Milwaukee community gathers Sunday morning

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The invasion in Ukraine is impacting people here in southeastern Wisconsin.

“I come to church today to pray for my grandparents, to pray for my extended family in Ukraine,” Solomiya Kayvuk said.

She and dozens of parishioners gathered at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Sunday morning with Ukraine in the lead.

“As I went to bed last night, I knew I didn’t have to worry about airstrikes. I didn’t have to worry about bombs. My family spends the nights and evenings in bomb shelters and bunkers, hiding and praying,” she said.

Many parishioners here have loved ones in Ukraine.

“Peace. We want peace one way or another,” said Helen Sabat.

“I hope that we as a community can come together, pray for Ukraine, pray for freedom, pray for democracy,” Joe Spolowicz said.

The Sunday service was filled with songs and traditions. Church members say it has been difficult watching the Russians invade the country they love.

“This really is a threat to democracy. We need to understand how precious it is and how quickly we can lose it,” Spolowicz said.

Community members said they relied on their faith, praying for loved ones and strangers halfway around the world.

“The people I love the most are sleeping in bunkers. The people there, they also have family sleeping in bunkers. We have to protect the Ukrainian skies,” Kavyuk said.

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