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Urkranian Catholics and Othodox plan joint prayer service in Wilmington in hopes for peace in their homeland

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Father Volodymyr Klanichka, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wilmington. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

Local Ukrainians in fear for the safety of friends and family in their war-torn homeland are turning to prayer in the Wilmington area.

Father Volodymyr Klanichka, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wilmington, said his congregation plans a joint prayer service with worshippers at Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Wilmington.

He said the prayer service is planned for noon Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Orthodox church at 1406 Philadelphia Pike. Native Ukrainian Father Klanichka said he and Father Stephen Hutnick of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have planned the service to pray for embattled residents of Ukraine.

Father Klanichka said the 100 families who belong to the local Ukrainian Catholic church have endured sleepless nights this week as they’ve watched news reports of an onslaught of military attacks by Russian forces throughout Ukraine.

“They’re praying,” he said of both congregations. Services for peace in Ukraine have been held at St. Nicholas in Wilmington this week and the church has remained open, he said.

In an interview with The Dialog last month, Father Klanichka predicted the invasion and said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to resurrect the Soviet Union.