«They knocked. And the children were little; they began crying, because it was at night. But my mother-in-law said, ''I won’t leave you. I'm going with you. Where the children will be, I will be there too.''
Ah, yes. She got a bad attack then and we didn’t know what to do whether to dress the little children or to rescue her, because she was dying. And what should be taken along? We were very confused. But we managed to rescue the mum. She went to Siberia with us and there she could live a little longer yet. And also the children were little. They were three at that time. My son was nearly died as we were being taken out to Siberia. They said that the child had already died.
– Do you remember how you travelled, the way to Siberia? What did you go by?
– We went by goods train for 5 weeks. We sat on the plank beds. Some child even seems to have fallen down from them there. And there was the small window there. And at the other station already in Siberia the other train arrived. The prisoners were taken in it. So those prisoners wondered,'' Who is taken in this train?'' They could see little children, old people through that small window. They wondered, '' Who are they taking in it - such little children and elderly people?''
– When did you arrive there? Can you recall and describe your impressions of all that?
– We were dropped out and then were taken into a boat (or so- called barge) and transported by sea into taiga. It seemed that from there we would never get out. There were the people who had been brought before ... we were dropped out ashore. And the people taken before had already had some houses built like cottages. And there one family took us into their small room. There were 11 people in that small room. There was one family and here another was. And there was no room for us there, and that’s why we put the boards between the two beds at night and lay there. We were the third family to spend the night there. And then we were taken into the barracks, we lived in those barracks. We had a small room in the barracks. 
– In the barracks the winter was severe; the ice was on the walls. We bought a goat, because the children needed milk. They were still little. When it was too cold and frosty outside we brought that goat in that small room as well, because it could be frozen outside anyway. We kept some hens, only a few, there. And the potatoes were kept there in the corner. We stocked with thick woods. And they were burning and burning, but it was still cold there. But somehow we managed to get over that severe winter in taiga.
– My husband came home once or twice a week from the taiga. And I was with the kids in the barrack. Also, my husband's mother died there, in Siberia. So then I was left alone with the children.
What can you tell about the spiritual life in exile?
– He worshipped in the house. When he was at home, he served Liturgies there. And there, in taiga, I don’t remember if he was able to pray the Liturgy or not, because he was as a guest at home. All the time he stayed there, in taiga. He was evicted and they didn’t want to discharge him yet... To go to taiga, valyanky were needed and they didn’t want to give them out. You could be frozen there in boots. A quilted jacket was needed as well there ... They said,'' We brought you here to die, and so we won’t give any out to you.'' So my husband's mother worried so much about it and because of that she died »
«- Tell us how the Liturgies were served? How did you help your husband serve them?
Mrs. M. - I and my little children remained in the house, I couldn’t go with my husband ... We had five children. It was hard and I had to cook for them. I was very overtired... He also had to get to work early... At dawn he served the Liturgy and I helped him. Then, after the Liturgy he went to his work and came back late at night, it was already dark. 
My husband would be summoned to the KGB about 20 times. Every time he said goodbye to us. Out two daughters were still little then. He gave an icon to them. He said goodbye as if forever, he didn’t know if he would return. So it was 20 times or so. As usual, it was at night that he was summoned to go there. They released him at night too. So, we said goodbye to each other as if it was for the last time. He was very haunted anyway. He risked too much. He paid no regard to his wife and little children and everything. He went where it was necessary to go and risked much.  I listened to the radio station “Vatican”. As I could, I listened to all the Liturgies. My husband dying said, it was his will – to listen to the Liturgies on the radio. It was that time when we could only listened to the Liturgy on the radio. Our children listened to it too. So when my husband was absent, when he went somewhere out of the village to work, we listened to the Liturgy on the radio. Dying, he said, and it was his will '' Don’t forget about the radio.'' He meant to listen to Liturgies on the radio, not to miss them. Not to miss the Divine Liturgy in any case. It was such a will of his »
«– Tell me about meeting your future husband, how it happened.
Mrs. M. – I met him at my friend’s place, at Maria Skrobach’s, who you will, probably, visit. It is Stare Selo. She invited me to her place, and I went there in the summer. 
They were only engaged with fr. Stephen, her husband. And my future husband was a very good friend of fr. Skrobach. He came there as a friend. There were the other students as well there. And we saw each other there but briefly.
– When was it? What year? During the Germans’ time?
– Maybe, in 1942 or about 1942-1943.
– What were your relationships? Did you correspond with him?
– A little bit we did. But it lasted very briefly. 
As my future husband came to my place, my father liked him very much. Because he came to the church as a theologian. So my father didn’t mind, but he said,'' Now the times are bad ... It’s necessary to be ordained. '' And the time was terrible, because Germans had come, and Russians were coming ... He said, '' Even if I had to walk, I’d do this to get married to you as soon as possible, because of ordaining.'' It was really a hard time ... The last days. So he could hardly come to get my father’s permission.
As he got to my place, Germans were going back and those Russians were coming. He said,'' I have to get to L’viv. I'm as married should go to get there yet ordained.'' 
– Did your dad crown you?
– No. That was a Greek Catholic priest, a senior. I remember he was from Ustryk, it’s a bit farther from Liskuvate. So he came. I remember that he seems to have married us. Then my mum wasn’t alive yet, my father was old. That was so there...
– How did you imagine the life of the priest’s wife?
Mrs. M. – I was determined. Because my husband said,'' You must think it over properly, for everything can happen. We may be taken out to Siberia ...'' Well, we were prepared for that at 100%. ''They can take me to jail, but you can be taken out to Siberia.'' He demonstrated it all in the black to me. He said, ''So, do think properly and decide.'' And I took pity on him »
Maria Mikitka was born in 1921 in the village of Dolzhnytsya in the Przemysl County, in the family of a priest, Antin Fedoryak. After graduating from gymnasium, she studied at the teacher-training seminar of Vasylyan sisters in L‘viv. In 1944, she married Marcian Mikitka, a graduating student of the L‘viv SS. Her husband‘s first parish was in Dobryany in the Stry region. Subsequently, in the village of Pokrivtsi near Zhydachiv.
As her husband refused to go over to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1946, the Soviet government closed the church in the village. The family moved to Stry. The man worked as a leather supplier. Mrs. Mary cared for their children (there were already three in their family).
On March 7, 1950 the family was taken to Khabarovsk Kray. The reason for this was also fr. Markian Mykytka‘s refusal to change the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for Orthodoxy. The family was moved to Khabarovsk Krai in Russia. There it was taken by barge on the river Amur into taiga in the wilderness area. They lived in very difficult conditions- a few families in one small room together with cattle.
Mrs. Mary worked at a gasoline station. Fr. Markian worked at the wood falling in taiga. Coming home once or twice a week from taiga, fr. Markian served the Liturgies in the house for his friends and the trusted people. After Stalin‘s death, when the amnesty was, in 1957 Mikitka settled in the town of Rohatin in the Stanislav region.
Father Markian did various jobs and at nights he served as an underground Greek Catholic priest. When serving at home, Maria was as a clerk and a sexton at the Liturgy. Because of the active pastoral activity, the father was under the constant supervision ... he was summoned to the police, to the local KGB about 20 times. In 1972 fr. Markian Mikitka died.
Their older children moved to L‘viv. Then Mrs. Mary and her younger ones moved there too. At home she often organized joint Divine Liturgies at which her large family gathered (her five children with their own families) and they listened to the radio station „Vatican“.
When the freedom came, she took part in the worships at the given back and destroyed temples. Mrs. Maria Mikitka died on June 30, 2012. Until the end, until the last minutes of her life, she was winning the sanctity with a quiet prayer.