Ukrainians in Denver praying for peace as talks of possible Russian invasion continue

Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church
Posted at 4:13 PM, Feb 13, 2022

DENVER — Sunday's Mass at Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood ended with a prayer for peace as talks about a possible Russian invasion continue.

"Everybody's worried and anxious and yet hopeful," Tatianna Gajecky, a Ukrainian living in Colorado since 1979, said.

She was one of many who attended Sunday's Mass delivered in Ukrainian.

"I mean, I was ready to cry when I went in because the news is so terrifying," Gajecky said.

She's worried about her friends and family back home.

"We all have family, relatives, friends, you know, all kinds of people that we know, and we don't want them to get hurt," Gajecky said. "They said, 'We are worried. We are afraid. Please pray for us.'"

Prayer is what the congregation knows how to do best. Its pastor, Father Valeriy Kandyuk, moved to Denver from Ukraine just a few months ago. He's no stranger to calling for peace.

"It's not a good situation around Ukraine," he said.

Gajecky hopes to take a message of hope to the nation's capital next Sunday as Ukrainians organize a day of solidarity. Similar events are being organized at state capitols around the country, including Denver.

"They just want to be left alone and, you know, live normally like every other nation," she said.