April 10, 2024 at 10:20 a.m.

Keep praying for the people of Ukraine

Father Thomas Morrette
Father Thomas Morrette

By Father Thomas Morrette | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, our local PBS channel re-ran the documentary “20 days in Mariupol.” This movie, released in 2023, chronicles the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and shows the ruthless devastation of the city of Mariupol and its people. Directed by journalist Mstyslav Chernov, the film won several international awards and received an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film this past March.

Rarely have I seen a film so engrossing and disturbing. The director’s goal was to show the free world the brutality inflicted by Russia on the innocent people of Mariupol. In scene after scene, we see and hear the pain of men, women and children being mutilated and killed by shrapnel and debris from random bombings all over the city. We see a once beautiful city fall into ruins because of a heinous land grab. The film is raw, hard to watch and almost surreal. How can this brutality exist in our so-called civilized world today? Didn’t the condemnations of this kind of violence, after the dark experiences of World War II, end our common disregard for human life? How can people who look just like us — who wear clothes like us, who use cellphones like us, who live our lifestyle — be treated this way? How can there still be political leaders who manage to get away with such atrocity?

The story of this movie portrays a world light-years away from the world that Christ envisions. In the United States and the West, we continually hear about the growing non-affiliation of young people with organized religion these days. We hear about Western culture becoming more and more secularized. Some even label our present and future era as “post-Christian.” Many say that the people of today (and tomorrow) have an entirely different ethos than generations in the past. Moderns, they say, live a self-determined existence, a humane existence at its best, but nonetheless godless, living without real knowledge about how human nature can sometimes devolve into greed and selfishness if not for the guidance and help of the Creator.

So, let’s keep advancing the cause of Christ. The world needs the message and vision of Christ now, more than ever. It needs the Church and its knowledge about what can bring lasting happiness. The Russian government needs Christ. All nations and people need Him. The people of the Ukraine also need Christ’s comfort and protection and our continued prayers. Otherwise, the savagery in Mariupol will win and dark powers will have the last word.

Father Morrette is pastor at The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory in Troy, Our Lady of the Snow Mission in Grafton and Christ Sun of Justice Parish in Troy.


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