Christmas and Christmas Eve are traditionally the time when all the family gathers at the festive dinner, it is the time of Christmas carols, presents and wishes. But unfortunately, the holiday comes not to every house. That is why every year Caritas tries to help those who need holiday spirit the most – families of fallen ATO warriors, lonely old people, homeless people, children from crisis families, etc.
Traditionally, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav, shared a dinner with families of fallen ATO warriors, who came from different regions of Ukraine for the Christmas Dinner at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.
The dinner was jointly organized by Caritas Kyiv and the Department of the Patriarchal Curia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav was joined by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy Yosyf (Milian), Andriy Vaskovych, the President of Caritas Ukraine, Syncellus of social service of the Kyiv Archeparchy, Director of Caritas Kyiv, Father Roman Syrotych, the Deputy Head of the Department of Military Chaplaincy and priests of the cathedral. More than 100 people visited Christmas Dinner.
A memorial service for fallen warriors who defended the territorial integrity and freedom of Ukraine with their life was held before the dinner. Christmas Dinner commenced with a communal prayer. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav congratulated everybody and expressed his delight to share Christmas Eve with all present and wished everybody peace and God’s grace. ‘This year, I wanted to congratulate those, who might be suffering the most, families of fallen warriors, who gave their life for Ukrainian liberty. These are mothers, fathers, wives, children, kids of warriors that are not with us today’, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav added.
The dinner passed in a warm family atmosphere. Everybody sang carols, whished each other joy, love and especially peace, tasted traditional Ukrainian dishes for Christmas Eve supper, and had the possibility to talk with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav who came to each person to share Christmas joy.
‘We would like to sincerely thank all people of goodwill who joined the initiative and made this Christmas Dinner happen. It helped families of fallen warriors feel that there are people who care about them and are ready to support and be near’, organisers of Caritas Kyiv say.
In the meanwhile, Caritas of Sambir-Drohobych Diocese prepared a festive dinner for lonely and homeless people at the premises of the Self-support community “Our House”, whose participants entertained all present with the nativity play. Guests were congratulated by Assistant Bishop of Sambir-Drohobych Diocese Hryhorii (Komar) and Director of Caritas, Father Ihor Kozankevych. They noted that Christmas changes hearts, heals pain and offences and generates a desire to do good, and thanked everybody who was not afraid to open to this joy and made their contribution to create an unforgettable celebration for people in need.
Christmas, and especially Christmas Eve is a family holiday that is why Caritas Ternopil gathered wards of the Community Kitchen and families of “Mobile work with youth” project at Christmas dinner. The initiative started with the blessings and congratulations of the Vise Director of Caritas Ternopil, Father Roman Zavhorodnyi, and children helped to feel family warmth by performing a nativity play. Christmas Spirit came to people who lost their faith in good under tough life circumstances, but the dinner helped them feel warmth, support and love.
Caritas Kolomyia organized a Christmas Eve at its Overnight shelter for homeless people. The dinner was cooked by the congregation of the St. Nicholas Church. Bishop Vasyl Ivasyuk blessed all present and the food, and together with Caritas wards treated himself to kutia. Everybody was pleased to listen to Christmas carols performed by young Caritas wards.
Caritas centres in the east traditionally supported the tradition of preparing Christmas dinner. Caritas Donetsk staff in Dnipro announced the birth of the Jesus with the bright nativity play. Fascinating scenario, beautiful costumes, exhilaration and the Christmas Spirit turned the play into a magic performance, which left no one indifferent.
Christmas Eve might be a rather sad occasion for IDS, as their home, close people are far away. That is why it is so important to bring some miracles to their houses. Caritas Zaporizhzhya prepared a celebration, joined by Bishop Stepan (Meniok) Exarchate of Donetsk, Father Andriy Bukhvak, Director of Caritas Zaporizhzhya, Assistant Bishop Yan Sobilo of the Roman Catholic Church and the clergy of UGCC in Zaporizhzhya congratulated IDPs on Christmas and organized the Christmas Dinner. The festive event included tasty treats and a nativity play, delivered from Lviv. All present were grateful to the organizers as most of them still do not have their own homes, they shared a table and had the possibility to get to know each other better, have a nice talk and share Christmas joy.