When Father Manuel Dorantes celebrated a Mass for the journalists who have been killed in the war in Ukraine April 3, he did so with the intention of honoring all journalists and their vocation of seeking truth. “There can be no justice in any situation without access to the truth,” said Dorantes in his homily, speaking about how Jesus did not accept the partial truth of the accusations against the woman caught in adultery — accusations that were made, according to John’s Gospel, to test Jesus. “Like Jesus, I want you to go deeper and seek the truth,” Dorantes told the journalists who came for Mass at St. Mary of the Lake Church, 4220 N. Sheridan Road. “You may not be on the front lines of the war in Ukraine, but you are on the front lines in this city.” If journalists do not pursue the truth, Dorantes said, “we are all doomed.” The Mass was suggested by WBEZ radio reporter Michael Puente after the death of Brent Reynaud, who was shot to death in Irpin on March 13. Reynaud, a video journalist and documentary filmmaker, had connections in Chicago after making the 2014 Peabody Award-winning documentary “Last Chance High” about Moses Montefiore Academy. “You just feel helpless,” Puente said, saying he wanted to do something but didn’t know what. “But growing up Catholic, I wondered if we could have a Mass.” When he was invited to speak after Communion, Puente said he has been a journalist for more than 30 years. “If journalists aren’t going to honor the work of other journalists, who will?” he said, noting that journalists also have faced kidnapping, imprisonment and death for telling the truth in other parts of the world, including Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Puente worked with Vince Gerasole, director of radio and television for the Archdiocese of Chicago, who connected him with Dorantes. Dorantes has an undergraduate degree in broadcast communications, and he has worked with Telemundo and Univision. From 2014 to 2016, he served as assistant director to the Holy See Press Office at the Vatican as liaison to Spanish-speaking media. After the Mass, he said he is in contact with two of the journalists he worked with at the Vatican who are now reporting from Ukraine. “I worked with them,” he said, adding that he also knows the husband and children of one of them. They have remained in Rome while she reports from the war zone. “I think sometimes people kind of objectify journalists. They forget that they are real people.” The first reading was proclaimed by Chicago Tribune reporter Karen Ann Cullotta, and Puente proclaimed the second reading. The prayers of the faithful were read by NBC5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern and NBC5 reporter Natalie Martinez, and included the names of eight journalists who had been killed between the beginning of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24 and April 3. “Two days ago, it was seven,” Dorantes said. “Now there are eight.” Their names are not all familiar to readers and viewers in the United States, especially those from Ukraine and Russia, he said, but the Mass honored all of them. The most recent confirmed death was that of Maks Levin, a Ukrainian journalist who was last seen alive on March 13. His body was found April 1 near Kyiv. He disappeared with fellow Ukrainian journalist Oleksii Chernyshov, who had not been found as of April 4. In lieu of a collection, members of the congregation were invited to light candles and place them in front of a shrine with the photos of the fallen journalists. Anna and Yvhen Botyuk, Ukrainain immigrants and parishioners at St. Mary of the Lake, sat just in front of the shrine. Since the war started, Dorantes said, the couple has come to the church every day to pray the rosary. Before the Mass, Anna Botyuk told Dorantes that she and her husband became U.S. citizens at the end of March. After Mass, with their daughter on the telephone interpreting, Anna Botyuk said the journalists covering the war in Ukraine are heroes. “We are very grateful to them,” she said.