Archbishop Borys at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: “We ask the Lord to keep our people and the world safe”
“We ask the Lord to keep our people and the world safe, to give all of us the wisdom to use our freedom well, so the infants can be born, so the children can grow, so the young people can flourish, so the adults can be creative, so seniors can live in peace”, stressed Metropolitan Borys Gudziak in his speech on November 27 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York during the ecumenical prayer in memory of the Holodomor victims.
The Ukrainian Chorus, “Dumka”, under the direction of Maestro Vasyl Hrechynsky, sang the panakhyda led by Metropolitan Antony Shcherba and Archbishop Daniel Zelinsky of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, and Metropolitan Borys Gudziak and Bishop Paul Chomnycky of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Metropolitan Borys expressed his gratitude to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, for the hospitality of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and thanked all those who attended the prayer. “We are inspired by this beautiful service but the memory is humiliating. We see how in the past there had been attempts to crush us into the earth, into the humus, and yet our people and our Churches live”.
“We pray, Lord, for your blessing and your forgiveness. We pray for peace, so we are responsible and life-giving, just and life-preserving here and everywhere”, concluded the Archbishop. He urged Russia to stop the war against Ukraine.
In his opening remarks, Metropolitan Antony, Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora, stressed the responsibility of communist leader Joseph Stalin and encouraged the gathered to reflect upon the destiny of ordinary people who were doomed to die the horrible death of hunger; to remember and pray for them frequently because our prayers assure them that their deaths were not in vain.
He also stressed that this evil was not able to wipe out the Ukrainian spirit as “underneath of all of that suffering was the self-identity that no one can kill”.
Andrij Dobriansky of the Ukrainian Congress Committee and Chairman of the Committee of United Nations Affairs for the Ukrainian World Congress was the MC of the commemorative service. “Holodomor is one of the most tragic examples of man being evil against his fellow man”. He thanked the National Women’s League of America, the Ukrainian American Veterans, dignitaries from the Ukrainian government, the Crimean Tartar Community, and all who have gathered to remember this tragedy. He also read a brief message from Senator Charles Schumer and a statement from President Joseph Biden that was published on The White House web-page.
“The Ukrainian people overcame the horror of the Holodomor, demonstrating their spirit and resilience, and eventually creating a free and democratic society. As we remember the pain and the victims of the Holodomor, the United States also reaffirms our commitment to the people of Ukraine today and our unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, reads the President’s statement.
Her Excellency Oksana Markarova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States, read a message from the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I stand here not only as an Ambassador of Ukraine but also as a granddaughter of a Holodomor survivor”, continued Oksana Markarova. She shared memories of her grandmother Nina who lived in the northern Odessa region and was able to survive.
The Ambassador also emphasized that the Soviet and Russian aggression did not stopped with Holodomor and rather it continues now in a different form. “It happened 88 years ago but it did not stop then. 8 years ago, Russia attacked us again, and we are forced to fight for our independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity”.
Sergiy Kyslytsia, who serves as Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, also spoke about the painful history and present-day aggression. “It was a deliberate starvation organized by the Stalin regime, and it is an armed aggression now launched by Russia with the same goal to deprive Ukrainians to choose their own future”.
The ceremony concluded with the choir singing Prayer for Ukraine
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