GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — People in West Michigan are continuing to mark one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. On Saturday, parishioners of St. Michael’s The Archangel Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Grand Rapids gathered to pray for the thousands of civilians and soldiers who have died.

It hits close to home for the clergy and those who attended the service.

“It’s very painful for me. I lost my cousin two weeks ago. He was an active military soldier,” Father Roman Fedchyk said.

Some of his family were able to escape Ukraine and come to Grand Rapids, but many of his family members remain in the war-torn country.

“We are so far from Ukraine but we are continuing. The work does not stop. I think our prayers are really important now,” he said. “With God’s help, we can have peace in Ukraine.”

Fedchyk expressed gratitude to the community and parishioners who have donated money to help with medical relief efforts in Ukraine. He said more than $100,000 has been raised since the attack on his home country.

“In this way, the church tries to be a center of life to gather Ukrainians and gather friends to find how we can help Ukraine and find a way to help Ukrainians here in the United States, especially in Grand Rapids,” Fedchyk said.

The church is still collecting money. If you would like to help, you can make checks payable to St. Michael’s The Archangel Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and add “support for Ukraine.”