Ukraine celebrates the Day of Military Chaplain
"The ministry of a priest in the army is responsible and difficult because every day, the pastor must support soldiers in difficult situations with his preaching and incessant prayer for each serviceman and the motherland. This was especially evident in 2014, with the beginning of the war in Donbas. Then hundreds of our clergymen went to the front line to support the spirit of our heroes with their pastoral word, and with their sincere prayer to ask the Lord for their protection in battle, victory, and peace," the UGCC military chaplaincy Center told RISU.
This center also serves in military educational institutions and military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
UGCC chaplains are constantly with the Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine, and many pastors provide spiritual care in rehabilitation centers and military families.
As RISU was told by Fr Rostislav Vysochan, Head of the Department for Pastoral Affairs in the Armed Forces of Ukraine under the Department of Military Chaplaincy of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC, since the beginning of the war, more than 170 priests of the UGCC have visited the war zone in eastern Ukraine, 800 rotations have taken place. Another part of the clergy visited the zone simply as volunteers, without registering as chaplains. Currently, 70 chaplains are actively working, including 34 full-time ones.
The press service of the OCU also stated that approximately 600 military chaplains of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have passed the Anti-Terrorist Operation and the Joint Forces operation, and are currently engaged in pastoral activities among the military throughout Ukraine, including where assistance is particularly needed-at the front.
"They are special ministers, because in war, during shelling, bloodshed, fear, despondency, they must be close to those who protect our lives, support their spirit, and protect human virtues during the horrors of war," the OCU said in a statement.