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Rome Reports

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Ukrainian Parish travels to Rome to pray for peace

They came all the way from Ukraine to St. Peter's Square. They saw the Pope up close, but having him call for peace in their country, meant the world to them.  POPE FRANCIS "Brothers and sisters, I know that among the intentions your bring to the tomb of the Apostle, you pray for peace in Ukraine. I too have that same wish. I join you in prayer so that peace may reign forever in your country.â?  FR. PATRYK OLIKM Franciscan Friar "The words of the Pope have moral authority and what he says is very important. Especially now as we try to overcome Ukraine's problems and seek peace.â?  Even though they live in an area that's relatively far from the deadly conflict, the heaviness of war is all around them. They see it in the faces of thousands of refugees from the Eastern part of the country.  FR. PATRYK OLIKM Franciscan Friar "In our parish we collect donations, food, clothing and really anything that we can take to the area affected by war. We also help those who have escaped. Almost one million people have left Crimea and the country's Eastern area. We also help them out pastoraly, but mostly with basic material needs.â?  Even though a cease fire was signed in mid February, the deadly conflict continues in some parts of Ukraine. The victims are often civilians.  Catholics in Ukraine are a minority. They represent roughly 8 percent of the population. Now this small group will go back home, knowing they have the support of Pope Francis.  MPI/KLH  MG SV -PR Up: MPI