Bishop Kulick: Pray for Peace in Ukraine

Bishop Kulick: Pray for Peace in Ukraine

(GREENSBURG, Pa., February 24, 2022) Today, Bishop Larry J. Kulick celebrated Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, and asked the faithful to pray for peace in Ukraine. To watch his Mass, visit the Diocese of Greensburg Facebook page. Here is the text of his Homily:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures and offer the sacrifice of the mass, our hearts and minds turn to the plight of the people of Ukraine. We pray for the Ukrainian Nation and its people, now caught up not by their own making into a terrible war which threatens the lives, safety and the progress of a people whose distinctive culture, identity and language is well over a millennium old. 

We stand united with all those who suffer during this time and we pray that peace and justice may reign in this region and throughout the world.

At moments like this, while we must be steadfast in our commitment to help those in need, and speak out boldly against these types of crimes against humanity, we ourselves must not fall into the sin of self-righteousness.

What I mean by that is that is easy, on one hand  to rant and rail against this autocracy because it is an intrinsically evil act, but miss the opportunity to allow this horror to serve as an opportunity to always examine our motivations and actions individually and corporately.

We are all called and reminded by the Lord not to be corrupt in our actions and deeds, in our way of life and how we treat one another in this life.

We have to keep in mind that we are all called to seek life that is greater than what we are often desiring and are familiar with. We are called to a life of holiness and virtue, to be filled with the grace and blessings of God in all things, and to dedicate ourselves to the path that God has shown us.

We ask ourselves: “how can things like this occur.”  This simple answer is when we turn away from God and his commands.

In our first reading today from the Epistle of St. James the Apostle, we heard the words of St. James speaking against the actions of the rich and the mighty, whom at that time often oppressed and manipulated the poor and the weak for their own selfish desires and benefits. Many of the rich and the powerful often sought to advance their own ambitions and to fulfil their own desires and plans, which often led to the sufferings of others through exploitation and many other things that man often did in order to secure their own advantages and privileges, and which often led to confrontations when their desires were not fulfilled.

St. James was addressing, in truth, was the attitudes and actions carried out by many among those who abused their power and prestige because of their wickedness and inability to resist the worldly temptations all around them.

We ourselves must take heed of this Gospel as well – it is our own often unhealthy attachment and obsession over those riches and worldly goods that we have to be wary for.

Otherwise, as many of our predecessors have experienced, we may find it difficult for us to resist those many temptations and may end up enriching ourselves or seeking our own personal happiness and pleasures while causing hurt, suffering and pain to others. And it is by these actions and wicked deeds that we shall be judged by the Lord in the end. That is why we must do our best to be righteous and virtuous in all things just as the Lord had told us to do.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has called for this coming Wednesday, Ash Wednesday to be a day of prayer and fasting for the people of Ukraine and for peace.

Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine.  I am asking the faithful of the Diocese to pray a rosary each day for the intentions of peace in Ukraine, in Europe and throughout the world now through Lent.

This morning Bishop Mark Bartchack of the Diocese of Altoona – Johnstown forwarded the Bishops of Pennsylvania this prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary which dates back to the 10th or 11th century.  It is special to the people of Ukraine. As the tragic conflict unfolds in Ukraine, we pray this prayer:

We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God. 

Despise not our prayers in our needs, 

but deliver us from all dangers, 

since you alone are pure and blessed.

O most glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, 

the Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers 

and present them to Your Son and our God, 

that for the sake of You, He enlighten and save our souls.

Slava Isusu Khrystos – Praised be Jesus Christ

Slava Na viky – Now and forever.


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