Bishop Fisher shares his prayers for Ukraine at Dnipro Cultural Center
In an ongoing show of support for the people of Ukraine, Bishop Michael W. Fisher and a contingent of diocesan officials visited and toured the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center in Buffalo April 7.
On a tour lead by cultural center president Emil Bandriwsky, and board member Bohdan Cherniawski and local Ukrainian activist Dianna Derhak, Bishop Fisher, Father Sean Paul Fleming, director of Worship, and Cheryl Calire, executive director of Pastoral Ministries, were provided the history of the Genesee Street building purchased post World War II. At one point in the tour, a Ukrainian map provided a backdrop as Cherniawski explained the current state of the war in the country as well as the war-torn nation’s cultural and religious diversity.
Two Ukrainian Catholic priests, Father Andrij Kasiyan and Father Mykola Drofych also stopped in and welcomed Bishop Fisher to the center.
During a quickly arranged media availability with news crews from local Buffalo area television stations, Bishop Fisher pledged support for efforts to aid the people of Ukraine.
“It is a very sad and horrific time in our world’s history and in the life of the Ukrainian people, but they are a very proud people, and we want to support them in their fight and their call to freedom and their call to be a people of faith,” Bishop Fisher explained. “We want to support them, and we need to see what we can do to help because we know there are humanitarian, as well as medical, needs for those who have been displaced. And we as Church want to do what we can to assist.”
“We are a people of faith, and you can see from the terrible images broadcast from the war that the only way our people can stand and fight is that we are a people of faith,” said Bandriwsky. “The support of the civilized world, of Europe and the United States … has helped allow Ukraine to fight for freedom and independence and the right to live as God’s intended us. Thank you, bishop, for coming.”
Stefan Mychajliw, the son of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants, coordinated the diocesan visit. All members of the cultural center are organizing humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation, a 501c3 charity.
The bishop’s visit follows the worldwide Catholic Church’s Act of Consecration of Humanity for Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25. The bishop, with a complement of priests and deacons, celebrated the Mass. A Time of Prayer for Ukraine was held later that evening at St. Joseph Cathedral as Bishop Fisher officiated a special Stations of the Cross with a reflection offered by the Very Reverend Marijan Procyk, pastor of Buffalo’s St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.