Ukrainian solidarity

November 8, 2022

The UK has long been home to a thriving Ukrainian community, but many more people have arrived since the start of hostilities.

John McManus, Head of Media and Communications for Jesuits in Britain, went to see how the cathedral at the heart of the community has rapidly adapted to support their spiritual and practical needs - with help from the Jesuits.

Sitting in the drawing room of the living quarters that form part of the Ukrainian Catholic cathedral in central London, Father Taras Ditchuk is understandably emotional as he describes in his native language the effect that the war has had on him and those closest to him.

Two months after the invasion, he, his wife and two children arrived in London and since then he's been working at the cathedral, while his children settle into a new school.

"It was very difficult for the children at first, but they have been welcomed by their teachers and found many new friends. They're still learning English."

Fr Taras, like several clergy who have arrived in Britain, is now ministering to other displaced Ukrainians, some of whom are living with family members, others of whom have registered with the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.

"God provided priests for the faithful and there are many faithful here. God directs us to be here. I never thought I would be - but I trust in providence."

You can read the rest of this article on page 14 of Jesuits & Friends - Winter 2022.

Photo by Tina Hartung on Unsplash

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