Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 29, 2022 / 15:49 pm
Father Pedro Zafra is a 31-year-old priest from Córdoba, Spain, who arrived in Kyiv in 2011 for priestly formation. He was ordained last June and is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way. The priest serves the parish of the Assumption of the Virgin in the Ukrainian capital.
Despite the outbreak of war, the priest decided to stay with his parishioners and not leave the country. "It was an inner battle," he said, adding that he found the answer in prayer with a passage from the Gospel which "spoke of the mission and the support of God's grace to carry it forward," and that’s why he decided to stay.
Until Feb. 24, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, life in the parish was like that in any other. But since the start of the war, the parish has become a reception center, where more than 20 parishioners are sheltered in the basement because their houses weren’t safe enough.
“We have several elderly people in wheelchairs, families with their small and adolescent children, and some young missionaries,” Fr. Zafra told the Spanish daily ABC, and stressed that living through this situation in community “helps us a lot to cope with it.”