A Thank You: Community Support and Interfaith Prayers Exemplify all that is Good:
THANK YOU !
For a Beautiful Interfaith Prayer Service
In support of Ukraine
To all community faith leaders
To all who are praying continuously
To all who are charitable in every way
To all who are not silent
To Our Merciful God
A heartfelt thank you goes out from St. Michael’s, Pittston to the generous people of our area for the many ways all have united in charity and prayer for the people of Ukraine, not only for help with our events, but throughout the entire Wyoming Valley and vicinities. Our gratitude goes to everyone who participated, supported, donated, volunteered and coordinated the activities taking place at our church on March 20 and 21. Sunday, March 20th our church held a drive thru dinner. At the same time, volunteers at our church were collecting separate monetary and material donations such as personal care and medical supplies for the displaced refugees fleeing the war-torn areas in fear and uncertainty.
Then, on Monday, March 21st at 5 pm, St. Michaels became the host location for an Interfaith Prayer Service presented by the Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council in response to the images and voices of distress inflicted upon the innocent. We wish to deeply express our thanksgiving for the care conveyed by each of the faith leaders who sang, chanted, offered reflections, conveyed personal experiences, and led prayers. And to acknowledge those who were in attendance or watched online.
And finally, to reassure with hope and to thank our very own Fr. Andrii Dumnych [and family], in being host pastor at St. Michaels, and in service as pastor of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Swoyersville. Our prayer support to Fr. Eduard Shestak [and family] of St. Nicholas Church, Old Forge. And in sincerity our prayers go out to all our Eastern Catholic or Orthodox Ukrainian priests and families, and Ukrainians of all faiths both here and abroad.
A complete list of the Interfaith Council members who were gracious in offering their time, reflections and prayers are:
- Rabbi Larry G. Kaplan, Temple Israel, Wilkes-Barre
- Dr. Robert Zanicky from First Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre
- Chaplain Marianne Sailus, VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre
- Ibrahim Almeky, Islamic Association of Northeastern PA
- Rabbi Eric Mollo, Temple B’nai B’rith, Kingston
- Pastor Adam McGahee, Moving River Ministries, Wilkes-Barre
- Deacon Sergei Kapral, Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre
- Rev. Eduard Shestak from St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Old Forge
- Rev. Russ McDougall, Holy Cross Community of King’s College, Wilkes-Barre
- Rev. Joseph P. Elston, St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Pittston
Pastor Adam McGahee:
“And as Ukraine is currently in a state of pain and suffering, we here, get the privilege to pray [for the people of Ukraine]…… some are running scared for their lives and don’t have time to pray…. but we can do what is best and that is pray …..” “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?” The words from Psalm 27 ……”
Dr. Ibrahim Almeky:
We ask you God to bestow your mercy on them, to guide them, to protect them, support them …..and to bring peace in this world.
Rabbi Eric Mollo:
“Please dear God, How can we say never again?”…,”Haven’t we learned?” “Holy One, spoil the oppressor’s evil plans, diminish their power…” “May peace reign down on the people of Ukraine! May we study war no more.”
Rev. Russ McDougall:
“Eternal God, Kindle we pray in the hearts of all, the true love of peace…” “Hold back those who bring destruction to the lives of others…”
Deacon Sergei Kapral:
“O Most Holy God…. To Thee, our merciful Lord, we fall down with contrite hearts and fervent prayer ….grant help to the Ukrainian people in their sorrow….”
Fr. Eduard Shestak:
“It is the 26th day in Ukraine….there is no February, there is no March, no Monday, no Tuesday, no Sunday. They count days from February 24…. Time has stopped. Time has ended. Everything changed in life and started from zero…..”
Fr. Andrii Dumnych:
“Prayer is working even though we don’t see prayer. We see the consequences of our prayers….”
Following was the preview announcement of the service:
The Wyoming Valley
Interfaith Council Invites you
to Attend or Live Stream:
An Interfaith Prayer Service for Ukraine to be held on Monday, March 21 at 5:00 pm. at St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church, 205 N. Main Street, Pittston, Pa.
Faith community leaders will include: Rabbi Larry G. Kaplan from Temple Israel, Wilkes-Barre; Dr. Ibrahim Almeky, Islamic Association of Northeastern PA; Rev. Russ McDougall from the Holy Cross Community of King’s College, Wilkes-Barre; Chaplain Marianne Sailus, VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre; Rabbi Eric Mollo, Temple B’nai B’rith, Kingston; Pastor Adam McGahee, Moving River Ministries; Rev. Joseph P. Elston from St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Pittston; Rev. Dr. Robert Zanicky from First Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre; Deacon Sergei Kapral, Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre; Rev. Eduard Shestak from St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Old Forge.
Rev. Andrii Dumnych, our pastor of St. Michael Church and St. Nicholas Church (Swoyersville) is a native of Ukraine who emigrated in 2019 to the United States with his wife Oksana and their three young children. The Ruthenian Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersey, one of four Byzantine Catholic Eparchies in America, coordinates a program of clergy immigration to meet the needs of the diaspora of Byzantine (Greek) Catholic faithful here in the U.S.
The Dumnych family are very thankful for the opportunity to flourish as a family in our community and to serve our parishes here. They are concerned deeply for relatives and friends and all the people in their homeland threatened with loss of freedom and sovereignty as well as loss of freedom of religious practice.
This special prayer service brings together faith community leaders and all caring people united in prayer. In harmony we seek a peaceful resolution and end to the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Ukraine.
Please join us in support of the people of Ukraine, a conversion of hardened hearts to peace, and an end to war.
You can live stream by returning to the home page of this website and clicking on Live Stream St. Michaels Church Liturgies.