Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington, National Director of The Pontifical Mission Societies USA, during a visit to Ukraine, in 2022. (Credit: TPMS)

In the quiet hours post-Christmas, when in our hearts the echoes of peace and goodwill still resonate, Ukraine experienced one of its darkest hours since the onset of the conflict back in February 2022. On December 29, 2023, Russia unleashed a massive aerial onslaught on Ukraine, marking it as the most significant attack since the war began, according to local authorities.

Amidst all the suffering, how relevant Pope Francis’ cry fo peace in Ukraine on Christmas day becomes. He said: “Contemplating the Baby Jesus, I implore peace for Ukraine. Let us renew our spiritual and human closeness to its embattled people, so that through the support of each of us, they may feel the concrete reality of God’s love.”

His words echo the sentiments of millions around the world who yearn for an end to the violence in Ukraine and beyond, including the Holy Land.

The scale of this assault was unprecedented. Ukrainian officials have reported that the barrage involved a staggering 158 attack means, including missiles and drones, making it the largest since the conflict’s early days. Cities across the nation, from Kyiv to Lviv, Odesa to Dnipro, bore the brunt of this relentless attack, witnessing significant casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

In Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, and other cities in Ukraine, missiles ravaged maternity wards, educational facilities, residential areas, and other civilian targets, leaving behind a trail of devastation. The air defense systems, though remarkably intercepting many of these attacks, were stretched to their limits by the sheer volume of the onslaught​​.

The aftermath of this attack paints a harrowing picture: scores of innocent lives lost, numerous wounded, and essential infrastructure weakened. As smoke cleared, the resilience of the Ukrainian spirit stood tall amidst the rubble, a testament to their unwavering courage and strength.

In these trying times, the role of The Pontifical Mission Societies and its supporters becomes more crucial than ever. We are called to respond to this cry for help, to extend our hands in solidarity and support to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. The Solidarity Fund with Ukraine stands as a beacon of hope in this hour of need, channeling your donations directly to provide relief and aid to those affected by the conflict.

As we step into a new year, let us not forget those who are struggling to see a dawn of peace in their lands. Our contributions, prayers, and support can make a difference in bringing healing and hope to those suffering from the ravages of war.

We urge you to visit Solidarity Fund with Ukraine to make your contribution in support of the Church in Ukraine. Your generosity is more than a donation; it’s a lifeline to those clinging to hope amidst despair.

Together, let’s stand in solidarity with Ukraine, reaffirming our commitment to peace, humanity, and the brotherhood that binds us all.