Belmont Park chapel collects funds for Ukraine

Interior of Chapel of Our Lady Star of the Sea.

Kateryna Bandura 
Lookout Editor

Parishioners at the Chapel of Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Military Chapel in Belmont Park performed a seven-day miracle.

They collected $780.52 in one week to aid the citizens of Ukraine.

Captain (Padre) Justin Peter, Faith Community Co-ordinator, says the money will be sent to the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada, who will transfer the money to a local Catholic humanitarian organization in Ukraine.

“This particular issue seems to have really touched our congregation in a very deep way,” he says.

The congregation has been at less than half strength since COVID, reducing from about 100 people to 40 on a good day. When the chapel put out the call for funds, everyone pitched in, from parishioners to their neighbours and co-workers.

Over the week, Capt Peter talked to people about the Ukraine humanitarian crisis.

“I’m envisioning one person in particular, who was telling me about the horrible things she was reading, and you could see tears in her eyes. She doesn’t know anybody who’s from Ukraine, but there she is coming to pray every day,” he adds.

To help parishioners remain mindful of fellow Catholics in Ukraine, the chapel acquired a golden tapestry. The $90 tapestry was made in Ukraine by a local mom-and-pop shop.

“It was just [an] Easter gift to the chapel,” he says.

The tapestry was met with excited gasps during the unveiling at the Easter Vigil. Capt Peter says the tapestry is now part of their history.

“If 10 to 20 years down the line new people take over the chapel, that tapestry tells of when the chapel answered the call to be generous.”

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