Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 222

October 4, 2022

I invite everyone reading this letter to thank God for St. Francis and his charism, in which we Capuchins, thank God, share. Deo gratias!

BROTHERS and GOOD FRIENDS !!!! Best wishes of peace and good!

The Word… “It pleased Him who chose me while I was still in my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach the Gospel of Him to the Gentiles. And they shall glorify God because of me.”

“O Lord, grant
that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love…”

God is love !!!!

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

Yesterday, I visited the brothers in Vinnytsia. Praying together, fasting before the Feast of St. Francis. (photo)

In Starokostiatntyniv Transitus prayer. (photo)

In Krasyliv overnight stay and a short celebration of St. Francis with the Eucharist. God is Love.

In the evening, I received video wishes from our professor Br. Wiesio B. from International College of St. Lawrence of Rome. Thank you, especially for the wishes of peace in the spirit of St. Francis. (photo) Wiesio, brother, heartfelt thanks. And God willing, see you in Ukraine, already in peace and not in war. Greetings to all the Brothers at the College with its rector Br. Andrzej K.

Peace and Good.

Dear brothers! We are working on various fronts. I’m already returning to Dnipro after the end of a very fruitful retreat “Encounter with God” in Briukhovychi near Lviv. There were almost 50 of us, from Zaporizhzhia to Yavoriv. The atmosphere of joy and love was enough to transform lives, transform hearts. (photo)

Community Mass, October Rosary, and, well, Transitus. (photo) Well, and air raid alarms too…

May God bless us and may He guard us and grant us Peace.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 221

October 3, 2022

The Word… God is love, God who loves us, therefore we can love each other—that is—be happy: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” God is love.

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

The sklykania (meeting) of the Franciscan School of Evangelization in Staryi Ostropil has ended. (photo)

“LEOPOLIS SEMPER FIDELIS”. [lat. Lviv always faithful—SJP Communication]
Commemorative photo with Fr. Kazimierz Guzik OFMCap after Mass in the Cathedral Basilica in Lviv.  The Capuchins are back to Lviv!!! Fr. Hieronim Warachim OFMCap’s dream has come true.

Formation of leaders under the leadership of Br. Jerzy. (photo) A party for Jesus, after the prayer of adoration. Br. Zbyszek on a bicycle. (photo)

“Nazareth” School in the facilities of our pastoral center. (photo)

(No commentary, commentary unnecessary)

May God protect us and grant us peace.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 220

October 2, 2022

God has opened our eyes and praise be to Him for it. We are entering a new day. The Lord’s Day.

Yesterday in Kyiv, air raid alarms sounded. I see that brothers and people are used to alarms. We pray for the victory of ЗСУ (Armed Forces of Ukraine). God, give us peace!

The Word… “Lord increase our faith.” “That you may have faith, like a mustard seed…” Little faith, but faith in the GREAT GOD. The Great God, is the God close to us, for each of us. A great God, is a God who loves me as I am. Great God, God is love. Little faith, in the GREAT GOD.

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

“Ora et labora” in Franciscan style. (photo) Consultation and prayer meeting. Br. Jerzy, Mrs. Iryna, leaders. Women. Ukrainian women. Patriots—even in their outfits. (photo) The brothers do not stop praying. Another invitation to Pray with Mary for peace in Ukraine. (photo)

Knights of John Paul II with their chaplain Br. Slawomir. (photo) Course “Alpha”-Another meeting. (photo)

Elective chapter of the Secular Franciscan Order in the region. Brother Leonid, assistant of the region. (photo)

May God grant us peace and guard us.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 219

Oktober 1, 2022

We survived another war night. Recently there were the so-called referenda and more annexations. We don’t have friaries in those territories. There are people who are being subjected to mental and physical terrorism. The uncertainty and war in our minds is returning. What will happen next? Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us… God, give us peace.

The Word… God comes to help in His Word. The answer to another war in the head is the Word from the liturgy, Job’s words: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.” You can end this war… You are God, not me… Hence my prayer, my request “Let your merciful face shine upon your servant.” Ps 119

“Happy the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it”. God be blessed in what I hear and what I see!  God is love!

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

Warsaw, Poland:
Another day of Catholic Publishing Fair. Family meeting: Capuchin “Clara Studio” from Ukraine and Capuchin “Serafin” Publishing House from Poland and, above all, the meeting of Capuchin brothers and Mrs. Larissa from Vinnytsia. (photo)

Another meeting of leaders of the Consultation Center under the leadership of Br. Jerzy and Mrs. Iryna from Dnipro. (photo)

Staryi Ostropil, near Starokostiantyniv:
When I was a pastor in Staryi Ostropil, among other places, there were about 4 people left in this parish. I thought about closing the parish. Then Br. Casimir came forward with a proposal to place the headquarters of the Franciscan School of Evangelization there.  And today? Brother Leonid celebrated Mass on the patronal feast. The parish and the School of Evangelization are alive. Praise be to God! Who has ears and eyes…

As you know, after several weeks, Dnipro was attacked again yesterday. Fortunately, our “mini monastery” was not affected, but it was very close to it. There was an attack on a bus park, a farmer’s market and other facilities… Out of 200 buses, 14 survived, and I attached some photos. (photo)
As a brother recently said, “you can live peacefully in war”, maybe… for him…

May God protect us!

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 218

September 30, 2022

We survived another night. In Dnipro, where our Capuchin brothers live, there are increasingly frequent rocket raids. Brothers, may God protect you.

In the Zaporizhzhia Region, those who wanted to help others died under bombs. A column of humanitarian aid cars was shelled by bombs. There are many casualties. God, grant them heaven and us peace while still here on earth. Amen!

The Word… Another encouragement from God. Maybe I’m used to similar encouragements, requests: “Do not harden your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord.” I am who I am in God’s eyes. On the one hand, there’s a truth about me in Job’s word: “I am small, what shall I answer you! I will put my hand over my mouth,” on the other hand the words of Psalm 139: “Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.” This is also true of me. I am miraculous and wonderfully created while still in the womb of my mother Florentine, may she rest in peace. Thanks be to God for everything. God is love !

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

Br. Marek (Belgorod, Russia) has a birthday today. Marek, live for the glory of God. Best wishes. 100 years!!!

Warsaw, Poland:
Capuchin “Clara Studio” from Vinnytsia and Paulists from Lviv at Catholic Publishing Fair. Meeting at the Royal Castle with Bishop Vitaliy of Kyiv. (photo)

Work is underway on the renovation of stairs and parking lot in front of our church.  Let’s pray for our benefactors from Germany.

Krakow, Poland:
At the monastery, the post-novice brothers renewed their religious vows for another year. Among the brothers is one brother from Ukraine, br. Mykola. May God give all the brothers the gift of conversion and perseverance, until death. (photo)

Photo of children sleeping in a hallway, between two walls. The safest place in the apartment, during a rocket raid. The drama of war. (Photo)

There was an attack on Dnipro last night. Residential neighborhoods were attacked, where one child and two adults were killed. There are wounded and unidentified victims. In addition, a market was attacked… near the main train station. The bus station was hit as well.

Missionaries are at work! All forces thrown into the fray in the fight for heat and diversification of energy sources! (photo)

May God protect us.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 217

September 29, 2022

Thank God, it’s quiet in our region. Air missiles fell in Dnipropetrovsk District, where two of our monasteries are. The brothers are alive. God, grant us peace.

Since February, 396 children have been killed, 776 wounded (photo). God, we beg for peace.

The Word… Don’t be afraid to ask Jesus “How do you know me…?” I have seen you, I know you, you are not a stranger to me, I know your name. I am close to you, sometimes it is I who carry you on my back, especially when you are lost and sitting in the shrubs, lost, afraid. I love you and I know you,” says Jesus. My/Your response can be only one: “Rabbi, You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel!” You are love!

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

Dubrovnik, Croatia:
Another and the last meeting of the CECOC with such a lineup. (photo)

Today we are celebrating name days of several brothers in the province, including Brother Rafał, provincial vicar, Brother Rafał Ogórek, who was for some time a member of the Custody of Ukraine. To all the name day brothers, peace and love. God loves you.

Our “Clara Studio” from Vinnytsia at Catholic Book Fair in Warsaw. (photo)

Celebrating Thanksgiving—25th anniversary of the Ursuline Sisters of the Heart of Jesus in Dnipro. (photo)

And a few words for Justyn:
Thank you for your long and fruitful ministry in Ukraine. The great works of God that he has done through you we do not forget. I wish you return to health and deepen your friendship with the Lord. It’s good that you are!

State of affairs yesterday. (photo)

Our Capuchin presence in Russia is going through a difficult time. All the more we’re very happy about the presence of Brother Andriy from Belarus. Brothers, may God support you and open the doors of various offices and the hearts of officials.

May God guard and bless you.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 216

September 28, 2022

We survived another night. God gave us a new day. Thanks be to God.

Today we celebrated Eucharist for Roman, a defender of Ukraine, who is on the frontline. It’s Roman’s birthday today. His mother was present. This is the war—far from the front lines—but bringing pain and suffering. God, give us peace.

The Word… Job claims and asks: “How can a man be righteous before God?” The answer to this question is another passage. “A righteous man falls seven times a day” (sins). Therefore, Jesus replies, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.” Here is the whole truth about us.  And Jesus says, “Follow me”, “I will make you worthy of myself.” God loves you! God is love!

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

Br. Marek is celebrating his name day. Marek, may God Himself show you His true face. I admire you in your availability and openness to God’s presence. God loves you. Best wishes.

Capuchin Friars and Secular Franciscans continue adapting the garages into friar’s chapel. Let us pray for the Brothers and Benefactors. (photo)

Brother Robert Wieczorek, a Capuchin who survived a war in the CAR (Central African Republic). He is currently living and ministering in Sudan plagued by war. He is a brother close to me, to Ukraine. Robert, thank you for your heart, which is also with us, with Ukraine, plagued by war. (photo) By the way, I greet the Capuchin brothers in the Central African Republic.

War among suffering civilians. Photographs for the imagination. (photo)

Yesterday in Uzhgorod we celebrated the cathedral indulgence of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Every year it’s open-door at the bishop’s residence. Children from our Academy went to visit and pray at the tomb of their patron, deceased Bishop Milan. (photo)

May God grant us peace and guard us.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 215

September 27, 2022

We survived another war night. Our place in Kyiv is relatively calm. East, south of Ukraine? Regular war. It appears, more and more often, that the war is back in our heads. Survive not only the war, but the coming cold, survive the winter. God, give us peace!!!

The Word…. The freedom God gives to man is a great mystery. Job, who opens his mouth and… curses the day of his birth. God who loves him allows people to make wars, to sin and even walk away from God. Only such love allows such freedom. Hence, the oft-repeated words of Jesus, “If you want… if you will….” A Christian does not have to do anything. “If you want….”

God is love !!! “Lord, my God, I cry out to you in the day, I grieve before you at night. Let my prayer reach you, set your ear to my cry.” Ps 88

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

“Let the will of heaven be done….”
After 31 years of living, working, being present in Ukraine, our brother Justyn, for health reasons, had to return to the province of Krakow, Poland. To God and to you, Justyn, for everything be thanks. Thank you. If God allows…. see you soon!

Dubrovnik, Croatia:
Yesterday began a meeting of major superiors of Central and Eastern Europe—the last one in present configuration of CECOC [Capuchin Conference of Central and Eastern Europe]. I do not participate in the meeting for objective reasons.  I thank and warmly greet all brothers gathered in Dubrovnik. Although we are far away, thanks to brotherly love, prayer and financial support, we are close. Deo gratias!

We had a tactical medicine training in our lower church–in the shelter. As the participants say, God grant it will never be of use to us. (photo)

Yesterday we celebrated together the name day of Bro. Vladislav. Brother, once again, best wishes. (photo)

Tomorrow Br. Marek will celebrate his name day. May God show you his true face. Best wishes.

May God protect us.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 214

September 26, 2022

God et us live through another night and gave us a new day. We pray for victims of war, broken families, for the wounded, often without arms and legs. God give us peace….

The Word… Another request that can affect my life. I can be happy even in war. “Turn your ear, hear my word.” Hear the Word: God is love. In true love, there is no fear. True love removes fear. (1 John 4:10.18)

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

Another meeting of the Alpha Course. The majority of the people are displaced persons. (photo) A gift from God himself through the intercession of St. Pio–land and church on 1b Perov Boulevard. (photo) Another meeting of the chaplains of the Christian Relief Service in our lower church, shelter.

Br. Maciej celebrates his birthday. (photo) Deo gratias! Br. Zbyszek misses Krasyliv while he’s at a meeting of the School of Mary.

Expansion of the garage, chapel is underway. (photo)

May God give us peace!

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 213

September 25, 2022

The Day of the Lord—a good day. Thank God, we are alive. War in the East and South of Ukraine.

In spontaneous prayers of the people you can hear their suffering, fear and desire for peace. People are praying for their loved deceased and at the same time for those who are fighting for our and the so-called European freedom.

The Word… Can the rich enter the kingdom of heaven? Is Christianity for the poor? There is an answer for both questions in today’s Word: the rich does not know when, through his pride, he becomes like God. Such a one will not enter the Kingdom of God.

The rich—grateful to God for wealth—will support the needy, such a rich person will enter the Kingdom of God. Hence, Christianity is for all people—the rich and the poor—because God comes first, not wealth which passes away with the person who is wealthy. “Jesus Christ, being rich, became poor for you, that he might enrich you with his poverty.” God is love.

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

Krakow, Poland:
Symposium dedicated to the Servant of God Seraphim Kaszuba. Among many distinguished guests, people from Russia, Ukraine and Poland—all places of special presence of Fr. Seraphin. (photo)

Brother Vladislav celebrates his name day. Brother, thank God for the gift of your life and vocation.  May God bless you. Best wishes!

Community meeting of the School of Mary. (photo)
Brother Maciej Styburski, guardian and pastor of the parish celebrates his birthday today. (photo). Maciej, may God show you his true face, his true LOVE!

Academy of Development (therapy) named after Bishop Milan. The first course (one more course follows). First meeting with announcement of exam results—everyone passed… (photo) Then there was a celebration. Pizza, chips and cake. (photo) They made fruitcakes for the first course. And a youth meeting. (photo)

May God bless us and keep us safe.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 212

September 24, 2022

We have survived another night. We enter the new day with courage. A gift from God. A new day. Deo gratias!

The Word… These words of Qoheleth apply to all ages. Old age can be rejoiced in when youth has been lived with God. “Rejoice, O youth, in thy youth, and let thy heart rejoice in the days of thy youth.” It is not true that God failed designing old age. At all times, God is present and close to everyone. We thank God for the gift of our lives, regardless of age. War has deprived many people of this gift. Are you alive? Give thanks to God. God is love!

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

Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of St. Padre Pio at our shrine. There were Conventual friars from Boryspil. Br. Adam, our councilor, guardian and pastor from Kamianske came too. People, despite the curfew being still in effect, came to the Eucharist. There were also our friend nuns. Thank God for everything. (photo)

In the chapel of Padre Pio there was a presentation of decorations for loyalty to the homeland on the battlefield. As much as I can write.

Work continues on the steps and the square in front of the church. We continue to pray for the Brothers and Benefactors.

Peace and all good! Yesterday, we celebrated St. Padre Pio. The patron saint of our retreat house brought more than 160 people of different ages and from different places to a meeting of the School of Mary. And for all those frightened by the increasingly low temperatures, St. Padre Pio took care of the source of energy. In Krasyliv we began to diversify our energy sources.

May God protect us.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 211

September 23, 2022 (St. Padre Pio)

We survived another war night. Thank God!

Saint Padre Pio is a living Saint. He is the patron saint of our presence in Ukraine and of our Custody. With his help, many problems–insurmountable for us–we managed to survive.

After February 24–when the war began–having a night watch, I often went to him asking for help and intercession. At our place in Kyiv, where the shrine of Padre Pio is, the hostilities did not affect us. The Russians did not enter Kyiv. Saint Padre Pio, pray for us.

The Word… Put Jesus first, and in your life, I promise you, you will have time for everything, just as Qoheleth says. You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. God is love!

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

Miracles in our custody through the intercession of Padre Pio:

Returning to our Vinnytsia monastery.

Receiving land, collecting documentation for the construction of a church in Kyiv.

Beginning of construction of the Kyiv monastery.

Our presence in Dnipro and Kamianske.

End of struggle, recovery of the church and beginning of the renovation of the church in Dnipro.

Completion of construction and occupancy of the church and monastery in Kyiv.

Spiritual and material assistance we have received and are receiving to serve and help the victims of this war. Let us pray for our Benefactor Brothers. These are just some of the visible, tangible miracles of Padre Pio in our Custody of Ukraine.

Yesterday, there was an air raid alert at our place. Kindergarten children sheltered in our lower church. (photo) Academy is working, and in the evening there was a youth meeting. (photo)

Invitation to Prayer of Worship with Mary. (photo)

May God guard us and grant us peace.
St. Pio, pray for us and for Ukraine.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 210

September 22, 2022

We have survived more than two hundred nights of war. We are glad that we have war-peace. We do not forget, those who fight and, unfortunately, die in this war that is not needed by anyone.

The Word… One may be afraid of the following words of Qoheleth. Who is afraid? He who has not recognized true true love. God is love, therefore…: “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” Don’t be afraid. God loves you. God is love.

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

Last night our brother Roman Pop, MD (doctor) defended his doctorate in moral theology and became a double doctor.
Roman, congratulations to you, our Capuchin family rejoices. Despite the war, we have reasons to rejoice. (photo) Congratulations once again. Deo Gratias!!!

From Croatia, Br. Jure writes:
Brother Błażej, thank you for news from Ukraine that you regularly send us. The death of volunteer Andre Fabijanić echoed in Croatia as well. He loved Ukraine. A street will be dedicated to him in Zagreb. May God grant Ukraine peace and turn the aggressors away from evil. Greetings to you and all brothers in Ukraine. Jure.

Our brothers on the road, Viktor and Andriy reached their destination, each in their own direction. (photo) Deo gratias!

Thanks to God, to our benefactors and the efforts of Br. Constantine M. we received another document, important for our residence in the Capuchin monastery at 12/14 Sobotnia Str. Thank God.

Grzegorz Górny wrote an article in which he wants to answer for himself and others what is the phenomenon of patriotism of Ukrainians, not only soldiers, but also the population: “Ukrainians, however, said no. They chose to fight, ready to pay for it with their own lives. And thousands of them have already paid such a price. Why? Because they don’t want to be Russians. They would rather die than allow such a fate to befall themselves or their loved ones.
Some Ukrainians, when asked by me why they made such a choice, answer: Because we are free people; Russians are a nation with the soul of slaves; we do not want to be slaves.”
“It’s better to die than to be Russian”
https://wpolityce.pl/swiat/614837-lepiej-umrzec-niz-byc-rosjaninem [in Polish]

Tomorrow is the last day of retreat. Signs of the times. Prayer from a smartphone. (photo)

May God guard us and grant us peace.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 209

September 21, 2022

God has given us to live through another war night. In the East and South of Ukraine, regular war against the occupying forces. One of the brothers prayed: Give our enemies conversion, but in their land, in Russia. May it be so. Amen.

The Word… God, give me such courage in faith: “… He said to him: ‘Follow Me!’ And he got up and followed Him.” How many less problems I would have had, if I had followed Jesus instead of going before Jesus. Courage, let’s follow Jesus. “Follow Me!”

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

Today is the 45th anniversary of the death of our candidate for the altars, Venerable Servant of God, Fr. Seraphin Kashuba. Short film in Ukrainian: https://youtu.be/ttnJq0ZKf2Q

In addition to your prayers for his beatification, you can still join a symposium in Krakow, Poland this Saturday. We want to cordially invite you.

For those who will not be able to be present at Saturday’s symposium, we are preparing a broadcast on the YouTube channel of the Krakow monastery. Below is the link of the channel, this information can be passed on to friends so that they also have the opportunity to watch.

Cardinal Krajewski talks about his experience in the frontier zone. (photo)

Sad news for the Croatian brothers and for us. One of the Polish volunteers writes:
Andro Fabijanić—a Croatian volunteer from Zagreb, a friend of mine, born on 31.03.1993–died on 12.09.2022. He died in Donbas! A wonderful man loved and respected Ukraine like me! He carried food and medicine for the people. (photo)

Wonderful Fanciscan youth. No less wonderful, but not perfect Capuchin brothers: Volodya and Igor. (photo)

A village in Ukraine and Franciscan … youth. (photo)

Today in Kamianskie we are distributing winter clothes for refugees. (photo)

Obukhiv near Kiev:
A retreat for priests (photo)

May God protect us.

Letter from Br. Błażej: Night 208

September 20, 2022

We survived another war night. We survived! To some others this was not given. In other areas where regular war is going on, people are dying. God, I ask you for peace!

I started a retreat for priests in Obukhiv, near Kiev. I ask for your prayers.

The Word… There is confirmation in the Word that I am called by God to happiness. The only way is: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it.” To listen to the Word and to observe it faithfully in the heart—I enter into an intimate, close relationship with God: “My mother and my brothers are those who listen to the word of God and act on it.” This is the path of happiness. God is love!

We live in war, we don’t live by war.

Brother Victor is on the road—currently, with his brothers in Belarus. Pictured with Brother Andriy, who is also on the road…. (photo) Brothers, may Padre Pio guide you.

In our parish began the first “Alpha Course” after the pandemic and during the war. Most of the people are refugees, displaced persons. (photo) First cobblestones, laid in the square in front of the church. (photo) Let us pray for our benefactors. Deo gratias!

45 years ago, the Venerable Servant of God Seraphin Kaszuba [our friar who remained in the Soviet Union after World War II to minister to Catholics undercover—Henryk] passed away to the House of the Father. Let us pray for the grace of his beatification. https://youtu.be/9dRLSVxGFhc
Another night of vigil. This time with St. Padre Pio. We invite you to join us. (photo) Brother Casimir with the blessing. Let’s pray for our boys from ЗСУ (Armed Forces of Ukraine). (photo)

May God bless us and keep us safe.

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