SCRANTON – It has been nearly two years since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began – and all people of goodwill are invited to join together to pray for an end to the war later this month.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, a ‘Prayer Service for Peace and to Commemorate the Second Year of War in Ukraine’ will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton at 2:30 p.m.

The Prayer Service will be led by Father Myron Myronyuk, Pastor, Saint Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church of Scranton, and the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton.

“We want to remind people that our brothers and sisters are still suffering tremendously in Ukraine,” Father Myron said. “I know that many people are tired of war, but it is still going on. We are still losing a lot of lives and that is why we will have this opportunity to think about it, pray for our soldiers, and offer continued support for them.”

While in-person attendance is highly encouraged, the Prayer Service will also be broadcast live on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton and livestream on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube channel, and social media platforms.

“Father John Seniv will be the homilist. His mother was born in Ukraine. He was a long-time pastor in Berwick and was transferred to Northampton and retired from that parish a few years ago,” Father Myron stated. “We also have an opera singer from Philadelphia who is willing to come and perform a few songs during the Prayer Service.”

Since the invasion began, Father Myron has coordinated several shipments of supplies to Ukraine. That has included everything from tourniquets to hospital beds and medication. Those attending the Prayer Service will be able to provide monetary support to the ongoing efforts.

“The greater Scranton community has given us such support. We’ve been able to buy vehicles, two ambulances, 15 drones, a lot of medical equipment, uniforms that we have shipped to Ukraine,” he said.

For the last two years, Pope Francis has relentlessly called for peace. Recently, the Holy Father said today’s wars and conflicts have put humanity on the brink of the abyss and called for a worldwide cease-fire.

“I will never tire of reiterating my call, addressed in particular to those who have political responsibility: stop the bombs and missiles now, end hostile stances” everywhere, the pope said in an interview with La Stampa, an Italian newspaper, published Jan. 29, 2024.

“A global cease-fire is urgent: either we do not realize it, or we are pretending not to see that we are on the brink of the abyss,” he said.

Since the Prayer Service will be held during Lent, Father Myron is hoping the pews will be full.

“Our people in Ukraine are asking us to pray for them. I want to thank all the good people, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, who are praying for Ukraine constantly. I want to thank them for that kindness,” he said. “During Lent, we try to work on our soul – but of course – we are constantly thinking about others.”