On March 25, 2024, the start of Lent (according to the Julian calendar), the “Growing in Love” retreat for CANA Ukraine couples began. Every Monday evening, some twenty families gathered online on the Zoom platform to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to deepen their relationship with the Lord and as a couple.

Not only were there five wonderful evenings to share as a couple or individually, but also an opportunity to work on the homework assigned each day during the week. It should be noted that due to dangerous military operations, the retreat took place at a distance.

Important, concrete topics were chosen, as well as deep prayerful support with God’s Word, and some of the inspired couples on the team created a fairly simple retreat format accessible to all. We believe it was also a fruitful time for their growth. Several couples stressed the importance of the initial theme of God’s love in rediscovering sources of love and inspiration in their relationship. Equally meaningful for some people was the topic of forgiveness, and the meeting on the languages of love encouraged them to continue looking for the best ways to accept and give of themselves to each other.
Most Ukrainian couples, including Kana’s, are going through a difficult time because of the war. There’s a lot of internal turmoil, tension and uncertainty about the future. This affects the quality of relationships within families.

Many couples are physically separated because the men serve in the army. In general, we feel that we are victims of an unjust aggression imposed by the Russian government, which has caused so much pain and suffering, and that’s why it’s important for us to hear international fraternal solidarity and understanding.
We are therefore very grateful for the sincere support and accompaniment of our brothers in Poland, especially Marek and Monika. Their dedication, fraternal support, organization of financial support and assistance, both in person and online, are invaluable to us.

For us, the experience of a weekend in Kielce, Poland, during the Fraternity Leaders Training, was invaluable and very encouraging. We heard a lot of understanding and compassion. It was a very comforting experience for us. We are grateful to the Lord for everything and everyone!

Yulia & Vasyl