On behalf of the faithful, consecrated religious and clergy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada we wish to express our deep appreciation to the Executive of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) for the prayerful support for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine during these tragic days. At the same time, we also wish to acknowledge the many expressions of solidarity from bishops, clergy, consecrated religious and faithful from across the country, who join with Ukrainian Catholics in Canada in expressing shock and dismay that in the 21st century such a war of aggression could occur in modern day Europe.
In watching the various news reports from Ukraine, it is interesting to note the many churches, bell towers and crosses that appear in the background. These remind us of the historic Christian roots of the Ukrainian people. One of the most prominent churches is Saint Sophia (Holy Wisdom) Cathedral in Kyiv. Built in the 11th century it features a beautiful mosaic of the Mother of God “Oranta” high above the sanctuary. The figure of Mary stands with her arms raised in prayer of intercession for the people of God. This figure of the Theotokos has remained undamaged over the millennia, withstanding foreign invasions, war and aggression. For this reason, she is given the additional title of the “Indestructible Wall.”
Today the sons and daughters of Ukraine continue to invoke Christ our Saviour, through the intercession of Mary Oranta, the Indestructible Wall, to bring an end to this unjust war and painful suffering. We pray for the strength of faith especially for those most closely affected by this war. And we invite all to join us in this ancient prayer of supplication to the Mother of God:
We flee to the shelter of your mercy, O Virgin Mother of God. Do not reject our prayers of anguish, but free us from tribulation, o only pure and blessed one.
+ Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg
+ David Motiuk, Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton, Administrator of the Eparchy of New Westminster
+ Bryan Bayda, CSsR, Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon, Administrator of the Eparchy of Toronto & Eastern Canada
Donations for Ukraine can be sent to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association:
- Visit cnewa.org/ca/campaigns/ukraine
- Call 1-866-322-4441
- Send cheques to: CNEWA Canada, 223 Main Street, Box 80, Ottawa ON K1S 1C4