CEWA stands in solidarity with Ukraine, prayers for peace

05 April 2022

Catholic Education WA and its schools are standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, hosting a series of moving events since the European nation was invaded by Russia in February.

At CEWA’s Leederville headquarters, the Ukraine flag was raised on March 23 in a short ceremony that pledged support for the war-ravaged country and the many people who are now displaced and homeless across Europe.

Presented by Father George and CEWA senior research and policy consultant John Nelson, the event was organised as a positive affirmation of loyalty and commitment to the Ukraine and hope for the restoration of peace.

That night, the Catholic Education office and Church of St Michael of the Archangel were illuminated in yellow and blue – the colours of the Ukrainian flag – in a striking display

Almost 600km away at John Paul College in Kalgoorlie, more than 700 students from all year groups showed empathy for the people of Ukraine by tying strips of blue and yellow fabric to the front fence to create a visual spectacle for their community on March 28.

John Paul College Principal Bradley Hall told local news GWN7 that the active demonstration had been staged to openly say to the people of Ukraine: “We feel for you, we’re praying for you, we are with you at this very dark hour that you are facing.”

“(Students) do see some images on television and they’re pretty stark and it’s quite shocking and it’s upsetting to a lot of people. It’s upsetting to me when I see that every night, but it’s important that we are aware of it (and) that our students are aware of it because what’s going on should not have happened,” Mr Hall said.

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The action comes as Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine on March 25, with a prayer asking for peace.

“Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine,” the Pope said.

“Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end, and peace spread throughout the world.”

In his homily, the Pope said the consecration was “no magic formula but a spiritual act”.

“It is an act of complete trust on the part of children who, amid the tribulation of this cruel and senseless war that threatens our world, turn to their Mother, reposing all their fears and pain in her heart and abandoning themselves to her,” he said.

“It means placing in that pure and undefiled heart, where God is mirrored, the inestimable goods of fraternity and peace, all that we have and are, so that she, the Mother whom the Lord has given us, may protect us and watch over us.”

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