Father Stepan Sus is the director of the Center for Military Chaplaincy of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv, Ukraine. He has also helped establish chaplaincy programs for children living in orphanages and other state-run institutions and for students at state-run colleges and universities.
Father Sus recalls a touching instance in his ministry:
“Once the commander sent two cadets to clean the floor in the military chapel. This was when we were repairing the church and there was a lot to clean up. These two guys did not really want to go to church, let alone to clean up, because they were not religious. But they had to listen to their commander, and so they came.
“I remember that they didn’t help us very much that first day. But they asked a lot of questions, like ‘Why go to church?’ and ‘What is prayer?’ They really like working in the church and they asked their commander if they could be assigned to clean up in the chapel as long as the repair work continued.
“After a month or so their attitude toward the church changed quite a bit. Later they even went to confession and received Communion. I spoke with one of them, who said some very fine words to me:
‘I am,’ he said, ‘grateful to my commander, because once he made me take two steps and clean up the chapel. A lot of the guys laughed at me, because they knew that I never went to church, even though I had a reputation as a ‘good’ cadet. But those two steps changed my live entirely, and now I know how to pray and I can help others find their way to the church.’
Father Sus has evangelized many young men, including some baptisms. He graduated from the Ukrainian Catholic University and Holy Spirit Seminary in 2006.