Below are photos from Father Stanislav Tanatarov in Mirgorod, Ukraine. The name of the new church, funded by an anonymous donor to CONU, is Church of Jesus of Divine Mercy. Father Stan says the church is the most beautiful building in the city. It’s in a prominent location on the main highway through Mirgorod. The church also continues to serve the war victims and refugees. One day this fall, over 400 war victims refugees received aid. When Ken Rackers, CONU’s board VP, visited in October 2022, Father Stan introduced him to about 120 refugees attending mass and receiving aid. Ken spoke 2-3 minutes in Russian during mass. After mass, 4 or 5 older ladies (babushkas, grandmothers) came up and kissed him on cheeks, hugged him with tears in their eyes, thanking CONU and Americans. Three dedushkas (grandfathers) also thanked him and shook his hand. Father Stan later took him to a refugee center (very dilapidated housing likely frigid in winter). Later he took him to lunch at the apartment of a refugee couple. They put on a typical generous feast. They also showed pictures of the apartment building they left behind in the war area of Donbas. It had been shelled by artillery the morning they fled. It was later completely and horribly ransacked by Russian soldiers.
The basement chapel of the Mirgorod church was filled with food and supply donations stacked taller than Ken, some from CONU, likely the rest is from Poland and international donors including the USA. Ken asked Father Stan where it all came from. He coyly responded from CONU, only CONU. He responded it was like that “fishes and loaves” from Jesus in the Bible. While CONU is not a big or rich organization, it contributes to the welfare of 1000s in cities and regions across Ukraine. Father Stan is a great leader of his parish and flock, and a honest and impeccable steward of CONU’s contributions… as are all the other with whom we work in projects across Ukraine. This is the second church Father Stan built with support from CONU. The other is in the city of Konotop.