Archbishops lament ongoing devastation in Ukraine in Easter sermons

Trócaire appeals for return of over 700,000 boxes as Lenten campaign ends

We live “in the ‘hour’ of the oppressor, in a time when the ‘power of darkness’ holds sway not only in Ukraine, but in many parts of our world,” Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell has said in his Easter sermon.

"You don't need me to bring home to you the horror and darkness of these days … the graves of the innocent victims butchered in this 'repugnant war,' and the victims of violence, despotism and hunger in so many other conflicts: let the horrors of recent weeks not blind us to the brutal conflicts in Yemen, or in Ethiopia, " he said.

“In these days when darkness and death appear to reign, let us consider afresh, the significance of our faith in Christ’s victory over death, and its darkness, and what that means for how we live day-in-day out,” he said.

People were called to travel “a road that is made real for us in how we now welcome our sisters and brothers from Ukraine. Welcoming the stranger is the Resurrection in action! Let us remember that the support of the State and NGOs is no replacement for the concreteness and warmth of our love. A welcome centre is a shelter, but not a home,” he said.

In his Easter sermon Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson said that "today we have no option but to look for shafts of resurrection light in the ways those who are oppressed in Ukraine respond to devastation and speak of hope."

He pointed out that "we are not spectators of this arena of life that is working itself out in the arena of war. We are participants and we are asked to follow the example particularly of Mary Magdalene who is the true saint of Easter… Hers are the first footsteps of the church in the world."

Meanwhile Trócaire chief executive Caoimhe de Barra has reminded people that "prior to the devastating Ukraine conflict many countries were facing a humanitarian crisis of almost unparalleled dimensions, with an estimated 811 million people going to bed hungry every night."

The Ukraine crisis had "triggered a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe, increasing the cost of food and fuel globally. This will have devastating implications for those impacted by forgotten crises and rapid action is needed," she said. This year's Trócaire Lenten campaign was in support of millions of people in Zimbabwe suffering the impact of Covid-19 and climate change.

More than 700,000 Trócaire boxes were circulated to homes and parishes all over Ireland during the campaign which traditionally ends on Easter Sunday.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the generous donations we receive from parishes, schools and families in Ireland each year. I would appeal to people across the country to return their Trócaire boxes this weekend so we can continue to provide life-saving support to the people who rely on our work overseas,” she said.