St. Petersburg Church Holds Prayer Vigil for Ukraine

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church held a prayer vigil Friday night as members gathered to pray for peace and protection.

“We are fighting for freedom, democracy and our homeland,” said Father Bohdan Barytskyy.

He told 8 On Your Side that it’s hard to watch what’s happening in his home country.

“I can’t sleep. Last night I was in front of my computer all night. I called my mother, my sister. I asked what was going on,” Father Bohdan Barytskyy said.

Barytskyy isn’t the only one worried about his loved ones. Khrystyna Hechlacz said her family had to leave their home to find protection.

“I have the impression that they are calmer than me here. I can’t help. Just pray and some kind of support with money. All I can. I would love to be there, but I can’t do anything,” he said.

That’s another reason the church comes together. Olya Czerkas said supporting each other was disastrous at a time like this.

“A lot of us can’t do anything here. All we do is listen to the news and see what’s going on. So it’s very important to know that we have each other,” Czerkas said.

The community of St. Pete is holding a rally for Ukraine at Vinoy Park at 4 p.m. Saturday

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