“Let’s hurry to love people, they depart so quickly…” (Polish poet and priest, Father Jan Twardowski).

Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk of Kharkiv, Ukraine, recently visited the Catholic parish in Zolochiv, near the frontline. During the visit, two parishioners asked to take a picture with him. A few days after, Bishop Honcharuk sent Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the photo shown here.

The bishop wrote: “This lady (indicated by the red arrow in the photo) has left us. The day after my visit she was riding her bicycle to a grocery store, when, all of a sudden, a shelling started. The bomb exploded so close that she could be identified only by her phone,” reported Bishop Pavlo. “Pray for her, for her family. Pray for everyone here.”

Sadness and grief. However, the picture reminds us of the importance of encounter.  We can’t predict the future, so we should waste no time loving today, as the Church is doing right now, near the frontline in Ukraine.

Video: Driving through the empty streets of Kharkiv

An ACN project partner sent the charity this video a few days ago to show us the situation on the roads in Kharkiv.  They are driving through the northern district of Kharkiv. Empty streets and destroyed buildings everywhere, in the country’s second biggest city. At one point, they have to turn back, because of bombings and lots of shooting. “We are safe,” they say. Let us pray for it to be so, let us pray for all our brothers and sisters in Kharkiv.

Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk recorded the sounds of explosions in Kharkiv, (Uly 13, 2022)The words spoken in Ukrainian are: “Loud again.” “It’s 11pm now.” “It’s rumbling.”