From Maidan to Rome

They are on their way to Rome for the 10th World Meeting of Families

PhotoCredit: Private Archive
PhotoCredit: Private Archive

Ukraine is their homeland, Poland is where they are living, and now they are on their way to Rome for the 10th World Meeting of Families which begins on June 22. Włodzimierz and Tatiana Korczyński are expecting the birth of their ninth child. “Help to Ukraine in the form of arms supplies is OK, but prayer is the most important. God can perform a miracle at any moment,” says Włodzimierz Korczyński.

We’re talking a day after Włodzimierz Korczyński came back from Ukraine after another humanitarian aid mission. He admits that his life was changed by the experience of Maidan Square, where pro-EU protesters were massacred by the security forces of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. “These events radically changed my approach to everything, including to my family” – recalls Korczyński. Back then, he adds, work and duties came first. “Then the changes began. We realized that family is the most important thing to us. You can’t raise children through strangers. A child needs your love; you must be close and be a role model. No one and nothing can replace that” – he adds.

“On February 24, I was ready for everything. The very next day I went to Ukraine with humanitarian aid. Ukraine calls me! I want to be there and serve others” – he admits.

The Korczyńskis were invited to participate in the World Meeting of Families by Father Leszek Kryża, Director of the Polish Bishops’ Conference Eastern Church Support Team. The couple emphasizes that the trip and the opportunity to pray for peace is a blessing but also a responsibility for them. “For me and for my family, it will be a great honour that I can represent Ukraine, be with families from all over the world and pray for peace in my homeland (…). God can perform a miracle at any time, He can convert Russia” – Korczyński explains.

Despite the experience of Russian aggression against their homeland, the couple do not lose hope. They ask for prayers and at every opportunity express their gratitude for the support Poles offer them and their countrymen who are suffering because of the war.

Pope Francis will be the host of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome. The Holy Father will greet the participants on June 22 in the afternoon in the Paul VI Hall. On Saturday, June 25 he will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The agenda for the Rome gathering includes a Festival of Families, a Pastoral Congress as well as conferences on the life of Catholic families, parental duties and marital love. The World Meeting of Families has been delayed for a year due to the COVID pandemic.