'Pray, pray, pray.' Hudson Valley Ukrainians watch in horror as Russians invade
These are dark times for Ukrainians in the Hudson Valley, and many are turning to the church for comfort.
"My dear brothers and sisters again and again I'm going to ask you - pray, pray, pray.“ That was the message during Thursday morning's Mass at St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yonkers.
As word came overnight that Vladimir Putin's Russian troops began their assault, the Ukraine community here watched in horror as airstrikes and bombs were launched in their homeland.
With heavy hearts, parishioners prayed amid worries for the safety of family in Ukraine. Nadya Solop says her parents and other family members live in a western city of Ukraine away from the bombing. So far, they are safe - but she worries. "We speak every day, but it's different because you can't hug and say how important, because they are the most important people to me."
Father Kiril Angelov says 99% of his parishioners have family in Ukraine, and he's doing his best to give comfort and spiritual guidance. "We will win with sincere prayers, and we will win with kindness."
Other Ukrainians in the Hudson Valley tell News 12 it's difficult not to feel helpless and frustration. "I can't go to my country, they can't come to me, and we don't know how it's going to finish," says Solop. "It's so hard, it's so hard to take this and swallow especially living in the 21st century, 2022, to have this in Europe in this civilization for me is unacceptable," says Father Angelov.
Father Angelov says his parishioners truly need support right now and invited people to come to Sunday services at 10 a.m. at St. Michael's to pray.