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West Michigan Ukrainian church leaders pray for loved ones, rally support

The priest of St. Michael, Roman Fedchyk, stands on a raised platform wearing a collar, golden robe over a white one. Beside him are religious icons of Jesus and Mary.
St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church
Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday.

As news continues to tumble in surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, local Ukrainian church leaders in Grand Rapids are asking Michigan for support.

"No matter what religion, walk of life, just pray," Roman Fedchyk, priest at St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church said.

Fedchyk, like many of the members of his congregation, has family in Ukraine. He said he remembers early indications of an future invasion all the way back in 2014.

"I came from Ukraine four years ago...I know the situation from the inside," he explained, "Russia [occupied] few parts of Ukraine and territory in 2014. But only in 2022, eight years after, the whole world started to know the truth."

Fedchyk has been talking with his family members who are still in the country. He said effects of the invasion are already being felt.

"My parents, my sister... I'm still worrying about them because yesterday one bomb was 20 miles from my home," he shared.

St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Churches across the nation are hosting days of prayer and are fundraising for their loved ones overseas.

"A lot of people lose their homes. A lot of people in the hospital now. They need support for leaving. They need food. They need medicine. They need money," he explained. "A lot of people they moved from their own homes to West Side of Ukraine or to Poland because there’s more safety."

Fedchyk is encouraging the entire West Michigan area to get involved and help.

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