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Current Issue
September, 2018
Volume 44, Number 3
  
22 December 2016
Greg Kandra





As a seminarian from Ukraine, Oleksandr Bohomaz told us in 2014, “I want to be a witness of God’s greatness.” (photo: courtesy Seminary of the Three Hierarchs, Kiev)

In 2014, in the wake of the upheavals in Kiev, Antin Sloboda from CNEWA’s office in Canada interviewed a seminarian in Ukraine, Oleksandr Bohomaz, who described his background, his vocation and his faith:

I aspire to bring people closer to God. Our people are very poor, materially and spiritually. Soviet rule wounded spiritual life in Ukraine, and now it is strongly needed. Many people struggle with addiction — families are broken.

My family has been also touched by the problem of alcoholism. I believe only Jesus can help us to overcome these challenges and that he calls me to dedicate my life to proclaiming his love to all people. …

The Lord has used the recent events in Ukraine to strengthen the faith of our people. First of all, Ukrainians, who for centuries were dominated by others, finally have realized they are one nation. Since November 2013, our priests have actively supported the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to fight for their dignity and justice. More people now trust the church, even those who previously identified themselves as atheists.

On the Maidan Square in Kiev, I had a chance to pray with people who have never prayed before. People asked me to teach them how to pray and how to live a life of a Christian. This is indeed wonderful! Being able to speak with such people is an incredible experience of God's love in action. The recent events in the country have strengthened my faith and the faith of my neighbors.

And he offered this beautiful testimony:

I hope I will successfully complete the seminary and that I will become a faithful and humble priest. I want to be a witness of God’s greatness, and I want to proclaim his Gospel. I already see how God gives us a chance to become authentic Christians. I hope we will become the people who provide care for the marginalized and the weak. …

When I realize someone on the other side of the planet is praying for me, it is very encouraging and a source of support. It’s wonderful to realize that through the prayer we are united, regardless of where we live.

Since that interview, Oleksandr has been ordained to the priesthood. He now serves in the town of Melitopol is southeastern Ukraine, not far from Crimea.

Pray for more heroic young men to answer the call to the priesthood-and please help support us in our mission to support them. Visit this page to learn more.



Tags: Ukraine Seminarians Ukrainian Catholic