The head of the UGCC meets with families of prisoners and missing persons

31 January, 09:33
The head of the UGCC meets with families of prisoners and missing persons - фото 1
On January 30, His Beatitude Sviatoslav met with the families of prisoners of war and missing persons at the Patriarchal House in Lviv. The event was attended by about seventy representatives of the families of prisoners, mainly from Halychyna. There was also the mother of a military man from occupied Berdyansk.

This is reported by the UGCC Information Department.

During the meeting, the Primate addressed the families of the defenders with a parental word of support and spoke about the opportunities and efforts that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is making to free The Defenders of Ukraine from Russian captivity from 2014 to the present day. His Beatitude Sviatoslav assured the families present of the church's prayerful support and also personally promised that everything possible would be done to find the relatives and friends of these people. He urged them to put their loved ones in God's hands and, most importantly, not to give up under any circumstances.

At the beginning of the meeting, the organizers, including the coordinators of the Center of the Commissioner for Missing Persons in Kyiv region, Anastasia Holishevska, and in Lviv region Maria Petryshyn, emphasized that since 2014 they have been constantly supported by the head and clergy of the UGCC.

"We all dream of winning, and I also dream that after this victory, we will be together, whole families. This ministry that God has given us is very difficult indeed. Today, the number of hostages and missing persons is growing. We are grateful that the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and His Beatitude Sviatoslav are asking the international community for support in this matter and are constantly raising it at the international level," said Anastasia Golishevska.

The head of the UGCC first of all thanked the families for the meeting. "I am very pleased to see you all, to look into your tearful eyes, even to cry with you, to share your pain. I want to hug you today and express my respect for your suffering, for the patience that you are experiencing," the Primate said.

The Patriarch said that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church had been accompanying and supporting its children since 2014: both children who are on the front line and their wives, mothers, and children who stay at home.

The head of the UGCC, telling the families of military prisoners about how the UGCC helps in their return, assured that the Church would never leave them alone with this pain.

"First of all, when we receive lists of prisoners or missing persons, we pray for them. We accept them as lists of those who are served in the service of God. I then hand them over to Pope Francis, asking God to take them into his own hands as well. Last week, I personally handed over to the Pope a list with 41 names of doctors. Most of them were in Mariupol, in Azovstal," the head of the UGCC said.

He also recalled two UGCC priests who have been held captive for the fourth month. Moreover, there is no information about them except that they are subjected to daily torture.

"Personally, I promise you that everything that we can do in a human way, we will do to find your family and friends. Let's put the rest in the hands of God! We pray, work, knock on doors, and never give up! I would so much like to meet you on the same day with your sons and husbands and thank God for their return. It is important to forge our common victory step by step, despite the pain and despair," His Beatitude Sviatoslav added.

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After that, the women had the opportunity to tell His Beatitude Svyatoslav the stories of their captured children or husbands, including about the missing girl. The mother of her captured son from Berdyansk shared a story about the circumstances of life in the city occupied by Russian invaders, as well as her story of conversion to God. The woman is confident that the Ukrainian Church is needed in these territories, which would give people a meeting with God so that they can constantly be with God and in God.

Families had the opportunity to pass on lists and information about their relatives to the head of the Church.