Support for Ukraine

A letter from the State Deputy of British Columbia and the Yukon:

My Brother Knights,

I am sure all of you are aware of the disturbing violence in the Ukraine over the past several weeks. I hope that you are also aware that over the past 12 months, the Knights of Columbus has chartered several Councils and initiated several Brother Knights in Ukraine. Our Brothers now need our prayers in support and encouragement as they literally struggle to maintain the freedoms that we often take for granted here in Canada.

During the initial phases of the protests that the citizens of Kiev were committed to keeping peaceful, the clergy and the Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church set up a makeshift chapel and celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Independence Square in the area between the lines of protesters and riot police. This presence of the Church helped to reinforce the desire that the no blood be shed in the protests. One of the celebrants in those early few days was our State Chaplain, Bishop Ken who was in Ukraine for meetings of the permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

As you have seen on many news reports, the situation has deteriorated badly and many civilians have been killed. In addition, our Ukrainian Catholic Church leaders have been threatened with criminal charges for ministering to the protesters, especially the injured and dying members of their parishes. Our priests have been ordered by the Government not to go out among their people who need them. If our priests and bishops continue to offer Mass for the people of Ukraine and minister to their needs, we have a real possibility that the Catholic Church in Ukraine could be declared an illegal institution and driven back underground in a manner similar to what Catholics faced under former Soviet rule.

Accordingly, our Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Lawrence has issued a pastoral letter to all Ukrainian Catholics in Canada that I firmly believe should be read by all my Brother Knights in British Columbia & Yukon. I have attached the letter in both Ukrainian and English for you.

I have also attached an e-mail response from our State Chaplain to the President of the Canadian Association of the Knights of Columbus endorsing the suggestion that we designate Sunday March 2 as a National Knights of Columbus Day of Prayer for the Ukraine.

I am, therefore, directing every Council and Assembly in the jurisdiction to act immediately upon this request from our State Chaplain in support of the people of Ukraine. You will find a suggested petition to include in the prayers of the Faithful that I would ask you to give to your pastors for inclusion in all Masses on Saturday March 1, and Sunday March 2.

Thank you in advance for your tireless action to support the oppressed and especially when it is our Brother Knights who are the ones in need of our prayers.


Edward Shawchuk
Canadian Association of the Knights of Columbus

State Deputy
British Columbia & Yukon State Council
Knights of Columbus

Appeal of the Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchy of Canada – English
Appeal of the Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchy of Canada – Ukrainian

The letter from the President of the Canadian Association of the Knights of Columbus:

Worthy State Deputies from Canada.

As you know, there is a large portion of our Canadian Brother that are of Ukrainian ancestry. Here is a pastoral letter addressed to them as well as all the rest of us.

It has been suggested that a National Day of Prayer for the Ukraine be organized. I would like to suggest that Sunday March 2nd 2014 be that day. As suggested on the Supreme Web Site KofC – St Francis Prayer  we could use the prayer of St Francis to pray for our Brothers Knights in Ukraine as well as pray for the general population and hope that the conflict in the Ukraine ends soon and that the senseless bloodshed and loss of life stops.

If you agree, please give this email the widest distribution possible in your respective Provinces, in the shortest of delays.

In addition, please view the following video requesting folks to engage politicians by whatever means possible so they assist in ending the bloodshed in the Ukraine. Use discretiond an see what can be done.

Thank You and Vivat Jesus!

Gilles Doiron
State Deputy Saskatchewan
President Canadian Association of Knights of Columbus.

State Chaplain, Bishop Ken Nowakowski, responds to the letter from the President of the Canadian Association of Knights of Columbus

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Brother Knights,

I would like to thank you for this suggestion and I fully endorse it.  It would be wonderful if each Council could be alerted and ask their parish priest that  at each Divine Liturgy and Sunday Mass on Sunday, 2 March be marked by a prayer for Ukraine.  The Litany – prayer intention: 

We also pray for the people of Ukraine, that with the help of the Holy Spirit, they may obtain social peace, political harmony and economic stability: Lord, hear us and have mercy.

would be suitable for use during the Divine Liturgy and Mass.  Then either at the end of the Mass or at the end of the Homily the Prayer of Saint Francis could be recited by all of the faithful.

I am departing for Ukraine tomorrow (Friday, 21 February).  I will be meeting with His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church who was one of the first in Ukraine to become a Knight of Columbus last year, and will personally advise him of this prayer initiative of the Knights.

On Sunday, 2 March I am scheduled to depart Ukraine on my way back to Canada.  During my own celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday 2 March, I will unite my prayers with all of our brother Knights and the faithful of the Church in Canada.

Please keep me along with all of our sisters and brothers in Ukraine in your prayers.

With assurance of my own prayerful best wishes for you and my Episcopal blessings, I remain,

Fraternally yours in the Lord,

Bishop Ken Nowakowski
Eparch of New Westminster for Ukrainian Catholics in British Columbia and Yukon
British Columbia and Yukon State Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus