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Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 275

November 26, 2022

We have survived the night, a new day begins. What will it be like? God will predict. It will be the best, because in it, too, God will show his true face.
Ukraine is fighting on the frontlines. Various brigades are repairing the effects of the bombardment so that there is light, heat and there is water in homes.
God, grant us to survive this war and this winter.

The Word… Listen to this Word—how relevant it is. In many homes, cities, villages there is no electricity, no light. And here God comes to our aid by giving such a Word:
“And they shall behold His face, and His name—on their foreheads. And there shall be no more night. And they shall not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God shall shine upon them, and they shall reign forever and ever.”
And further: “These words are reliable and true.”
We have light, having no electricity, having war and darkness.
With you the darkness will not be dark… Thank God !!!
God is love!

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

Rome, Italy:
Letter of the Holy Father Francis to the Ukrainian people. 9 months after the start of the war. (photo)
https://www.vaticannews.va/uk/pope/news/2022-11/lyst-papy-do-ukrajinskogo-narodu.html (in Ukrainian)

Lviv:
A group photo of the fraternity with the logo of our Benefactors, Kirche in Not. (photo)

Kyiv:
“Nazareth” School on their excursion to the veterans museum in the House of Fr. Pio. (photo)

Austria:

“Hi Błażej,
After all the structural changes [reorganization of the province of Austria—Henryk] I will probably be cut me off from your letters too. Your letters are very important, sometimes they depress you and make you angry because of helplessness. But fortunately, no better to say they are always a strong testimony of faith.
Therefore, if it is not a problem for you then send your e-mails directly to me.
We support you as much as we can, I wish you perseverance in faith to you as well as to the other brothers and lay people. I know how difficult it is to see the Lord God while living in the midst of injustice and cruelty.
Stay strong. May the Lord God give you strength. Support others.
Peace to you,
Kizu” (Br. Krzysztof Kurzok)

Vinnytsia:
Advent is near. Brother Igor and his own brother who is on leave from ЗСУ (Ukrainian Armed Forces). He serves and helps on the front. Let’s pray for our boys and for Brother Igor’s brother as well. (photo)
Advent wreath on the door of the “Youth Academy” is ready. (photo)

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv:
Peace! In Krasyliv we “put up” a tent for extreme situations. There is a stove inside, there is still to be a generator if needed.
In recent days we had a lot of emergency moments: broke pipe in the boiler room of the kindergarten (caused by no electricity and high temperature), burned our amplifier in the church (through voltage and current fluctuations), burned the water pump. But we are coping!
Today about 100 people will come to Krasyliv for the School of Mary, which will be led by Piotr with the help of Andrzej and their catechists!
Greetings to all!

This tent was put up by the City Council. Inside is a stove, they are yet to bring a generator… They anticipate that maybe everything will be destroyed, then tents like this are to serve as points to warm up, load phones… (photo)

Kyiv (yesterday):
Good evening to all. Another blackout in Kyiv. Since yesterday we’ve only had a couple of hours of light, before 7 AM, and during the day for 40 minutes. Phone connection is bad. So far we are sitting in the dark.

May the Lord guard and protect us !

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 274

November 25, 2022

The Word… Once again we return to the source of our faith. The Word! Listen!
Faith is born from preaching. Nothing new, but whenever you take the Bible in your hand or listen to the Word, always and now also new and renewing is the Holy Spirit.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
The Word that does not pass away, that God is love. The second that does not pass away is, God does not want the death of the sinner, but that you repent and live. This means that God loves you as you are. Thank God.

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

Kyiv:
More damage from yesterday’s missile attacks on Kyiv and the Kyiv Region. (photo) God, grant us peace!

Vinnytsia:
At the “youth academy” preparations for St. Nicholas and Christmas. (photo)

Kyiv:
Light in the darkness. One of our parishioners reads and listens to the Word of God without light. God is the Light. God, give us peace!!!

News from the brothers:

Dnipro:
At night electricity was turned back on for the monastery, while in the church there is still no light. We celebrated the morning Eucharist by candlelight. (photo)
Our parishioner Sergey arrived home for a short time. (photo)

Lviv:
There is no electricity—but there is faith.

Kamianske:
Peace. With Lonya we went to the upper part of the city and thanks to this we managed to catch communication. We’ve been sitting for 24 hours without light, water and phone. Faith is 💪

Dnipro:
The hardships of war are increasing. Often without light, without hot water, and sometimes without water at all. Faith is. Hospitality is (2 priests and a frontline soldier – in transit) We are all together when Wadym arrives. The people are much harder than we are. Yesterday I saw standing streetcars and trolleybuses. Hundreds of people on foot going home across the Central Bridge. At stops in the city center, 100-300 meter long queues for transportation.

Kamianske:
Tonight, after 1.5 days with nothing, they finally turned on our electricity. I don’t know for how long. (photo)

Uzhgorod:
There was no light at our place either… Yesterday from 2 PM to 12 AM. (photo)

Lviv:
Pax! Yesterday Mrs. Magdalena from Kirche in Not visited us together with her associate Rev. Andrzej from Wrocław, Poland. Deo gratias for the help we receive from this organization and for our Benefactor. (photo)

Lviv:
Married couple Vasily and Maria, expecting a baby (9th month), were at an hour-long Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament yesterday. Today (10-11 AM) Maria is scheduled for a C-section. They ask for prayers. (photo)

May God guard us, bless us and grant us peace!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 273

November 24, 2022

Yesterday, when I was sending my letter, it was calm. An hour later all of Ukraine was already “red”—all over Ukraine alerts. (photo)
Among other things, missiles hit a residential building on the left bank of the city of Kyiv. There are 10 fatalities, nine injured. (photo) Our brothers live on the left bank; they are alive.
Many regional capitals are without water and electricity due to air raids. Trains came to a standstill—this is how Russian terrorists operate. By yesterday evening there was water and electricity in many areas of Ukraine.
It was reported that the anti-missile system had knocked down as many as 51 rockets out of 70 fired by Russian terrorists into Ukraine, and 19 had hit their targets.

Tonight passed peacefully. We can pray together, including for those who protect our borders and our land. God, give us peace!!!

Today, as of 8:00 am, 70% of Kyiv is without water, heat, electricity. This is how Russian terrorism works in winter. God, give us peace!

The Word… Yesterday we had a very difficult day… not a night, but a day. Today, God through Mother Church gives us a Word of comfort and courage: “Gain your spirit and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” The second Word: “Fallen, fallen Babylon, the great capital. And it became the abode of demons, and the hiding place of every unclean spirit, and the hiding place of every unclean and revolting bird.” Babylon has fallen, Rome has fallen, Paris has fallen, Berlin has fallen, Moscow will fall as well, as will Brussels… There were many different eagles: with one head, with two heads. Everything made only by human hand will fall.
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power with our God, for His judgments are true and just…”
“Blessed are those who are called to the feast of the marriage of the Lamb!”
We are blessed, “who hear the Word and keep it faithfully!”
God is love!!!

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

Kyiv:
Br. Sergey Kippa, the custos, has been leading a monastic retreat for Dominican Friars since Sunday. He accepted the retreat even before the elections. Let’s pray for the custos and Dominicans/hearers of Br. Sergey. Custos’ report below. Come, Holy Spirit!!!

Vinnytsia:
Even before the alerts we remembered our Clara Studio and their ongoing work. Gifts from St. Nicholas. (photo) In the photo brother Paul is missing who spent his time supporting this good initiative.

Starokostiantyniv:
Brother Sergey and Sr. Svetlana organized a masterclass for children. They make chocolate with different toppings. (photo)

A war joke from Brother Zbyszek from Lviv: Man in front of the TV, “We are lost!”, man in front of the cross with the Holy Scriptures, “We are saved!” (photo)
A joke and not a joke! Truth!!!

A war joke from Brother Roman Pop for Uzhgorod:

News from the brothers:

Lviv (yesterday):
Quiet. They turned on the electricity. Deo gratias.

Uzhgorod/Antalovtsi:
I am on retreat in Antalovtsi. Here, too, there are planned and unplanned power outages… (photo)

Kyiv:
It’s dark in Kyiv, there’s no water, no internet. Brothers Viktor and Igor went to get water. We are making supplies!
Yesterday—a candlelight dinner together in Kyiv. (photo)
Yesterday—a romantic liturgy.

I heard on the radio that there was something in Voznesens’k as well, but they didn’t say what happened, just generally that [a missile] arrived. I’ve had no contact with my parents since noon. I hope the problem is only in the electrics. May God protect you. + Good night.

Dnipro:
Internt does not work, lights are out, for more than two hours. A group of volunteers with a soldier spent the night with us, in field conditions (without hot water we have been sitting for a week 😉 ) (photo)
Three hours I tried to send a photo… Finally it arrived. (photo)

May God guard us and grant us peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 272

November 23, 2022

(Warning: graphic content!)

Thank God, we are alive, our eyes have been opened and we can gather together with our brothers and pray. In our neighborhood in Vinnytsia there are no blackouts.
In other regions it is very different. From various provinces gifts of the heart are flowing, charitable aid to the liberated and still being shelled Kherson. God, give us peace!

The Word… The work of God, are you and me!!! “Your works are great and admirable, Lord, God almighty!”

You, a Ukrainian, and me, a Pole, an Italian, an American, a Croatian. The story of our lives is guided by God: “Righteous and faithful are Your ways, O King of nations!”

Glory to You, God, for everything!
“Who would not fear, O Lord, and honor Your name?”

All nations… our nations…!!!
“For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

“But not a hair will fall from your head. By your perseverance you will save your lives.” God, give us the strength to abide and persevere to the end in Your WORD! God is love!!!

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

More victims of the so-called shelling of strategic facilities, civilians in Ukraine die. (photo)

Sędziszów Małopolski, Poland:
Gift of hands. These hands were educated by God in Uzhgorod. Deo gratias!!!
http://naskrajukraju.pl/?p=13060

News from the brothers:

Krasyliv:
Peace! Children from our parish kindergarten together with their teachers and Sister Margaret today celebrated, played, sang, all in the presence of their parents. Despite the known difficulties with electricity and heat we somehow manage. The most important thing is that the eyes and headі of our leaders are watching over everything! (photo)

Lviv:
Meeting of the Lviv deanery. (photo)

Starokostiantyniv:
And let there be light. (photo) Brothers have talents.

May God protect us and grant us peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 271

November 22, 2022

Thank God, we’ve seen less air raids from the Russian occupiers. A new day, a new gift from God. In the morning in Kyiv, SBU, the security service, entered the Pechersk Lavra (the most famous Orthodox monastery, Moscow Patriarchate). (photo) They are looking for weapons and…

God, grant us peace!

With best wishes to all our organists on the occasion of St. Cecilia!!!

The Word… Preparation for Advent and not only that. “There will rise up nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be strong earthquakes, and in places famine and pestilence; terrible phenomena and great signs in the sky will appear.” We in Ukraine have not only preparation for Advent. War. “Be ready, for at a moment you do not expect the Son of Man will come.” “Be ready” does not mean to be afraid and fearful. Be ready… God is love!

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

Vinnytsia:
Humanitarian aid on its way to liberated Kherson. We pray for our Benefactors. (photo)
Our first fraternal meeting of the whole community. (photo)

Bahmut:
Another bombing of so-called strategic objects: houses, stores, cultural centers. (photo)

Kyiv:
Another endless, yet necessary shutdown of electricity, which is having a very negative impact on the country’s economy. Another face of the war. Kyiv’s electricity is getting worse and worse.
The Shrine of Fr. Pio invites you to Eucharist. (photo)

Lviv:
Meeting of Br. Sergiy with the youth. Prayer for the homeland. (photo)

Krasyliv:
Capuchin Sisters with children and their parents. (photo)

May God grant us peace and guard us.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 269

November 20, 2022

God is merciful, he opened our eyes, gave us another day. In our area last night and morning were quiet. The first frost and snow. I can’t imagine the boys in the trenches, at the front. God, give us peace.

The Word… Here is your King! – “He has gifted you to participate in the division of the saints in the light.”
“He is the one who freed us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son….”
“He is the image of the invisible God ….”
“He is the Firstborn in relation to every creature, for in Him all things were created: both what is in the heavens and what is on the earth, entities visible and invisible, be they Thrones, or Dominions, or Superiorities, or Authorities.”
“All things were created by Him and for Him,” said the statement.
“He is before all things, and all things have existence in Him.”
“He is the Head of the Body – the Church.”
“He is the Beginning.”
“He is the Firstborn among the dead…..”
“He alone gained the preeminence in all things…”
“In Him all the Fullness dwelt, and that through Him all things should be reconciled to Himself again: through Him—and that which is on earth and that which is in the heavens….”
“He having made peace through the blood of His cross”.
“Christ the leader, Christ the king, Christ the ruler to us.”

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

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on times of war:
“In times of war, we need to worry less about whether God is on our side and more about whether we are on God’s side.”

The newspapers write about us:
“At the request of Mrs. Magda Kaczmarek (Kirche in Not), we gave a short interview to a Slovak magazine about Capuchin life in Lviv. The article describes our life while we were still living on Mazepa Street. We tell about our survival of the war, about trying to be close to the people, about ‘street’ pastoral care, about Sunday worship in the city center and about the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian people against the aggression of the Russian federation.”

Kramatorsk:
Another 14 houses damaged, ruined by Russian bombs. (photo)

Kyiv:
“Youth Allfa” meeting. (photo)

News from the friars:

Krasyliv:
Peace !
In Krasyliv it was white from snow and one could say red from the blood of another soldier who died in the war. Traditionally, a solemn procession led the body of the deceased through the city to the sound of bells also ours.
And at the Retreat House, we have had a “School of Mary” since yesterday (probably about 90 people) and despite the fact that yesterday they still turned off the electricity (not today for the time being) we are doing quite well thanks to a lot of independence in the means of energy (soon we will be 80/90% independent of the state I think).
And today I am picking up from the 9th kilometer Br. Andrew, the new vice-director of the “School of Mary” and a member of our community….
And two brothers from our Krasyliv community (Leonid K. and Anton still from our community until yesterday) since yesterday are studying in Horodok for chaplaincy—just like in the old seminary days – only the profile has changed a little. Greetings to all !

Uzhgorod:
New chandelier in the church! (Let us pray for our Benefactors)

Br. Vladislav Gmyrko
Kamianske/Horodok:
The first part of the “School of Chaplains” in Horodok.
Present: Vadym, Leonid K., Anton and Vladislav. (Capuchin friars)

Krasyliv:
Making of candles for the army continues in Krasyliv next Saturday. (photo)

Starokostiantyniv:
We built, we built… and we finished. Tomorrow there will be a full photo because there was no light in the evening. (photo)

May God bless us and grant us peace !!!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 268

November 19, 2022

Thank God for a new day. We opened our eyes. We have electricity in Vinnystia, in our neighborhood—we had it yesterday all day long.
Very difficult situation is with Kyiv: energy crisis, war, air raids have done their part. Frost. God, give us peace!

The Word… We have a war in Ukraine. And we have Psalm 144, which gives strength to fight—but only against the Russian occupiers? “Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war; my safeguard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge.”

There is a war against something more serious, and the enemy is not just the Russian, but the one who can take my life, eternal life. “our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” “He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Christ the Lord! Christ the King! Christ the Ruler of us!

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

Vinnytsia:
Brother Joseph, our superior in Vinnytsia happily returned with his companions. They brought a whole van packed with gifts from Poland for the needy and displaced people. Let’s pray for our Benefactors.
A fraternal walk with Br. Patryk in a city park, which used to be a Catholic cemetery. (photo)
Derusification: Empty sites where monuments used to stand.
Decommunization: Crosses and traces of victims of stalinism and communism. (photo)
Christ the King. Christ the Ruler of us!

Kyiv:
Very frequent power outages, related to destruction wrought by Russian missiles. This is also a form of suffering for the simple people and the Ukrainian economy.

Zaporizhzhya:
As a result of Russian air raids near Zaporizhzhya 10 innocent, defenseless people including as many as three children were killed. (photo) God, give us peace.

Vinnystia:
30th anniversary of the founding of the community of the Secular Franciscan Order at our monastery. Venerable friars minor Capuchins, assistants. Deo gratias!!! (photo)

Ukraine:
A beautiful woman! (photo) Ukraine does not want a stranger, Ukraine defends its own!  Glory to Ukraine! Слава Україні!

Krasyliv:
(From Sr. Malgorzata Stankiewicz, Capuchin Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
“Day 268 with a glass of water and war. Our house became noisy again today. A lot of people came to the retreat, to Mary’s school. There is war, rockets are flying, there are alarms, often there is no light, no water, but… but there are people who know that it takes something more to live. A light bulb is not enough, a full kettle is not enough. It takes that electricity from Him, that light, that water. If He is not there, we shrivel up like a violet, to pepper. But if it’s the Sun that burns us, and the water seeps down to the root, then we have a chance for the fleshy green of life, and then we can manage, even in the most uncomfortable pot. Somehow nature has been teaching me a lot lately. And outside the windows there is already snow, so white that even the lack of electricity does not darken this whiteness.
Today at the kindergarten I had a meeting with wonderful parents. I like them very much, even if sometimes we have different opinions. Usually these differences inspire me to keep talking, to bring up more topics that are so good to talk about together.
I hope that soon we will be able to surprise the kids together. As I think about it, I think my eyes are smiling a little and my heart too. I trust that nothing will prevent us and everyone will show their acting skills.” (photo)

Lviv:
Another invitation to the Prayer of Worship with Mary, in the Latin Cathedral. (photo)

May God bless us and keep us safe.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 267

November 18, 2022

In yesterday morning’s air raids innocent people were killed, civilians. Some were wounded. Most affected were people in Dnipro, where our brothers live. (photo) Thank God, the brothers are alive. God, give us peace!

Frosty morning. The first serious frost. A little snow. Our boys at the front, in the trenches, risk their lives to defend us from Russian occupation.

God, give us peace!

The Word… This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. The Word prepares us. “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” A house of prayer, a house of intimate listening to God, the King. A den of robbers, a place of turmoil, violence, rivalry, war. Your heart? We are invited to a home, a close, intimate relationship, where the King is the one who loves you and gave his life for you. God is love. Christ the Master! Christ the Ruler. Christ the Lord over us!!!

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

Patriotism. There comes a time for everything. In a jar buried but unforgettable Ukrainian flag that saw the light of day. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes! Слава Україні! Героям слава!

Vinnytsia:
The resting place of mortal remains (relics) of the Venerable Servant of God Fr. Seraphim Kaszuba. At the grave, candle —light, flowers—life. Thanks to the Custos of the grave of Fr. Seraphin, Brother Joseph.
Main nave. (photo) Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. (photo) All-day Adoration, welcome…
Modernity in the form of television. (photo) God is love!

Winter. Brother Stasiu from Starokostiantyniv announces winter with a smile on his face. (photo) Stasiu, soon spring will come and with it new hope for an end of the war.

School of icons. Ms. Dorota who teaches nuns from Argentina and the USA the art of icon writing was a student of our Capuchin “Eikonon schole” in Uzhgorod. Perhaps she outgrew her teachers? It is not for me to judge. (photo)

Lviv:
Invitation to the next “Marian night of vigil.”
Archbishop Mieczyslaw of Lviv and Bishop Jan Soblova of Zaporizhzhya and accompanying persons with the Holy Father Francis. (photo)

From the brothers of the Custody:

Lviv:
Deo gratias! With the help of God and the Secular Franciscans, we have completed the reconstruction of the friary in Lviv. (photo)

Kyiv:
Info for those diligently following the renovations (especially our provincial vicar). Unfortunately, due to frost, the work is on hold until spring. What remains to be done are stairs to the monastery and the continuation of the square and parking lot. We are waiting… Spring will come soon. (photo)
Transferring the parish into good hands. The Pastor and “She-Pastor” (Adam and Jula). (photo)
Christian Rescue Service at Padre Pio House cooks lunches for 100 military personnel. (photo)

Lviv:
“Found” a nice car for our soldiers. Thank God for the sponsors , Andrew Lysokon and mechanics who brought this vehicle to efficiency. Victory is closer to us than we think! (photo) Jesus is the Lord!

Starokostiantyniv:
In Starkon the main altar is being erected. (photo)

May God guard us and hold His fatherly hand over us.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 266

November 17, 2022

The night passed peacefully. First alarms in Kyiv at 8 o’clock. Two missiles were shot down over Kyiv. The war continues. In Vinnytsia it was calm. The first fine snow appeared!

Currently three Iranian drones have been seen over Vinnytsia. Once again the whole Ukraine “in red”. In the whole state air raid alerts.

The Word: In this Word there is hope for an end to war and a just peace: “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” One request: “Do not harden your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord.”
Christ the Lord. Christ the King. Christ the Ruler over us!
God is love!

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

Vinnytsia:
This is my first letter, which I am writing from my new place of life and pastoral work. I arrived yesterday afternoon. I thank the brothers, nuns and parishioners of Kyiv. The brothers in Vinnytsia welcomed me very warmly making me aware of the unique place and strategic location of our monastery. May God protect us!

Kyiv:
The sisters, especially Sr. Bogumila, with the help of the brothers continue to assist our displaced and refugees. (photo)

Starokostiantyniv:
Complicated work on the installation of the Capuchin altarpiece is underway. (photo)
We protest against the war—with work.

Uzhgorod:
Collecting humanitarian aid for Kherson. (photo)
Since yesterday we have been laying tile on the steps in front of the church. (photo)

Dnipro:
Nothing special, only three missiles arrived, and perhaps four, the sound of the bombs was the same as on February 24… We have electricity and we celebrate St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

May God protect us!

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 265

November 16, 2022

Yesterday after lunch, all of Ukraine was “red”. About 100 missiles were fired by Russia into Ukraine. Consequences of the liberation of Kherson and the beginning of the G20 convention without Putin. 70 rockets were destroyed by Ukrainian air defense systems, as many as 15 hit the power infrastructure. This was the largest missile attack on the power grid since the beginning of the war. This is how Russian terrorism manifests itself. (photo) Winter is coming. The first frosts. God, grant us peace.

The Word… The previous two days, the Word about the blind man at Jericho and Zacchaeus. For various reasons, they could not see or hear. Jesus met with them and removed the obstacle. Today we have a different situation: “for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.” The answer: “Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.” “God opposes the proud, gives grace to the humble.” God is love.

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

Starokostiantyniv:
Construction of the high altar is nearly completed. (photo) We pray for our Benefactor, Mr. Nicholas, who is the sponsor and contractor.
Evening Mass in our friars choir without lights. (photo)

Kyiv:
This morning we had no light. Our community prayers were held, as yesterday, with lights of smartphones. (photo) God give us peace !
Yesterday, during the air raids, one mother came with two small children to our “shelter”, the lower church. After an hour more and more people are coming down to the shelter. Already there are about 10 mothers with small children.

Krasyliv:
Brother Maciej invites you to celebrate the name day of two of our Leonid brothers. Once again, 100 years! Многая літа!
Somewhere over Starokostiantyniv or Krasyliv a missile was supposedly knocked down. There was quite a strong bang. We saw four more missiles flying further. Maybe towards Lviv.

Lviv:
Shelling in Lviv. I heard 4 explosions on the street. There was no blast, but the explosions were not quiet.
We celebrate the liberation of Kherson from the occupiers. (photo)

May God protect us and grant us peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 264

November 15, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 263

November 14, 2022

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

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

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

We live in war, we don’t live by war.

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

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

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

Bahmut:
City Hero, with no comments. (photo)

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

Lviv:
Prayer of worship at the Cathedral. (photo)

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

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

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

May God protect us and grant us peace !

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 262

November 13, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

God loves you!

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

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

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

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

Lviv:
Invitation to next Prayer of Worship. (photo)

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

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

May God grant peace.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 261

November 12, 2022

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

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

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

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

God is love!

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

Poland/Ukraine:
Let’s once again remember yesterday’s holiday together. (photo)

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

God, bless us.

Letters from Br. Błażej: Night 260

November 11, 2022

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

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/WarNewsPL1/status/1590971261592604672

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/UnFM3UiSgQw

May God show us the true face and guard us!

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