Sarnia prayer vigil for Ukraine draws hundreds

Kea VandenHuevel of Sarnia joins in the prayers for the people of Ukraine at St. George's Ukrainian Catholic Church Sunday.

Old and young, those of Ukrainian heritage and those who have been shaken by the war between Russia and Ukraine gathered to pray for peace and safety Sunday.

Several hundred people stood in the sunshine at St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Sunday afternoon. Fr. Bohdan Winnicki offered several prayers and urged the crowd to continue to pray for peace in the conflict which started Thursday.

Kea VandenHeuvel was among those at the vigil. Her parents came to Canada after the first world war. While she no longer has contact with family in Ukraine, the images of war and thoughts of her parent’s homeland being torn apart are difficult.

VandenHuevel says Ukraine been occupied a number of times over the years. Her mother, for example, was born in Ukraine, but at the time it was occupied by Austria.

In the old days they called the fighters cossacks; when I see this (conflict) I think of the strong heritage they have as fighter, defenders.”