Upcoming Events View All
25
The Song of Mark: A Sacred Musical

Sunday, 02/25/2024 at 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

27
Guided Lenten Retreat featuring "The Chosen"

Tuesday, 02/27/2024 at 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM

1
The Song of Mark: A Sacred Musical

Friday, 03/01/2024 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

3
Your Inner Myth with Noeli Lytton

Sunday, 03/03/2024 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

6
Lenten Mission Concert with David Kauffman

Wednesday, 03/06/2024 at 7:00 PM

9
All Saints Quilt Show and Sale

Saturday, 03/09/2024 at 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

9
From the Heart Rummage Sale

Saturday, 03/09/2024 at 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

9
CASINO ROYALE - GOING ALL IN TOGETHER

Saturday, 03/09/2024 at 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

13
Made for More Speaker Series

Wednesday, 03/13/2024 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

16
Quilt Social

Saturday, 03/16/2024 at 10:00 AM

A Ukrainian soldier listened to artillery fire from his bunker at a front-line position near Bakhmut March 16. Dorian Kernytsky, a Philadelphia-area Ukrainian Catholic, has been making hundreds of rugged, stainless steel rosaries for troops in Ukraine, hoping to provide solace amid the horrors of war.
A Ukrainian soldier listened to artillery fire from his bunker at a front-line position near Bakhmut March 16. Dorian Kernytsky, a Philadelphia-area Ukrainian Catholic, has been making hundreds of rugged, stainless steel rosaries for troops in Ukraine, hoping to provide solace amid the horrors of war.
Photo Credit: Violeta Santos Moura | Reuters

Rosary project supplies ‘heart-changing weapons’ to Ukraine

Ukrainian Catholic in Philadelphia has been making rosaries to send to Ukrainian soldiers

PHILADELPHIA — A broken rosary has become the inspiration to heal the war-torn nation of Ukraine, thanks to the efforts of a Philadelphia-area Ukrainian Catholic man and a dedicated group of volunteers.

Several years ago, 38-year-old Dorian Kernytsky of Rockledge, Pennsylvania, was given a replica of a World War I-style rosary — a rugged, bead-chain chaplet made of stainless steel favored by thousands of U.S. soldiers on the battlefield.

The only problem was that one decade was missing two beads.

Hoping to repair the rosary, Kernytsky contacted the manufacturer, who instead sent a replacement.

But Kernytsky, an IT technical support professional, was reluctant to discard the incomplete rosary, and set about trying to fix it.

“I saw how simple it was,” he said. “And I thought, wow, I can make a lot of these very quickly.”

He began purchasing tools and materials — and as a first-generation descendant of Ukrainian immigrants, Kernytsky immediately knew to whom he could give his handmade rosaries, the design of which had initially been forged for what was then called “the war to end all wars.”

“It was easy to go from the World War I rosary to one for the Ukrainian troops, and then to making lots of them,” said Kernytsky, a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Philadelphia.

Along with his Ukrainian heritage, Kernytsky drew on his deep devotion to the Rosary — and his fellow Rosary group members — to launch his project, which he named “Our Lady’s Weapon.”

Months before rolling up their sleeves to fashion the rosaries, group members had begun meeting online regularly to pray this Marian devotion, days before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24, 2022.

The nearly 20 volunteers for Our Lady’s Weapon include women who are refugees from Ukraine, whose husbands and fathers are now fighting to defend their homeland, said Kernytsky.

So far, the group has made more than 800 rosaries for Ukrainian soldiers, which have been blessed by Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia and sent to Ukraine’s Garrison Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Lviv. The 17th-century church, bombed during World War II and used as a book depository under communism, was transferred to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv in 2010 and now serves as the main church of the military chaplaincy.

In Ukraine, the rosaries have been blessed as well by Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Stepan Sus, then distributed to soldiers. Although the majority of them are Orthodox rather than Catholic, Kernytsky noted that Orthodox believers “do have a devotion to the Rosary.”

Kernytsky said he hopes that the rosaries, which are large enough to be worn by soldiers, offer solace while serving as means of evangelization.

In particular, he hopes to promote devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Divine Mercy and St. Joan of Arc by adding medals with those images to the rosaries.

“Ukrainians don’t know about St. Joan of Arc,” he said. “This young girl turned the tides of a forever war (the Hundred Years War), and this has been a forever war between Russia and Ukraine. I’d like to change that.”

Kernytsky said the Rosary is a long-range spiritual armament “that changes hearts” for the long term.

“I know God’s will for Ukraine is very much through Our Lady,” he said. “It’s only when individuals surrender themselves (to God) that their hearts really do change.”

Related Articles Module

From the Archive Module

Rosary project supplies heartchanging weapons to Ukraine 8506

Must Watch Videos

Now Playing

    View More Videos