SCRANTON (Feb. 24, 2022) – Today, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera released the following statement regarding the invasion of Ukraine:
“Like many of you, I am saddened and heartbroken by the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold in Ukraine. Our world should be long past the need for anyone to wake up at 5 a.m. to the sound of explosions, rocket attacks and air raid sirens.
“I ask you to join me in praying for peace, an immediate end to the Russian invasion and a respect for international law. I also ask you to join me in praying for the more than 40 million innocent women, men and children currently living in Ukraine, and most especially the victims of this conflict and their families.
“On behalf of the clergy, deacons, consecrated religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, I express our firm solidarity with Ukrainian Catholics and Ukrainians here in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania and in Ukraine itself.
“Now more than ever, our world is in need of healing and hope. I also urge everyone to participate in the call of Pope Francis to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. As Our Holy Father has said, ‘May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.’
“The following prayer is very dear to the Ukrainian people. I suggest that it be offered on their behalf.”
We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God.
Despise not our prayers in our needs,
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.
A PRAYER FOR PEACE BY POPE FRANCIS
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years
to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms.
How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced?
how much blood has been shed?
how many lives have been shattered?
how many hopes have been buried?
But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid!
Grant us peace, teach us peace;
guide our steps in the way of peace.
Open our eyes and our hearts,
and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”.
Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love,
you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters.
Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace;
enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.
Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens
who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace,
our trepidation into confident trust,
and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope,
so that with patience and perseverance
we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation.
In this way may peace triumph at last,
and may the words “division,” “hatred,” and “war”
be banished from the heart of every man and woman.
Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands.
Renew our hearts and minds,
so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother,”
and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!