Update from Sister Ellen (Provincial) on the desperate plight of the Daughters of Charity and the people they are serving in Ukraine and the Provinces supporting them.
“We have been in touch with the Provincials of the Polish and Slovakian Provinces pledging our prayers and support.
We sent a small donation to the Province of Krakow to help with the relief services on the border. This is their acknowledgement:
Thank you for your help and prayers. Thank you for your solidarity with these poor people.
We accept the largest number of refugees in our Provincial House. We mainly accept mothers with children. We provide them with accommodation and meals. They come to us very tired. Sometimes they travel for several days. Some families came to us from Kyiv. There are families that stay with us for longer periods. There are also those who stop briefly because they have contact with their friends or relatives in Poland or abroad and go to them. The situation changes moment by moment. We respond to current calls that appear. We are ready to receive these poor people to the best of our ability.
Other communities of the Krakow Province are also open to receiving Refugees and are doing what they can. One of our retreat houses is waiting to welcome orphan children.
The Vincentian Family projects, which involve DePaul International, AIC, CMs, and DCs, are centred in Kharkiv, Odesa, and Kyiv. As you can imagine there is very little left in Kharkiv, and staff have lost their homes and are among those moving west.
In Odesa, they have set up a large soup kitchen and medical service which will hold on as long as possible.
Those in Kyiv are ok but now all staying underground.
They have hired 20 lorries for three months to carry supplies around Ukraine
And so of course, we continue to pray……”
News from AIC Ukraine
The AIC in Kharkiv has been badly hit. The project and most of their homes have gone. On 4th March 28 of them organised a little car convoy heading west and under shelling. At first, they have managed to travel very slowly about 600 kilometres over the first two days with only a small sandwich each to eat. Exhausted they moved on, hoping to reach another town where AIC members can shelter them for a few days. Then the plan is to move on to the border, but plans are fluid and keep changing. Finally, on Sunday night the AIC Kharkiv members and families arrived at a temporary destination. They slept and washed for the first time in 11 days.
“We cooked and ate together and made plans, but are ready to modify them. We prayed the rosary, Mass, and some wanted confession. We slept again –normally- for the second time.
Thank God for good friends.”
We are in contact with AIC volunteers on the ground, who are trying to survive. In Kharkiv, the Vice-President of AIC Ukraine, wrote to us that she is staying under a church with other members of the parish. Her house is burning, there is shelling outside and it is very difficult to find a means of transport to leave the city. Father Jan, the Spiritual Advisor of AIC Ukraine, is experiencing the same situation in Odesa: the shelling and fighting all around make it impossible to go outside. Children are particularly frightened. In the western part of the country, other AIC volunteer groups are helping to welcome refugees fleeing the conflict in the east.
Click here to read more from the AIC
A letter from Ukraine on the situation of the members of the Congregation of the Mission
Sniatyn, Ukraine, March 4, 2022 Greetings and blessings! I would like to write a few words about the situation in our Vice-Province of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Ukraine as of today, that is, Friday, March 4, 2022. Many of you are writing and making phone calls. Thank you for remembering, praying, and living in solidarity with us.
Click here to read the full letter
On February 22nd, the Vincentian Family published a Statement on the current situation which is sadly unfolding in Eastern Europe. Therein, the Vincentian Family calls on all parties to reach for global peace and stands firm in their commitment to fully support the people in Ukraine.
This statement was signed by all global Vincentian Family leaders, including our 16th President General International, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, on behalf of the whole Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
The Council General International condemns any kind of war, claiming that the best way to settle conflict is a peaceful approach, thus avoiding the loss of lives and the economic consequences. “Peace I leave with you” (John 14, 27), as our Lord Jesus Christ asked us to do.
Click here to read the full statement published by the Vincentian Family.
A statement from Matthew Carter, CEO of Depaul International: Update on Ukraine: 5 March
“I would like to start by saying a massive thank you to everyone who has donated to our Ukraine appeal. Your generosity enables us to continue our work inside Ukraine, helping displaced people with emergency shelter, food, and medical supplies.