Archbishop Gomez offers prayers in message to Los Angeles’ Ukrainian Catholic community

Archbishop Gomez offers prayers in message to Los Angeles’ Ukrainian Catholic community

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Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Los Angeles, Calif., Feb 27, 2022 / 16:06 pm (CNA).

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles wrote Sunday to the city’s Ukrainian Catholic parish, assuring them of his solidarity and the prayers of the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“Please know that your Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will always be near to you in solidarity and prayer. We are praying for a swift end to the evil of this war,” Archbishop Gomez wrote Feb. 27 to Father Ihor Koshyk, pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Los Angeles. The parish is part of the the Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Nicholas of Chicago.

“We ask Jesus Christ, the Lord of Peace, to touch the hearts of the aggressors, and move them to conversion. We also call on those in authority to seek a just peace that recognizes the dignity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian people.”

Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24. More than 368,000 Ukrainians have already fled the country. Ukraine’s forces have reportedly regained control over all of Kharkiv, in the country’s east.

The archbishop added, “I deplore the Russian invasion of your homeland of Ukraine. I am praying intensely for your families and all your loved ones back home.”

 “My prayers in this moment, are especially for the innocent victims caught up in this violence, especially the many families who have lost their homes and livelihoods,” he said. “May God strengthen them, especially the little children. And may God protect the many thousands who are now forced to seek refuge from this senseless bloodshed.”

 “My dear brothers and sisters, our trust is in the Lord, who guides history according to his loving plan of salvation. We know that His thoughts are of peace and not of affliction, that He crushes wars and casts down the proud. So let us call upon Him in confidence and ask that He banish this violence from our midst and wipe away all tears.”

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