Visitors will give firsthand account of life in Ukraine
By Veronica Ambuul
COLORADO SPRINGS. A Catholic bishop, priest and religious sister from Ukraine will visit the Diocese of Colorado Springs in late August to raise awareness of the plight of Ukrainian citizens living through the war with Russia.
The visit is being sponsored by Colorado Springs-based Catholic Outreach to Neighbors in Ukraine (CONU), an organization founded by the late Father Paul Wicker in 1994 to help the Catholic Church rebuild in the previously Communist country.
Bishop Vitaly Skomarovsky, Father Oleksandr Zelinskyi and Sister Kamila Frydryszewska will be in Colorado Springs Aug. 23-Sept. 5. Bishop Skomarovsky, who as a young priest co-founded CONU with Father Wicker and currently serves as Bishop of Lutsk, will celebrate Mass with Bishop James Golka on Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. at Holy Apostles Parish.
The three will also attend the Bishop’s Respect Life Round-up on Aug. 24 at Flying W Ranch.
Father Zelinskyi is director of EWTN-Ukraine. Sister Kamila is one of three sisters directing the House of Hope, a residence for single mothers and their children. The residence was started by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Orionists from Poland and has been providing shelter for up to 30 families during the war. Many of the mothers were orphans themselves and do not have any family support, said Jim Dalrymple, a member of the CONU board of directors.
CONU has also been sending aid to several pastors of Catholic parishes in Ukraine, which the priests then distribute to those in need.
It’s important for entities such as CONU to send support to Ukraine because the Soviet Union eliminated many of the social structures that would normally provide aid to those who are struggling, said Ken Rackers, another board member.
“In a civic society, there are many organizations like the Lions Club, Catholic Charities, etc.,” Rackers said. “There’s a lack of those still in Ukraine. That’s why what CONU does with our partners over there is so important.”
The group is available to speak at small groups and parish gatherings while in the United States. To schedule a talk, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.