EUROPE/POLAND - Polish and Ukrainian religious institutions offer help to the Ukrainian people

Wednesday, 1 June 2022 pontifical mission societies   humanitarian aid   wars   religious community  

Warsaw (Agenzia Fides) - There are many religious institutions in Poland and Ukraine that offer help and comfort to the Ukrainian people wounded by the ongoing conflict. Many of them carry out a hidden and silent and yet very substantial work in this very delicate moment. Fr. Maciej Będziński, National Director of the Polish Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), talks about this to Agenzia Fides, explaining: "As head of the PMS, I have coordinated the support received from the PMS of the United States, whose director Monsignor Harrington visited Poland and Ukraine last April (see Fides, 26/4/2022). I have tried to privilege places and communities that work in the spirit of evangelical silence".
The aid includes the organization of a humanitarian transport to the city of Rowne, in Ukraine, where the sisters have asked for food and medical assistance and a car to help in the smallest and most distant places or that to the Carmelite nuns of Częstochowa, cloistered nuns who have welcomed two monastic communities of Carmelites from Ukraine, giving them accommodation and everything they need. These contemplative communities, despite the war, now pray in Poland. A very significant example is also represented by the Benedictine Sisters of the monastery of Staniątki, who have welcomed 75 people into their convent, including mothers with their children, or the Sisters Servants BVM in Sandomierz, who organize workshops for children and help women to find employment; the Sisters of St. Joseph of Krakow, who have helped at the border and welcomed religious refugees into their homes and the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master of Chmielnicki (Khmelnitsky), in Ukraine, whose home has become a shelter for refugees, as well as the diocesan seminary of Radom, where there are 36 seminarians and 52 refugees. "After a telephone conversation with the Bishop of Ukraine, Radosław Zmitrowicz, we decided that much of our aid should be channeled there - says Father Będziński -. The bishop described to us a situation despair, death and uncertainty and explained to us that in this context the Church seeks to heal the wounds of war, material, physical and affective ones, psychic ones and, of course, also the most profound: the spiritual. The construction of a center dedicated to St. John Paul II is also planned, where part of the space will be occupied by a rehabilitation center dedicated to the treatment of post-war wounds". (E.G.) (Agenzia Fides, 1/6/2022)