March 1, 2022
MORE INFO: : Justin Huyck, Coordinator of Media Relations | Voice: 330-744-8451, ext. 320 (Media: incl. Evenings/Weekends)
YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, has joined Pope Francis in calling for a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in light of the war in Ukraine and the worsening humanitarian crisis.
Bishop Bonnar stressed, “In the spirit of our Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, especially at this tragic time, I invite all to pray for the people of Ukraine and to donate on Ash Wednesday and in the coming days to provide humanitarian and spiritual assistance to the people of Ukraine and the region, through the U.S. Bishops’ Collection to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.” Catholics can donate at their parishes on Ash Wednesday or the coming weekend. All are also invited to donate online at www.doy.org/Ukraine/ or by sending a check to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Youngstown, 144 West Wood Street, Youngstown, OH 44503.
Pope Francis has been speaking out about the impending war for weeks and announced the Ash Wednesday Day of Prayer and Fasting on Wednesday, February 23, as the attack on Ukraine was imminent. He renewed his call for an Ash Wednesday Day of Prayer and Fasting on Sunday, February 27, saying that Ash Wednesday would be a “day to be close to the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, to feel that we are all brothers and sisters, and to implore God to end the war. Those who wage war forget humanity.”
In his own video message posted to the diocese’s social media on February 24th, Bishop Bonnar highlighted the world’s concern and prayer for the people in Ukraine. “What is happening there right now is beyond words and is so unjust.” He noted that he had seen images of the people of Ukraine “huddled in a subway as a bomb shelter. Imagine a child not being able to go to school today because of this terror. We need to pray for the people of the Ukraine. We need to pray for an end to this unjust action. We need to pray for an end to evil.”
Bishop Bonnar also invited Catholics to lift up their “our own sufferings and pains, sorrows and sadness” in prayer as a “sacrifice for the people of the Ukraine.”
In the Diocese of Youngstown, Bishop Bonnar invited parishes to use particular liturgical prayers “For the Preservation of Peace and Justice” at weekend Masses on February 26 and 27, and that all Catholics, and the wider public, observe the Ash Wednesday Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace.
Online giving, along with Bishop Bonnar’s video message, can be found at http://www.doy.org/Ukraine/