After being suppressed during the Communist era, the Order was refounded in Ukraine in the early 1990s.
- 25 friars in seven communities
- 18 sisters from four congregations in five communities
- 82 laity in seven cities
- 6 groups of Youth in the places of ministry of the friars
FACILITATING LEADERS OF RECONCILIATION
Along with the work of the St. Martin de Porres Center, highlighted in Week 2, the ministry of peace-building of the Dominican Family is also focused on these three areas:
Building the Capacity of Christian Community Leaders to Be Facilitators of Reconciliation in Their Local Communities or Settlements
Since September 2019, a Social Leadership School has been established at the Institute of Religious Sciences of St. Thomas Aquinas, located in the convent of the Dominican friars in Kiev. In collaboration with the Christian Rescue Service, the main purpose of this program is to develop active and responsible Christian leaders.
Open to people of all denominations, the courses (covering broad themes of Catholic Social Teachings) prepare the participants to be promoters of peaceful coexistence and facilitators of reconciliation among different nationalities and religious denominations in their local communities.
Currently, about 30 people from different regions of Ukraine study at the School of Social Leadership. A significant number of them are community leaders of settlements in the area of military conflict who return with skills in peace-building.
Training Lay Military Chaplains to Be Facilitators of Reconciliation in the War Zone
In June, 2019, the Military Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, Bishop Stanislav Shyrokoradiuk, instituted a ministry of lay chaplaincy to accompany soldiers in the war zone. He appointed the Christian Rescue Service as responsible for the recruitment of those wishing to become lay chaplains, and the Dominican Institute of Religious Sciences of St. Thomas Aquinas as responsible for their theological education.
Subsequently, in September 2019, a 3-year catechetical course, "Tree of Life", was launched at the Institute, in which these lay chaplains are enrolled. In addition to the study of the theological disciplines, such as Biblical Studies, the course program pays considerable attention to topics needed to deal with trauma and to facilitate reconciliation in the war zone, such as nonviolent communication, ethics of communication and human psychology.
Ministry in the War Zone
Since 2016, the Christian Rescue Service has established mission centers in 5 war-affected settlements: Mariupol, Avdiivka, Maryinka, Starobilsk and Bakhmut.
In these centers, chaplains actively serve the soldiers along with children, lonely elderly people and people with special needs who live in the war zone.
Dominicans are actively involved in this ministry of evangelization by visiting the war zone, celebrating Holy Masses, and accompanying and preaching the Word of God to the local population.
Suggested intercessory prayer for week 3 (for Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer, Private Prayer)
For an end to the fighting in Ukraine and for the ongoing work of the Dominican Family to facilitate reconciliation and healing among the people.