The parish of St. Padre Pio in Krasnosilka, a village in southern Ukraine around 15 km north of the city of Odessa, is still young and also pretty small. The Catholic community there numbers only around 30 people, mainly families with young children. But other families are beginning to show an interest in the Catholic faith.
Yet there is still no church here. Mass is still celebrated in a room in the private house where the priest lives. But it is far too small, and in any case the parishioners do not feel it is appropriate to have to pray in a private home. They would like to have a proper chapel with the Blessed Sacrament reserved and used exclusively for Holy Mass and prayer and not as a private dwelling either. This is an aspect that can also be an obstacle to would-be believers seeking faith, since in this culture religious gatherings in private homes tend to be associated with sectarian groups.
Bishop Stanislaw Szyrokoradiuk is full of admiration for the Catholic faithful who continue to meet and pray in these conditions. However, it would be too expensive to build a church, and given the fact that the community is still very small but also very dynamic, it is not clear how it may develop in the future. So, there is a risk that any such church might ultimately be either too small or too large, however, carefully it was planned and built. The bishop has come up with a somewhat unconventional idea, namely a “container chapel” that would nevertheless have a proper spire and should be easily recognizable from outside as a place of worship. This could be erected quickly and easily, and if a larger church were eventually needed one day, it could then be easily moved and re-erected in another small community where it could continue to serve as a chapel. The proposed chapel would have an area of around 60 m² and be able to accommodate between 120 and 130 people. It would be fully insulated and have its own ventilation system. It would resolve a major problem for the foreseeable future.
The bishop is asking us for 30,000 dollars for this practical solution. We think it is an excellent and pragmatic one and are willing to help. Would you be willing to contribute?