Bishop Salvatore R. Matano will attend an Ecumenical Prayer Service to the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Josephat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 940 Ridge Road East, Rochester, on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m.
The faithful are invited to attend the service.
Bishop Matano also has sent the letter below to leaders of the four Ukrainian Catholic parishes located within the territory of the Diocese of Rochester: Very Reverend Roman T. Sydorovych, Rochester Ukrainian Catholic Church of Epiphany, Rochester; Right Reverend Mitered Archpriest Philip Weiner, St. Josephat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Rochester; Reverend Vasile Colopelnic, Ss Peter and Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Auburn; and Reverend Robert Moreno, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, Elmira Heights:
February 24, 2022
My dear brother priests:
On behalf of the Diocese of Rochester, I offer to you, Fathers, and to the members of your parish communities of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, our union with you in prayer for a peaceful resolution to the very painful situation in Ukraine. May the Prince of Peace bring an end to the turbulence and tragedies of war now plaguing your people, especially the relatives of your parishioners residing in the Ukraine.
As we approach the holy season of Lent, in solidarity with you we pray for peace throughout our world as so many brothers and sisters are the victims of hatred and terrible acts of inhumanity. In union with the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of the United States, we pray: “May our eyes be upon the Lord, may God’s Word be upon our lips, may our hearts be full of hope… We put our trust in God and ask for divine intervention… We pray for the safety and courage of the people of Ukraine. We admire their faith and fortitude. We beseech the Lord to preserve the country and its people from further invasion.” (Pray for Peace in Ukraine, An Appeal of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of the United States, February 12, 2022).
We take to heart the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, who appealed to those “with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.” (General Audience, February 23, 2022). His Holiness has asked that March 2, 2022, Ash Wednesday, be a day of prayer and fasting, beseeching the Lord to grant us peace: “I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.” We are united with Pope Francis in raising our voices to the Good Shepherd, the Crucified One, who died that we might live.
May the Lord grant eternal rest to those who have died in these terrible conflicts and bring healing and consolation to their families.
United in faith, hope and charity, I remain
Respectfully yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano
Bishop of Rochester