Hundreds attend Va. mass to pray for peace in Ukraine

People attend a mass by the Diocese of Arlington in Virginia to pray for peace in Ukraine. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
People attend a mass by the Diocese of Arlington in Virginia to pray for peace in Ukraine. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
People attend a mass by the Diocese of Arlington in Virginia to pray for peace in Ukraine. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
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A cathedral in Virginia was packed Monday afternoon as the Diocese of Arlington held a mass to pray for Ukraine.

“We are not paralyzed. We can do something to assist our brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington.

Burbidge led the service at the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More.

“We’re all deeply saddened and troubled with what we have been seeing with the invasion in Ukraine. Our hearts are deeply troubled seeing death and suffering,” he said.

“The Mass for Peace and Justice in Ukraine and Throughout the World” brought hundreds out to a packed cathedral as they joined in songs, prayer and communion.

“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” and “For the Healing of the Nations” were among the hymns sung during the service.

“We prayed for an end of this attack, of this violence. We prayed for peace and stability in Ukraine and throughout the world,” Burbidge said.

Seeing the large crowd gave Burbidge hope, he said. The service was announced just a few days ago, so he was thrilled so many people came out.

“I was deeply, deeply inspired to see the cathedral almost full. It was very inspiring to see that faith,” Burbidge said. “We did something very powerful today.”

During his homily, Burbidge denounced the violence in Ukraine and called for peace.

“I join with my brother bishops and all people of goodwill in denouncing this violence as an affront to human dignity … calling for solidarity, people in faith uniting in prayer for the end of this violence.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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