In October 2022, our VP, Ken Rackers, visited many CONU contacts in Ukraine. Here’s the beginning of the article, there’s also a link below for the whole article.
Ken Rackers, Vice President of the Catholic Outreach to Northern Ukraine, shares smiles with children residing at the House of Hope., a single mothers home in Ukraine.
Why Visit during a War?
Any news snippet from Ukraine would keep most travelers far from eastern Europe, but not Ken Rackers! His drive is motivated by his designation as an honorary Ukrainian “Cossack” which was bestowed by Ukrainian Orthodox Bishop Mefodi of Sumi on a previous trip. The timing of this trip was to align with the anniversary of the National and Orthodox “National Day of the Defenders,” October 12, 2020’. When asked why travel during a tumultuous time during a war, Ken replied: “It’s been a great honor to be designated a Ukrainian Cossack, along with 20 members of the Ukrainian military. I feel the honor and duty to help the people of Ukraine in the defense of their nation and struggle to maintain independence.” Furthermore, Ken reaffirmed “It is my duty and honor as a Ukrainian Cossack, and a former U.S. Army Soviet/Russian/East European Foreign Area Officer.”” It is easy to see how proud of his special designation as Ukrainian Cossack and this creates a special connection with the Ukrainian people. It’s also easy to see how loved he is by all those he connects with in Ukraine.
As vice president of the Catholic Outreach to Northern Ukraine (CONU, see sidebar), Ken has been instrumental and devoutly engaged in all the missions of CONU. His inspiration started with a talk from Father Paul Wicker, a founder of CONU, about his mission in February 2018 at Our Lady of the Pines. Between trips, Ken regularly corresponds with all his Ukrainian contacts to ensure their safety and see how best to provide for their needs.
On a Mission!
Ken landed in Krakov Poland on October 2 and crossed into Ukraine on October 3 to visit many people and places where CONU is refocusing its support to our brethren in need. His stops included Yaslovets, Kamenetz-Podilskii, Sharavetchka, Kyiv, Lubny, Sumi, and Lutsk. He returned to Krakov on October 11. Plans to visit Kharkiv were were interrupted by ongoing missile strikes.
To enjoy the rest of the article, please click here…
Article on Ukraine Visit