Williamsburg prayer service, human chain bolsters Ukraine solidarity

Parishes in North BK join forces for special mass and procession

August 29, 2022 Francesca Norsen Tate
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As part of a prayer service recognizing Ukrainian Independence Day, (marked on August 24), Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation Parish, on Sunday morning led a Human chain between two churches in Williamsburg — from Annunciation Roman Catholic Church (corner of North 5th and Havemeyer streets, to Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church (North 5th Street and Driggs Avenue).

Following a moment of silence, the Annunciation Church bells rang, and the march began with standard-bearers carrying the American, Ukrainian, and Lithuanian flags.

Heightening this expression of solidarity is the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and the widespread support that Americans are showing for the Ukrainian people — in the homeland here in Brooklyn and other communities in the United States.

After Mass, Ukrainian Catholic Church Bishop Paul Chomnycky of the Eparchy of Stamford led the prayer service, at which Frank Carone, Chief of Staff to Mayor Eric Adams, was among the guest speakers.

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Ukrainian Procession for Peace from Diocese of Brooklyn Press Office on Vimeo.

“We come here today to show our support, as we did when the war broke out a couple of months ago, and you came to us and we prayed together for your friends, your family, and your homeland,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, from the steps of Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church. “Even though we are very far away, we are united in prayer that this war will end and that we will stay united in peace, in love, and in faith.”

Ukraine initially celebrated its current independence on 16 July 1991, as the first anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine that the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) had passed the prior year. However, the date of the holiday was changed in light of the fact that the Declaration of Independence was issued on 24 August 1991, and a referendum confirming this date was subsequently issued four months later, in December 1991.

Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello (center) carries the American flag during the Human Chain procession. Photo: DeSales Media
Bishop Paul Chomnycky speaks outside Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church. Photo: DeSales Media
A woman wears a national costume for the Ukrainian Prayer Service honoring Ukraine Independence Day.
Photo: DeSales Media
Worshipers are pictured at the well-attended Prayer Service. Photo: DeSales Media
Worshipers are pictured at the well-attended Prayer Service. Photo: DeSales Media

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