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The altar was set at the church’s entrance, so it was visible to everyone from the street. The light and warmth from the candles set the tone for the evening.

Ukrainian community support those affected by war

Solidarity marked the event that was held at Vancouver’s Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.

By Leonardo DeGorter , in City , on May 17, 2022

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February the Holy Trinity Cathedral has worked with the Canadian Red Cross, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and the Maple Hope Foundation to raise relief funds. 

“Within days of the war, our church board decided that we needed to start collecting money for humanitarian relief,”  said parishioner Mary Ann Pylypchuk. 

“Since the war started, a lot of people who didn’t have religion in their lives are showing up at the church, and we’re welcoming them all,” she said.

Father Roman Tsaplan offers blessings during an evening vigil.  His mother lives very close to the Polish border in Ukraine, and she was shocked to see so many displaced people arriving at her town after the Russian invasion.


Father Roman Tsaplan has led the parish for 17 years.

“I was so happy to see this gesture of love and support in difficult times. We’re not created for darkness. Those beautiful candles symbolize hope, inspiration, and encouragement,” he said.

Like many members of the community Father Tsaplan and Pylypchuk have relatives in Ukraine. 

Ted Cholod attended the vigil with his son, Michael, and Elena Edwards, a friend. His family immigrated from Western Ukraine in 1936. They settled in Saskatchewan before moving to B.C.

Ted Cholod moved to Canada with his family as a 3 year old child. He still feels a deep connection to his home country.

“We try to help as many people in our community as we can, and right now, our focus is on the problems we’re having in Ukraine. People are suffering in ways they shouldn’t. We’re at a time where this (an invasion) should not be an issue anymore, and we should all be living peacefully.”