new spirit and gives you a new heart that can love.
“Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom and healed every disease among the people.”
God is love!

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

South Sudan is close to us, to Ukraine. We pray for peace, in places where Capuchins live and more.
A new community with the blessing of Br. Mark, the provincial. (photo)
“After the Eucharist in Juba. Greetings.” (photo)

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv (Br. Maciej Styburski):
Today in Krasyliv there was a day of recollection for school children of our parish (Krasyliv, Slobidka-Krasylivs’ka)—48 children participated. (photo)
And in the evening—this has already become a tradition—production of candles for the army, which was initiated and organized by the Capuchin sisters. (photo)

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
Night Vigil in Lviv. (photo)

Dnipro (Br. Yaroslav Fedirchuk):
Today, thanks to humanitarian aid from Poland and Italy, our parishioners received help. (photo)
Mrs. Magdalena, as a volunteer, personally accompanied the distribution and delivery of humanitarian aid to Dnipro. (photo)

Lviv (Br. Kazimierz Guzik):
Our guests from Pila, Poland. A private initiative. They brought humanitarian aid. One of the volunteers was a student from Zbyszek’s catechesis. Deo gratias for good hearts. (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 346

February 5, 2023

The Supreme Council (Ukrainian Parliament) has extended martial law and mobilization for another 90 days.
God, grant us peace!

The Word… Dear Brothers and Sisters…
I have been writing these letters to you, since the beginning of the war, and listening to today’s reading I find myself fully in it.
It was like this:
“Brethren, having come to you, I did not come to shine in word and wisdom, to preach to you the testimony of God. For I resolved, being among you, to know nothing more than Jesus Christ, and that crucified. And I stood before you in weakness and in fear, and with great trembling. And my speech and my proclamation of doctrine had nothing of the seductive persuasion of words of wisdom, but were a demonstration of the spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest, not on human wisdom, but on the power of God.”
Jesus said:
“I am the light of the world, he who follows me will have the light of life.”
God is love!

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

First Saturday of the month at the Capuchins’. Men’s rosary for victory… (photo)

New York, USA:
School of Mary. Another session. (photo)

War, but it’s not war we live by. Brother Joseph, the guardian of our fraternity, prepares a festive dinner for the brothers. (photo)

Donetsk region under rocket fire all the time. Innocent people are being killed. (photo)

Christmas, Christmas and after Christmas… Franciscan Youth brings our Capuchin Church into the ordinary liturgical period. Of course, under the watchful eye of Brother Igor. (photo)

Capuchin sisters involved in helping the needy. (photo)

The professional fruits of the fundraising fairs organized by the Franciscan Youth will go to the right people. Let’s pray for our Benefactors. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Starokostiantyniv (Br. Anton Pogrornyj):
The four U.S. Army chaplains are also called “immortal chaplains” or “Dorchester chaplains.” During the crash of the transport ship “Dorchester” on February 3, 1943, they gave their lives saving civilians and military personnel. They organized the evacuation. They helped dive in lifeboats and donated their life jackets when their supplies ran out. The chaplains then offered their hands in prayer and sang hymns as the evacuation came to an end and the ship sank.
“Four Chaplains Day” is celebrated annually on February 3 in America by a unanimous decision of the US Congress in 1988. (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 345

February 5, 2023

A relatively peaceful night. Of course, in our area. During the day there were two alarms until and after lunch—all of Ukraine in red.
Night and morning were calm in our area. In the East, the defense of the Ukrainian troops persists. Bahmut is Ukrainian.
God, grant us peace!
At 9:11 a.m. the first alarm today across Ukraine.

The Word… A word simple and very concrete in life. Those angels of ours who fulfill this word are a challenge for us to do likewise. “Do not forget charity and mutual aid, for God rejoices in such sacrifices.”
We thank God and pray for our Benefactors.
“You set the table for me in front of my enemies.”
“The Lord my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
The Word is fulfilled before our eyes.
God is love!

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

Day of consecrated persons in different dioceses, at different times, but one speaker, teaching, religious in Kyiv and Zhytomyr—Brother Sergey Kippa, our custos. (photo)

Yesterday was the First Friday of the month. Traditionally, we went with Br. Igor to visit the sick. We met children, kindergarten children, who were crossing the road in great order with their educators. Nice view…

Just when the alarm ended, children were returning from basements, from shelters to their kindergarten. War. Unfortunately, it affects everyone, and perhaps especially children. (photo)

Rome, Italy:
The Ukrainian-Polish novitiate of the Verbistine sisters, in Rome praying for us, for Ukraine, for peace in the world. (photo)

Our Clara Studio’s employees in a family photo. (photo)
By the way, it is no secret that these people support us Capuchins, the General Curia in the ministry of the brothers. God bless you all.

News from the brothers:

Vinnytsia (Br. Blazej Suska):
Thank you Brothers and all our Benefactors for your prayers and remembrance. Thank you.

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 344

February 3, 2023

Yesterday there was an air raid on a residential house in Kramatorsk, that’s already 4 fatalities. In our area it has been calm so far. In general, there is growing tension and the danger of a new, greater escalation of the war.
God, grant us peace !

The Word… First Word. I still have in my heart yesterday’s word of Simeon, for the reason that I have seen Your salvation…. let me go, I may die … but because I see You Jesus, alive, risen.
Second Word. From today’s Eucharistic Liturgy. “And do not forget hospitality, for through it some, without knowing it, have given hospitality to angels.” That is why we call our Benefactors, volunteers, angels. God is the source of peace (Psalm 27).
“The Lord my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord the defender of my life, before whom should I feel trepidation?”
And so, consciously, unconsciously for 59 years now. My life, my parents died, my family, my religious vocation, the Capuchins, the priesthood, the war, this is also God’s word to me.
God loves me! God is love!

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

South Sudan/Ukraine:

May the Lord bless you, Brother Blazej, on the continued path of the ministry of light amidst the darkness of war. We from today constitute a new community in South Sudan. With Provincial Marek and Jerzy, the Missionary Secretary, we are on our way to Juba to meet Pope Francis.
Peace to us in Ukraine and Africa!
Robert W

We are so far away from each other, but we are so close to each other in heart, in desire for PEACE! God give us, Ukraine and South Sudan, Peace! (photo)

Children with educators of the “Academy” continue to support the soldiers and make candles. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv (Br. Leonid Kushniruk):
And today the staff of the school in Slobidka-Krasylivs’ka are making dumplings for the soldiers. They do not waste their time off from school. (photo)

Jesus lives!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 342

February 1, 2023

Yesterday after 11 am there was a missile alert across Ukraine. Children from nearby schools hid in our basements (shelters) in Vinnytsia. Fortunately, the alarm was short-lived. In two hours another alarm across Ukraine. People again descend to the basements. And another alarm, this is the third alarm today!
God, give us peace!
This morning has been calm. On the front—regular war!

The word… The word abundant God has given us today. God addresses us as sons: “My son, do not underestimate the chastening of the Lord, do not fall away when He afflicts you. For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He flogs everyone whom He takes as a son.” Abide in chastisement! God deals with you as with children. After all, what kind of son is he whom his father would not chastise? All chastisement for the time being does not seem joyful, but sad, but later it brings a blissful harvest of righteousness to those who have experienced it.
Therefore, straighten your drooping hands and weakened knees! Make straight footsteps with your feet, so that whoever is lame will not go astray, but rather be healed. Strive for peace with all and for sanctification, without which no one will see the Lord. Beware that no one is deprived of God’s grace…

God is love!

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

Starokostiantyniv (Mr. Martin Izyka):

The guys are back from another trip!
We believe and support! (photo)

(It was these good people who brought the brothers a generator.

Another “factory” of candles for the army. Children support the ZSU. (photo)

Brother Roman Pop invites you to the Ukrainian-language site, which was created in cooperation with Br. Ksawery Knotz. (Photo)
We invite you to visit:
In Ukrainian: http://shansnazustrich.net/
In Polish: https://www.szansaspotkania.pl/

This should be seen by the whole world. The symbol of the “Russian world.” (photo)

Victims of war. We, in Ukraine, receive aid from all over the world, from America as well. We—such is the cruelty of war—hand over the body of a slain American soldier who was killed by Russian terrorists. (photo)
At the hands of our Capuchin brothers in America, we thank the American people.

An invitation, this time not to day or night prayers, but to a Franciscan chess tournament. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Uzhgorod (Br. Roman Pop):

Starokostiantyniv (Br. Stanislav Manski):

Jesus lives!