BIDDEFORD — On Monday, March 14, St. James School in Biddeford will pray for peace in the world, specifically in Ukraine, in a special way.
“We are going to make sunflowers and put them in all the windows of the school with blue backgrounds,” said Principal Nancy Naimey, referencing the colors of the country’s flag. “The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine.”
The crafted sunflowers will also adorn areas outside of the school. In addition, students will pray for peace and make peace signs in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine.
“We will also take donations for Ukraine that week to Catholic Relief Services for humanitarian aid in Ukraine,” said Naimey.
Following the Russian invasion of the country in the early hours of Feb. 24, the capital city of Kyiv and the eastern city of Kharkiv were targeted with attacks that quickly spread across central and eastern areas of Ukraine. In less than 24 hours, attacks displaced people from their homes, especially in those cities and towns in the east. Both the Pontifical Mission Societies, which are the pope’s charities, and Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, are working to help the Ukrainian people. To visit the diocese’s giving website to offer support, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/content/support-people-ukraine.
All are also encouraged to gather at the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, located on 122 Ash Street in Lewiston, for an ecumenical and interfaith prayer service this Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m. The service is to offer prayers for peace in Ukraine and for the innocent people currently suffering in the country. Among those who will participate in the service are Father Daniel Greenleaf, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston; Reverend Annie Baker-Streevy, pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church in Lewiston; Brittany Longsdorf, multifaith chaplain at Bates College in Lewiston; and Mayor Carl Sheline of Lewiston. The service will also be presented via livestream at www.princeofpeace.me and www.facebook.com/PrinceOfPeaceME.