On Saturday, January 12, the young Salesian Bishop of Kiev in Ukraine, Bishop Vitaliy Krivitskiy, SDB, paid a visit to the Salesian Community of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey. He joined them for Evening Prayer and Dinner.
A year and a half ago, our brother Vitaliy was the pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Odessa when Pope Francis asked him to shepherd the Roman Rite Diocese of the capital city of Ukraine. Fluent in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, he is currently spending a month in Washington, DC studying English.
Bishop Vitaliy spoke to our Community of the challenges which both the Ukraine and his local church face, and the increasing number of young people fleeing the country. The impact of war and of poverty are taking their toll. His church tries to remain close to those who suffer.
Decades ago, the Soviet Government appropriated all church property in the Ukraine. Since Ukraine gained its independence, the cathedral of his diocese has been returned, but its rectory has not been, as it had become the Canadian Embassy. Thus, the bishop lives in an apartment near the cathedral.
In a brotherly way, Bishop Vitaliy shared with us that a particular sorrow for him is not living in a Salesian Community. For this reason, he desired to join with a Salesian Community while paying a weekend visit to New Jersey, to experience once again our fraternal life.
The Provincial, Fr. Tim Zak, joined us in welcoming our confrere for a few hours, praying together and sharing a fraternal meal.