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Community gathers at Basilica to pray for peace in Ukraine

| Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Students and community members gathered at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 8 p.m. Monday night for a prayer service dedicated to the peace and safety of the Ukrainian people amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Erin Drumm | The Observer
Members of the University community gathered in the Basilica for a prayer service in solidarity with Ukraine.

University President Fr. John Jenkins invited the community to gather in prayer for Ukraine and shared a message of peace.

“We at Notre Dame continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and join with peace-loving people around the globe in demanding an end to this assault on a sovereign nation.”

The prayer service was led by Fr. Andrij Hlabse, S.J., a theology PhD candidate and Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic priest.

Fr. Hlabse spoke in Ukrainian, English and Russian during his homily, praying for all involved in this tragedy and addressing Ukrainian students in their native tongue.

Fr. Hlabse said Notre Dame’s iconic golden dome holds a special place in his heart.

“One of my favorite sites at Notre Dame during my undergraduate years here was to look up at the golden dome with Our Lady on top gleaming against the blue sky,” Hlabse said. “Very often I would accompany that glance with a short prayer.”

The dome represents many things for the University, he added.

“There is a way in which that iconic site represents so much of the best of Notre Dame — the illuming gleam of faith and fortune tied to a freedom to search our God’s truth,” he said. “Looking at the golden dome in that way still fills me with hope.”

He compared Notre Dame’s golden dome to the many golden domes in Ukraine.

“In Ukraine, too, there are numerous golden domes that stretch up to the sky,” he said. “They are monuments of faith, beacons of hope. In fact, in Kyiv itself, one of the most well-known churches is called St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery.”

Fr. Hlabse said that in this moment the Ukrainian people gazing at their golden domes are not greeted with hopeful blue skies as “the sky is filled with the roar of the aggressors.”

He called on the Notre Dame community to be grateful for safety and clear skies when gazing at their local golden dome, but also to be reminded of the people of Ukraine.

“Think also of the domes in Ukraine. Pray for her people. Reflect on the questions she has so urgently and tragically posed,” he said. ”Demonstrate your solidarity … speak the truth about this unprovoked war.”

Fr. Hlbase encouraged Notre Dame students to reach out to their Ukrainian counterparts, sympathize with them and learn from them. 

“Get in touch with your peers in Ukraine at the Ukrainian Catholic University that has a special partnership with Notre Dame already or at other universities. Contact them directly through social media … learn from them.”

Fr. Jenkins gave a closing prayer for Ukraine and called the congregation to action.

“We at Notre Dame must be present to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine,” he said. “As we enter into the Lenten season, let us keep the nation and the people of Ukraine at the heart of our thoughts and prayers.”

Fr. Jenkins called on the Notre Dame community to show care and concern for the people of Ukraine.

“Let us pray for justice, an end to the fighting, the bombing, the forced migration. Let us join in the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Let us give alms,” he said. “Let us speak out for the people who are victims of unjust aggression.”

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