On Ash Wednesday in DC, faith leaders say Ukrainian faith won’t falter – NBC4 Washington

At St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral in DC, parishioners observed Ash Wednesday with prayers for peace, for Ukraine and an end to wartime suffering.

“This Ash Wednesday, we are all painfully aware of the violence that has returned to our world,” said Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington. “Our Ukrainian sisters and brothers should be foremost in our prayers.”

The raging war was on the minds of many parishioners who showed signs of solidarity that were both subtle (a man wore the colors of the Ukrainian flag) and overt (another woman sat in the pews wrapped in the flag -same).

Bishop Borys Gudziak, Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, joined Wilton Cardinal Gregory on Wednesday afternoon.

He said that the faith of the Ukrainian people has been tested, but it will not waver.

“Ukrainians, as you can see, are enduring and it’s a leap of faith. It’s a leap of faith in God-given human dignity and freedom,” Gudziak said.

Today, the season of the slow recalls the 40 days Jesus spent alone in the desert, isolated and facing temptation.

Gregory said there were parallels to be drawn between the holy period and the plight of Ukrainians.

“I feel that same kind of encouragement and willingness to endure for the Ukrainian community to triumph not in a militaristic way, but in a humane way and certainly in a freedom way,” he said. -he declares.

This message is particularly poignant for parishioner Vitol Chrzanowski, an immigrant whose Polish parents have faced Russian aggression in the past.

“My family has been through what these people are going through, so for me celebrating Lent and coming here is really a process of salvation, redemption and purification,” he said.

Although the battle is still ongoing, Gudziak said the moral war has already been won.

“The whole world stands together in condemning this invasion,” he said. “Our Lord teaches that there is no greater love than when someone lays down their life for a friend and that is what we are seeing happening right now in Ukraine.”

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