"Your destiny is my destiny"says Brazilian priest in Ukraine

Jasjot Singh

Lucas Perozzi is a priest of the Neocatechumental Way and came to Ukraine in 2004. Although he could leave the country if he wanted and return to his native Brazil, he has decided to stay with the people he came to serve and love and that is why he remains together with the people who suffer the war.

As explained by the priest to the Help Foundation for the Church in Need (ACN), so far they have welcomed more than 30 people in the parish of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in kyiv.

“People in this time of war could not stay in their own houses and spent their nights in bunkers and underground stations. It was terrible, because these places are cold, dirty and the atmosphere is very dark. They were scared, afraid. Those who came to stay with us can now sleep through the night, in a quiet environment, despite the war. Here there is a fraternal solidarity, people help each other. When someone is depressed, sad and afraid, someone else who doesn’t feel so bad cheers them up,” explained Fr. Lucas.

The priest assured that throughout the day he can hear the noise of the war attacks.

Although “some stores are still open, but their shelves are increasingly empty. Medicines are starting to run out, too,” he said.

Since Fr. Perozzi arrived in the Ukraine, his work has been closely linked to the collaboration with Aid to the Church in Need.

“We got a lot of help from ACN, and not just now during the war. The Redemptoris Mater diocesan missionary seminary, where I was trained, received and continues to receive help from ACN. Thanks to this foundation I was able to acquire a vehicle that I use for pastoral work here in the parish. The church that these 30 people are now staying in was built largely thanks to the support of ACN, and I just found out that we have also received emergency aid from them to continue our work, so we are very grateful!” , he claimed.

But the community still needs a lot of help, and it is that people seeking refuge do not stop coming to the parish, as is the case of a new family with two children.

He also underlines that in this difficult time people are also looking for spiritual support.

“Yesterday we had a wedding and today we have another one! People also come to confession. It impresses me, because people come and ask us to marry them, even though they know that we cannot prepare anything fancy. They have no romantic illusions, they want to live these days in the grace of God, as a family. Even in the midst of war we can see that God is love, he continues to love each and every one of us without limits, ”he assured.

While the war continues in Ukraine, there is a certain risk of dying, but Fr. Perozzi is convinced that he will remain with the Ukrainian people.

“His life is my life, his destiny is my destiny,” he concludes.

ACN has been helping Ukraine for more than 40 years with different projects and since the beginning of the conflict it has intensified its support for priests and nuns who provide material and spiritual help to the victims of this war.

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