A Prayer for Ukraine
Gracious God, we pray for the people of Ukraine suffering from war.
May they be held in your loving care and protection and given the strength to endure their suffering and hardship.
Transform the hearts and minds of those who perpetuate the violence and oppression.
Grant wisdom to world leaders in advancing efforts toward peace; may they not be compromised by self-interest and blind indifference.
We ask all this through the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and in the name of your Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Letter to the Faithful from Archbishop Peter Comensoli
25 February 2022
Message concerning Russian military incursion into the nation of Ukraine
Dear faithful in Christ,
It is with deep concern and heartbreak that we witness the military incursion of Russian forces into the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Violent conflict is never the answer to tensions between nations; reconciliation will not come by way of unjustified military imposition.
Despite Australia being such a long way away, nonetheless the prospect of war in Europe will impact not only on the innocent civilians of Ukraine, but on all who seek harmony between peoples.
May our own attention to the worrying development of conflict in Europe turn our hearts to prayer.
As we pray for that gift of peace that only the Lord Jesus can give, may we also bring into our prayer the peoples of Lebanon and the Middle East, and in African countries such as Ethiopia and Nigeria. It is not without deep concern that religious faith is part of the story in each of these places.
The Holy Father has invited the global Church to a day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace on Ash Wednesday (2 March). My brother in Christ, Bishop Mykola Bychok, the Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia, will join me at the 1pm Cathedral Mass on Ash Wednesday, and will preach at that Mass. That evening, I will then join him at the Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul, North Melbourne, for a Liturgy of Intercession for Peace.
All of us can do what we can in praying for the emerging conflict, for the conversion of hearts, especially for national leaders, and for working in our own back yard for peaceful action of justice and reconciliation. May I suggest that at parish Masses this Sunday, the 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time, that parishes use the Prayers for the Mass available for use “In Time of War or Civil Disturbance” (RM. p1362) and one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation.
For private prayer, perhaps we could turn to the prayer of Jesus for peace in John’s Gospel (Ch14). May the God of peace enter the hearts of those who are intent on war, and may the Queen of Peace intercede with her Son, the Prince of peace, for the sake of the peoples of Ukraine here and in their homeland.
With every grace and blessing, I remain,
Yours in Christ Jesus
Most Rev Peter A Comensoli
ARCHBISHOP of MELBOURNE
In Majellan Family Media Fr John Hodgson CSsR writes:
I greet you on a tragic morning after an invasion by Russia into the sovereign country of Ukraine. That which was foretold over the past months has now happened, and will continue to happen without some major intervention. I invite us to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people – and with people of peace everywhere – to seek an immediate ceasefire, a withdrawal of all troops and a resolve to engage diplomacy as our only way forward.
It is beyond belief that a leader would blatantly provoke conflict and create an opportunity to go to war in such a way that thousands of people will lose their lives. This is terrorism at its worst, act of madness and incredibly evil. So many leaders, both elected and unelected, show a sorry disregard for humanity. For many world leaders today, it’s all about themselves, their lust to wield absolute power, and their ability to create so many willing followers who benefit by their bullying tactics. How do we let this happen so often?
Please do whatever you can in your community / family / workplace to look deep into this conflict, and by understanding better the dynamics of how the world’s politicians got us to this point of war, we might learn enough how to stop it and be brave enough to do so.
Come Holy Spirit – destabilise our desires for conflict and lead us to peace!
Fr John Hodgson CSsR
Redemptorists of Oceania