PEP Newsletter

Ideas For Your Parish


                                                                                          April, 2022

Mary Oliver’s Poem On War 

            The Eskimos Have No Word for War             

            Trying to explain it to them

            Leaves one feeling ridiculous and obscene. . .

            They listen politely, and stride away

            with spears and sleds and barking dogs

            To hunt for food . . .


            . . .  Later, by fires and boiling bones

            in steaming kettles, they welcome me, . . .

            To share what they have in a hungry time

            In a difficult land.  While I talk on


            Of the southern kingdoms, cannon, armies

            Shifting alliances, airplanes, power,

            They chew their bones, and smile at one another.


A Source of World Unity

            The Inuits were focused on surviving in a harsh climate at the time the poem was written, January, 2010. They had little connection with and even less interest in what was going on elsewhere.  This might not be true today.  Almost every corner of the globe is caught up with the conflict and suffering in the Ukraine because of the pictures, videos, reporting and commentary from every angle.  Despite the devastation, discovering a common ground of protest against the war has shown that world leaders and governments are able to agree that sanctions, protests, condemnations and outrage are appropriate in the face of unwarranted aggression.  They are not just chewing bones and smiling at one another, they have leaped into action at a pace that has surprised perpetrators and victims alike.            


Parish Responses

Besides offering prayers and taking up collections, some churches are doing other things to help the Ukranians:

  • St Barnabas in Chicago asked for medical supplies and in two days filled two carloads and drove them to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the neighborhood to be sent to Poland and on to Ukraine.
  • The Gesu Parish in Milwaukee had a Prayer Vigil that began with the Ukrainian flag leading the entrance procession as the Ukrainian Anthem was being sung. Many stayed to light candles at the end.
  • Christ Our Light Church in Princeton, MN is uniting with all of the denominations in the area to pray as one for the people of Ukraine, both those who have fled the war and those who remain to fight.
  • A parishioner at St. Josephat in Warren, MI, Chrystyna Adams owns a restaurant. She urged parishioners to eat there on the day she pledged to send all proceeds to refugees and citizens of Ukraine.
  • This parish held a Car Rally from Warren to Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit in support of Ukraine.
  • Immaculate Conception Ukranian Catholic Church in Warren, MI is preparing to welcome women and children refugees from Ukraine, arranging housing and tuition-free education.
  • The IC Schools also sponsored a “School Road Rally” in which 100 cars took part in a two-mile parade from the church to the schools in solidarity with the soldiers, citizens and refugees of Ukraine.