Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez issued the following statement Feb. 24 on the one-year anniversary of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian parishes in the Philadelphia area will hold memorial services marking the anniversary. A list of services can be viewed on the The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia’s Facebook page here.


One year ago today, Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Peace was shattered. Unnecessary pain and anguish were unleashed. As a society, our hearts are heavy with sadness to witness the ongoing conflict and the senseless loss of so many innocent lives.

On behalf of all people in the Church of Philadelphia, I express our continued prayerful solidarity with those embroiled by the conflict in Ukraine as well as Ukrainians in our region and throughout the world.

In the Philadelphia, we share a special bond with the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy and Archbishop Borys Gudziak. Our region was home to many ethnic Ukrainians before the invasion and many more have sought a new beginning here away from the ravages of war.

The fortitude and infinite hope of the Ukrainian people shines brightly in these dark times. May they be strengthened by God’s grace.

I ask all people of goodwill to join me in praying fervently for an end to the suffering and devastation in Eastern Europe. May God pour His mercy on those in distress and may Our Blessed Mother, the Queen of Peace, wrap them in her comforting mantle.

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia


Editor’s note: The prayer below has special ties to Ukraine and her people. It is suggested that this oration be offered on their behalf:

We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God.
Despise not our prayers in our need,
but deliver us from all dangers, since you alone are pure and blessed.
O most glorious ever-Virgin Mary,
the Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers
and present them to Your Son and our God,
that for the sake of you, He enlighten and save our souls.