“Today we are all Ukrainians.” That is what Cardinal Cupich told the faithful gathered for Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, 835 N. Oakley Blvd., on Feb. 27. He joined Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk of the St. Nicholas Eparchy of Chicago for the liturgy. The eparchy is part of one of over 20 Eastern-rite churches in communion with the Holy See. Cardinal Cupich delivered remarks during the liturgy and expressed his support for Ukraine. “This is a very difficult moment, not just for Ukrainians and the country of Ukraine, but for the entire world,” Cardinal Cupich said. He noted the contribution of children in the liturgy and the power of children’s prayer. He told them this conflicted time was also about them. “This moment is an opportunity for the whole world to reflect upon what kind of world we want to leave to future generations. What kind of world we want you to live in because we know from the past how nations have been subjugated by other powers, how people’s rights have been violated,” he said. “It is our moment in the history of our world to say, ‘Stop. No more. We want a different world for our children.’ That is what this moment is all about.” That is why much of the world is raising its voice in outrage over what Russia is doing to Ukraine and support for Ukraine, he said. “It is the hope in the hearts of you young people that is the most powerful enemy against tyranny. And we unite today with that hope and support those who struggle today for freedom in Ukraine.” Vasil Nazar and his wife both have family living in Ukraine and he says they are all terrified. His wife’s uncle lives in Kyiv and fled with his two sons, who are young adults. When the sons learned of all of the people sacrificing their lives to defend the country, they returned to the capital city to fight. “I have mixed feelings, honestly. At first it’s despair. It’s like, oh my gosh, are we going back to the Soviet Union again because, as you know, the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been persecuted for so many years under Russia, under the KGB?” Nazar said. “I have hope that God is protecting us, that God is with us, because we are just protecting our land.” He sees hope in reports from Ukraine such as one on Feb. 26, when news media reported a baby born in a subway station being used as a bomb shelter. “A new generation is being born right now and there are so many miraculous stories,” he said. Nazar said he appreciated Cardinal Cupich attending the liturgy and lending his support to Ukrainians. “It just shows that we’re united, the world is united,” he said. “It’s a gesture of love.” DeAna Kozak teaches religion to pre-school through eighth grade students at St. Nicholas Cathedral School, 2200 W. Rice St., and said her students are tuned in to what is going on in their home countries or the country of their ancestors. Some are angry about it. “They’re angry, and they’re hurt and they’re crying. But they also know the strength of the Ukrainian people,” Kozak said. “And I keep saying, ‘We can’t hate right now. This is not a time to hate. You have to love. This is what Jesus taught us.’” Kozak was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church and grew up in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. “It was amazing to see Cardinal Cupich here,” she said. “It was my two worlds coming together. It was beautiful to see that unity for Ukraine because it’s been beyond devasting to watch Ukraine be crucified in front of our eyes and there’s nothing we can do.” Like Nazar, Kozak spoke of the power of prayer in this war and the miracles coming out of the conflict. “I believe that Mary has promised Ukraine to have freedom and to live in freedom. These brave men and women standing together, to me, someone who has Ukrainian blood running through her veins, I’ve never been prouder,” Kozak said. “Even though it’s devastating, as Christians, we have hope in God. And he’s giving us that hope and he’s the one in the end that’s going to have the last say.” Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s invasion, and he asked the whole church to pray and fast for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday. On Feb. 25, he broke protocol and visited the Russian embassy to the Holy See in Rome to express his concern over the war in Ukraine. The Archdiocese of Chicago encouraged churches to ring their bells at noon on Feb. 27 and Ash Wednesday, March 2, in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. Parishes, including Holy Name Cathedral and St. Mary of the Lake, offered Masses, adoration and rosaries to pray for the end to the war. The archdiocese’s Polish Council hosted a special Mass to pray for the safety of the Ukrainian people and an end to war at Our Lady Mother of the Church Polish Mission/Shrine of St. John Paul II in Willow Springs on Feb. 25.