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Thu Mar 31, 2022, 03:26 PM

Ukrainians fleeing terror at home find solace in Polish church


Though the family, who had lived outside the capital of Kyiv, were brought up in the Orthodox tradition as are most Ukrainians differences between Orthodox and Catholic traditions and theologies mean little right now, Opanasuk said. (The Krakow parish acknowledges Pope Francis as the head of the church but practices Byzantine liturgy similar to that in the Orthodox tradition.)

What is important to Opanasuk is that she and her family are safely in Krakow, living with a Polish-American couple who volunteered to take them in and finding some solace as they contemplate next moves and try to make sense of their fate and their country's.

Opanasuk's 62-year-old sister-in-law, also named Ludmyla but hesitant to give her full name, said she feels enormous anger over the Russian invasion and being uprooted.

"Bitter," she said. "Bitter. We were afraid for our lives."

Yet being at the church even for a few minutes during the week to pray, sit in quiet contemplation or have the chance to talk to Senyk and another sister is a balm, the women say.

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