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War in Ukraine draws multiple denominations, Delaware leaders to prayer service for peace — Photo gallery

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Father Volodymyr Klanichka, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wilmington, left, and Father Stephen Hutnick, of Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, embrace during the prayer service Feb. 27. Dialog photo/Don Blake

A capacity crowd filtered into the Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Wilmington on a cool day with brilliant sunshine Feb. 27 for a prayer service that stood in contrast to the violence and darkness of war in Ukraine.

Roman Catholics, Ukrainian Catholics, Ukrainian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, protestant and evangelical leaders and followers and others in Wilmington filled the ornate church on Philadelphia Pike to offer together prayers for war-torn Ukraine and its people.

Peace is the goal of the worshippers, many of whom have been in near-constant contact with friends and family in their Ukrainian homeland that has been targeted by Russian invasion.

Father Joseph W. McQuaide, Diocese of Wilmington chancellor, and Father Volodymyr Klanichka, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wilmington, were among many clergy and people of faith at the gathering. Father McQuaide was standing in for Bishop Koenig.

Father Stephen Hutnick leads the Ukrainian Catholics and Ukrainian Orthodox joint prayer service at Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Wilmington, Sunday, February 27, 2022. Dialog photo/Don Blake

“Ukraine is a peaceful nation and has tried to grow in faith and freedom,” said Father Stephen Hutnick, pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul.

Rabbi Michael Beals of Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington is director of the Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnerships.

“We seek the comfort of believing that everything will be all right even in the face of insurmountable odds,” said Rabbi Beals. “Grant us the inner peace we so desperately seek.”

Elected officials from across Delaware joined members of multiple denominations.

“This is a difficult and very tragic time for our people,” said Father Klanichka. ”Courageous people and a strong nation are protecting its land.”