Prayer group gathers weekly at Mount St. Macrina


By Mark Jesko, Joan Bridges, Julia Pillar and Bonnie Balas

When COVID-19 first broke out in 2020, a core group of local Roman and Byzantine Catholics began praying the rosary weekly for an end to the pandemic.

At the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022, this group felt a need to pray the rosary for peace in Ukraine as well.

With the approval of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, the Lourdes Grotto on the grounds of Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa. was chosen as the prayer site.
This core group has now developed into a larger prayer group, including many local Catholics and those of other denominations.

Once learning of this, Father Vasyl Symyon, pastor of St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Uniontown, encouraged his parishioners to attend this prayer gathering.

Father Vasyl, who is originally from Ukraine, has taken the initiative to lead the faithful in praying the rosary weekly for peace. Since Father Vasyl has direct contact with his family in Ukraine, he provides a brief update of the situation. He also includes an inspirational message to continue to pray for peace in Ukraine. As he said, “while Russia is attacking Ukraine with bombs, we need to bomb them with prayers”.

The rosary is prayed weekly on Sundays at 5 p.m. at the Lourdes Grotto. In case of inclement weather, an indoor alternative site will be chosen (see Facebook for updates). All are welcome to attend. If unable to attend, Father Vasyl asks that the rosary be prayed privately at that time.