A Ukrainian priest living in Ireland believes the Easter story can bring hope to displaced people fleeing war and worried about loved ones back home.
Ather Vasyl Kornitsky, the chaplain of Dublin’s Ukrainian congregation, said his congregation has quadrupled in size as Ukrainians have gathered for common prayer in recent weeks.
He has an important message of hope for Easter Sunday.
“At Easter we Ukrainians sing a beautiful hymn that goes: ‘Christ has risen from the dead and tramples death with death.’ That is our message of hope,” he said.
“Easter always comes after Good Friday. Easter is victory over death and sin.
“It is our hope that Easter always comes after Good Friday – and for that it has to come Ukraine.”
Ukraine celebrates Easter next weekend, but Father Kornitsky and parishioners have spent the last few days making preparations to ensure they have some of the comforts of home.
“It’s the most celebrated festival in Ukraine and I know people will get even more homesick – missing their families back home. People are worried.
“Many of them are stressed or traumatized and even depressed. I think it’s going to be a lonely time for some.
“A lot is possible. For example, on Thursday we baked Easter bread here in Donnycarney because there is a tradition in Ukraine for people to use their own kitchen to bake Easter bread – but many people are now staying in hotels and may not have access to a kitchen.
“So we got together here in Donnycarney and baked 350 Easter loaves for people to take home ahead of our Ukrainian Easter.
“When people come together, gather and prepare for Easter, they feel at home.
“When you feel at home you feel safe and I think it’s very important that people who fled the war in Ukraine feel safe.
“We are praying for peace in Ukraine, we are praying for our families back home and we are praying for a great miracle, the Easter message.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/we-are-praying-for-an-easter-miracle-says-ukrainian-priest-in-dublin-parish-41560288.html “We are praying for an Easter miracle,” says a Ukrainian priest in Dublin Parish