Easter Greetings from Ukraine

As we have shared in other posts on this blog, the Discalced Carmelite friars are busy in Berdychiv and Kyiv, Ukraine, where they minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of the people.

Members of the Secular Order are present in other cities throughout the country, where they bring the Teresian charism to the local Church. Secular Order members in Kyiv and Berdychiv are collaborating with the friars, as well.

Meanwhile, all of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Ukraine have fled the country for safety to seek refuge in Polish monasteries, where they have been warmly received.

On 13 April the Discalced Carmelite General Curia announced that Father General Miguel Márquez Calle would go to Ukraine to visit the friars, nuns, and laity for the Paschal Triduum.

Each day, Father General Miguel has sent a chronicle of his trip, a journal outlining his meetings, impressions, and emotions at every encounter and liturgy during his travel. He met with nuns who had fled Ukraine for safety in Krakow; in the company of some of the friars, he traveled seven hours by car from the border to reach our church and convent in Berdychiv, where they had to pass checkpoints and saw the horrors of war all along the way. In Kyiv, he visited Bishop Vitalii Kryvytskyi, S.D.B. on Saturday 16 April, offering him the gift of a relic of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. These daily journal entries in Spanish have been published on Facebook.

On Easter Sunday 17 April 2022, Father General Miguel Márquez Calle visited Bucha, along with the Discalced Carmelite Provincial Delegate Father Jozef and Father Benedict, who has ministered in Ukraine for roughly 30 years. They were joined by another friar, Father Maciej, as well as a volunteer. Along the way, they were joined by the rector of the major seminary, Father Ruslan, and additional volunteers.

For Father General Miguel, this trip to Bucha was very moving; he wrote in his journal that he would never forget this Easter Sunday “all the days of my life.” This suburb of Kyiv was the site of a horrific massacre; Father Ruslan and the volunteers showed Father General the site of the Russian encampment in the nearby forest. Father General wondered aloud, “How can life be harmed to such an extent?… We remained silent and prayed.”

Then, Father General Miguel recorded a video to send Easter greetings to the entire Order from Bucha, Ukraine. At the burial ground where they all had just prayed for the dead, Father Miguel wished to extend resurrection greetings: “to all the Order we wish you a Happy Easter where death does not have the last word.”

Discalced Carmelite Superior General Miguel Márquez Calle, O.C.D. speaking from Bucha in a video published by the Discalced Carmelite General Curia on 17 April 2022 | Video copyright © 2022 Discalced Carmelite Friars (All rights reserved)

Nota Bene: In the 17 April update published in Spanish on Facebook by the General Curia of the Discalced Carmelites, Father General Miguel wrote:

In the people of Kyiv, the risen Lord Jesus appeared to me, smiling, and blessed me in his smile… a young girl blessed me spontaneously... Christ has risen for me in the faith of a people, in their hope. How fortunate I am to be here, and that you are here with me!

To learn more about the needs of the Discalced Carmelites in Ukraine, visit the General Curia’s appeal, CALL FOR HELP UKRAINE

We extend our thanks to the Secretary for Information of the Discalced Carmelite General Curia, Father José Pereira, O.C.D., for granting us permission to bring you Father General’s message with English subtitles.

Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

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