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UGCC Provides Rehabilitation for Families of Wounded Soldiers and Those Released from Captivity

May 15, 2024, 12:40 35

From April 30 to May 8, the Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center of the UGCC and the Patriarchal Foundation “Mudra sprava” (Wise Cause) provided spiritual and psychological rehabilitation to families of military personnel who were wounded or released from captivity at the Marian Spiritual Center “Zarvanytsia.”

UGCC Provides Rehabilitation for Families of Wounded Soldiers and Those Released from Captivity

Today, these military families are learning to live with their own wounds and build healthy relationships with their husbands, wives, and children. To support them, a team of organizers—including representatives from the Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center, members of the Vikha (Milestone) community of Christian animators, and qualified psychologists and psychotherapists Ivan and Natalia Chorny—offered a space for communication and sharing. The families engaged in various activities such as living together in a spiritual setting, participating in physical and game activities, attending psychological lectures and analyses, practicing spiritual exercises, going on exciting trips, and enjoying quality recreation. We will hear from the participants themselves about how it went and what they will take into their lives.

For security reasons and to preserve anonymity, at the request of the soldiers and their families, we are publishing their comments and impressions without mentioning their names:

“When we arrived here, we had no idea how organized, thoughtful, and well-planned everything would be. All this gave us a great impetus to reunite our families and rehabilitate.”

“If we used to go with the flow, now we are beginning to swim against it, to struggle and reach our goals. Apparently, Fr. Vasyl understands how unusual and difficult it is to celebrate a holiday like Easter without family. This is the first time for us. However, you all have replaced our family, replaced it completely.”

“This is my first Easter apart from my family. And at the same time, this is the first holiday after which I told my husband that today it really felt like a holiday. I felt like I was with my real family.”

“I thank the organizers, patrons, sponsors, and everyone who contributed financially and organizationally. I want to emphasize that our team is composed of professionals and true gems. They didn’t treat this as just another job; they invested a part of themselves, bringing their humanity and love to us. Please make sure to convey this to the organizers, as they are not the only ones here. Father Vasyl is a wonderful spiritual mentor, and you can follow him without a shred of doubt. Ms. Natalia and Mr. Ivan are professional psychologists and the salt of the earth. They can understand you through your behavior and even by the way you dress. The girls-animators were amazing, entertaining our children for so many days. Albina, who organized everything, kept in touch with us on Viber, which was very important. And ‘our nightingale’ Yana, I love how she sings; she brings life to this place. I’m very grateful to Zarvanytsia for their hospitality. I am deeply thankful to everyone and once again ask for the preservation of this cornerstone for future rehabilitation, because these people truly bring about results and change.”

“Thanks to Albina for insisting that we participate. Honestly, we were not planning to come. My children haven’t heard sirens or been awakened by explosions for at least 10 days. Thank you very much for not bringing up the war here. And for me personally, this is the first time in my life I’ve worn a wedding ring.”

“Thank you so much to Ms. Natalia and Mr. Ivan. You are awesome. I really hope we will continue to see each other in Khmelnytskyi. I came here thinking I had no energy left, that I was too exhausted and tired. But being here has given me a second wind. I feel so good now, despite some personal problems. I feel good and calm.”

“I am grateful to you all for this opportunity to feel safe during these days. I also appreciate the time away from the children and their rest, as they rarely have the chance to play and do activities together in a close-knit group. This unification of both children and adults gives us a very pleasant feeling. The war divides people: some friends have left, some are at war, and you worry about them. Here, we found many reasons to be happy. To the psychologists, I want to say that you work wonderfully, gently, and discreetly. I thought it would be a deep self-examination, but instead, everything was laid out clearly, helping us understand where we should go and feel the resource to move forward.”


“My impressions and associations with rehabilitation boil down to three words: spirituality, kindness, and sincerity. There is a rather common phrase that the greatest luxury is communication. You have given us plenty of this luxury. Ms. Natalia also noted that a good psychologist should not give advice or say what to do, but should simply illuminate. You have illuminated our lives.”

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the team at the Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center is already actively preparing for the third round of rehabilitation for families of military personnel who were wounded or released from captivity. This next round will begin on May 28, 2024, at the Marian Spiritual Center “Zarvanytsia.” The main condition for participation is that the entire family (husband, wife, and children) undergoes rehabilitation together, as our program is designed to restore relationships and help families find a healing, inexhaustible source within themselves.

Those wishing to participate can fill out the application form and wait for feedback from the manager.

Participation is completely free. The organizers are the Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center of the UGCC, with the support of the Patriarchal Foundation “Wise Cause.”

Press service of the Patriarchal Foundation “Mudra sprava” (Wise Cause)

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