MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki joined Pope Francis and Bishops around the world on Friday, March 25 in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Some 500 people poured into the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Friday morning for a special Mass – joining millions of Catholics around the world praying for peace.
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
"When you are invited to pray, you don’t turn that down," Archbishop Listecki said.
"It’s scary, but God is bigger than our fears – all we can do is pray," said Sara Ohlson.
Archbishop Listecki joins Pope Francis in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Those prayers echo far beyond Milwaukee.
"Australia, Africa, they did it all over the world, and we are a part of that," said Ethel Wu.
"This whole service began by claiming that we are sinners. We need to examine our own relationship so that peace begins with us. That peace challenges world leaders – everybody else," the archbishop said.
Meanwhile, in Wauwatosa, Ukraine's flag joined the Wisconsin and American flags flying at Hart Park.
Valentyn Potapenko was born in Ukraine, but has lived in Wauwatosa for decades. He said the flying of the Ukrainian flag means something to him – and those fighting for their country.
"I have a lot of family and friends in Ukraine," Potapenko said. "The flag represents our people. It shows our people that people here are standing next to them and support them."
Flag of Ukraine flies at Hart Park, Wauwatosa
"As long as it takes. We’re going to have it fly until Ukraine is free again," said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride.
The flag at Hart park was raised after a Common Council resolution earlier this month.