By Sister George Ann Biscan, ASC
On Monday, March 14, 2022, over 250 Parishioners and community members from various Christian denominations gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Columbia, PA for a prayer vigil for the people of Ukraine. A number of Ukrainians were also present from the different areas of the Diocese of Harrisburg. The Ukraine Bishop from Jenkintown, PA was there with several of his priests. We were happy to welcome the Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
The Pastors from the Columbia Area Ministerium of Churches came forward during the service to pray and give a reflection on the suffering and needs of the people. After each prayer, a song for peace was sung. The Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Most Reverend Andriy Rabily spoke of his homeland and how much suffering his people are going through from the Russian soldiers. He asked that we pray for them and the needs of the country. He spoke of how many of his people have already fled to neighboring countries. They had to leave with nothing but a few essentials. “This war is evil….comes from the devil,” said Bishop Rabiy. Ukraine has been a peaceful, self-sufficient country.
This was a very moving, prayerful vigil. I had the privilege of welcoming and talking to the Bishop when he arrived. Then I asked his name and he said Bishop Rabiy. OOPS! My face turned red and then we both laughed. He was so easy to talk too.
The last thing Bishop Rabiy said to me as he was leaving was “Sister please pray, pray hard for our people and pray so that peace will come very soon.” We need your prayers.
Thank you to Father Stephen Kelly, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and Father Michael Letteer, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Spring Grove who hosted the evening and Mr. John Leaman the Ecumenical Officer of Holy Trinity who planned and organized the vigil on behalf of the Columbia Area Ministerium of Churches.