Ukrainian bishop visits Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kyiv, Ukraine visited South Mississippi over the weekend to celebrate mass and talk about the plight his country is facing in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Voices joined together with one prayer: peace. As the Russia-Ukraine War continues to escalate, this is one prayer that many hope to be answered soon.

For five-and-a-half years, Bishop Louis Kihneman, Diocese of Biloxi, has prayed for peace in the Ukraine. Bishop Vitaliy Kryvytsky, of the Diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, finally had the chance to express his appreciation. “For the past year, we have been praying for each other, but we did not have the opportunity to meet. Now, the opportunity has come for us to finally be in the same place. So, I wanted to be here in person to personally thank everyone for these powerful prayers for unity and for peace.”

As guests at the mass lifted up their prayers for Ukraine alongside Bishop Vitaliy, they also helped financially. Bishop Kihneman told News 25 that there is a large material need in the Ukraine as well. “We, as I think a church, need to continue to reach out to those in need, whether they’re Catholic or not. However, in this circumstance, we have some of our Catholic brothers and sisters that are in great need in Ukraine. So, we are personally, individually, and as a church reaching out to them both in prayer but also in material needs. As Bishop Vitaliy has shared with me some of the things that they have needed, we have been able to provide the support they need to have that happen.”

The evening ended with a dinner, a sign of companionship between Biloxi and Ukraine.

If anyone would like to support Bishop Vitaliy and the people of Ukraine with a monetary gift, they can visit biloxidiocese.org/support-Ukraine.  As always, prayers for peace are welcomed as well.

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