Student Theater SAD, which operates at the Center of Student Chaplain of Lviv Archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, for fifth time celebrated Christmas on the territories of eastern Ukraine. For almost a week, from January 5 to 10, 2019, students and young Lvivites were travelling across Donetsk oblast, performing vertep and singing carols proclaiming the birth of Jesus Christ to those who cannot celebrate at home.
For four days, under the direction of the student chaplain Father Yurii Ostapiuk and the starosta Karina Prokopenko, a student of Lviv Polytechnic National University, SAD theater visited several cities, namely Konstiantynivka, Druzhkivka, Chasiv Yar, Myrnohrad, Pokrovsk, Selidove, Krasnohorivka and Mariupol. During the trip, the theater paid a visit to military units, mobile hospitals and parishes of the UGCC, singing carols for locals and parishioners, education institutions and checkpoints. Young theater members visited familiar places, as well as new ones. A pleasant surprise for the theater was the television broadcast: the story about student carols can be viewed in the TSN evening news release on January 7.
In total, the theater overcame about 2,777 kilometers and 52 hours in trains, not counting long distances on the bus.
On January 10, the youth went home. The long journey back allowed the participants to dwell upon their journey and contemplate the whole Christmas mystery. Some of the theater members shared their impressions, including Kateryna Strakhorchuk, a fourth-year student of Lviv Polytechnic:
– For us it is important to have peace, but to really see you have to go there. East is part of Ukraine, which is, was and will be ours, but there is another life there, we live in peace enjoying the sun, but there is not always the same in that part of Ukraine. We despise things and do not even make efforts to change them, there people are happy when there are no wounded and no shots.