Father Lucas Perozzi is in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. Since the first days of the war, he and three other priests have hosted around 30 people in the parish of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Nowadays he doesn’t sleep or eat much, and during this period he even fell ill for a while. But even though he could leave the country if he so wished, he decided to remain with the people he came to serve and loves.
“In this time of war, the people couldn’t remain in their own houses and were spending their nights in bunkers and in underground stations. It was terrible, because these places are cold, dirty, and the atmosphere is very dark. They were scared, terrified. Those who came to stay with us can now sleep through the night, in a peaceful atmosphere, despite the war. There is brotherly solidarity here, people help each other out. When someone is down, sad and afraid, somebody else isn’t doing so badly and helps out,” Fr. Lucas explains, while he gets on with his daily activities. While speaking to pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) he says that the sounds of war raged on all day long. Goods are getting scarce as well. “Some shops are still open, but their shelves are getting emptier every day. Medicine is starting to run out also,” he adds.
Fr. Lucas has been in Ukraine since 2004. When he was young, he attended a meeting of the Neocatechumenal Way in Italy and ended up being invited to go to Ukraine, where he became a priest. His time in this Eastern European country has been closely linked to ACN. “We receive a lot of aid from ACN, and not only now during the war. The Diocesan Missionary Redemptoris Mater seminary, where I was trained, was, and continues to be, supported by ACN; thanks to ACN I was able to acquire a car here in the parish which I use for pastoral work; the church in which these 30 people are staying was built largely through the help of the charity, and I just heard that we have received emergency aid from ACN to continue our work, so we are very grateful!”