Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022, was a shock to the world. Through this war we are witnessing the reality of evil. But we’re also seeing something else. As tanks tore through Ukraine to kill, concerned citizens and Brother Knights arrived with relief supplies to sustain life. As refugees fled, volunteers stood at the border to provide critical care and housing. As bombs dropped from the sky, people of faith sent their prayers to the heavens. In Solidarity with Ukraine, an inspiring new film from the Knights of Columbus, see a vivid example of what it means to be a Christian disciple in the midst of war, and how the light of the Gospel continues to shine in the darkness.
Danylo and Alexander Fedoryka, members of John Carrell Jenkins Council 7771 in Front Royal, Va., grew up in an American household rooted in Ukrainian traditions. Their first language was Ukrainian, and the name of the band they founded some 20 years ago, Scythian, is a nod to the ancient nomadic empire of Scythia, a vast region that included modern-day Ukraine. On Feb. 26, the band performed a live streamed concert to raise support for the Order’s Ukraine Solidarity Fund.
Dominik and Marta Kołodziej live in Kraków, Poland, with their two young children and another on the way. When the invasion of Ukraine began, this Knights of Columbus family was one of many who decided to open their home and welcome Ukrainian refugees.
The decision to leave was harrowing for Roman Panivnyk, a Knight from Kyiv, and his wife, Olga. Torn between loyalty to their country, concern for Olga’s elderly parents and responsibility for their three children, they ultimately left to Poland. From there, they received assistance from Roman’s brother Knights, and the family was able to continue to Olga’s sister’s home in Pennsylvania. Olga describes their decision, their journey from Kyiv and their determination to speak for those they left behind.
Ukrainian helicopter pilot Bogdan Dovzhinsky was flying a mission to the besieged city of Mariupol when he was shot down and killed May 2. His father and mother, Ivan and Olena, pay tribute to his courage and speak of the hope that comes from their faith. “Bogdan loved life very much. He loved the sky,” said Ivan, a member of Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky Council 16890 in Irpin. “In difficult moments, one turns to God.”
Andrii Boiko is a Ukrainian Knight who retired from the military in 2021. When Russia invaded the country in February, 2022, Andrii went back to work. Guided by the principle of patriotism, Andrii describes the love he has for his homeland, and why he is risking his life for its defense.
When Oleg Vorobyev, a member of The Blessed Hryhorij Lakota Council 17651 in Lviv, first joined the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2015, he was moved by the plight of his fellow soldiers, many of them ordinary men who suffered while separated from their families. Returning home, he and his wife, Olga, founded “Happy Together,” an organization to provide support for family relationships and marriages of men in the ATO. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Oleg was called again to fight for his country. He was killed in battle May 30 near the city of Popasna in eastern Ukraine. Family and friends remember Oleg as a man of love, faith and patriotism.
Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly brings a message of solidarity to Church and civil leaders, Knights, and displaced families in Poland and Ukraine.
Ukrainian American Knights perform songs of solidarity in concert with the Order’s relief efforts.
Knights on the front lines offer their service – and their lives – to defend the country they love.
Knights of Columbus Charity Convoys bring care packages and essential supplies to Ukrainians displaced by war.
A Knight and his wife reflect on their experiences from different sides of the Ukrainian border.
Cardinal Dolan visits Mercy Centers and commends the Order’s refugee efforts in partnership with CNEWA.
Pope Francis commends the Order’s refugee relief efforts as Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly joins Knights in Poland and Ukraine for Holy Week
Knights of Columbus families in Poland open their hearts and homes to Ukrainian refugees.
The Knights of Columbus mobilizes to serve refugees and other victims of war.
Ukrainian Knights serving the needs of their country amid war see God’s hand in the Order’s presence and growth.
Olga and Roman Panivnyk faced a difficult choice: staying for Olga’s parents and their country or leaving for their children.
Knights of Columbus around the world are committed to serving their families, parishes and communities especially when in matters most.