Ukrainian Catholic bishop from Parma first US bishop to travel to Polish border to help refugees

“I couldn’t just watch those images,” Bishop Bohdan Danylo said.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Bishop Bohdan Danylo of St. Josephat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma was the first US bishop travel to the Polish border to help Ukrainian refugees.

“I couldn’t just watch those images,” Danylo said. “I decided to go and be with those people and see what the needs are, how they are doing.”

The war in Ukraine hits home for Danylo. His Polish hometown has been a main port of entry for Ukrainians escaping the war.

Danylo helped some of the millions of women and children fleeing to safety.

“The Gospel story of welcoming strangers, giving them food, shelter, clothing became a reality,” Danylo said.

The devastation continues with innocent Ukrainians being killed and the uncertainty of ever being able to return home growing. Danylo said these refugees have helped one another through some of the most horrible moments in their lives.

“Could you imagine they spent four or five days traveling a distance of seven hours by car, they stood two days on foot to cross into Poland for example,” Danylo said.

He said Ukrainians are fighting on the principle of freedom just like Americans would.

“Today that freedom is defended by Ukrainian men and women in Ukraine,” Danylo said. “They are fighting our fight.”

This moment has likely tested the faith of the roughly 4.5 million refugees and those who have stayed behind. Danylo wants to remind these people fighting for their lives that this war will come to an end.

“Suffering is not the end,” Danylo said. “There is hope for the future.”

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