For several days now, an uninterrupted stream of exiles have been leaving Ukraine dramatically, fleeing the sound of bombs and the death that lurks there. They find refuge at the gates of Europe. Three of our community homes located in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic now welcome families with children. They testify to us of what they live.
The tragedy in Eastern Europe urges us to witness charity in the name of Christ. More than ever, let us mobilize for the refugees and raise our prayers for peace and the silence of arms.
News of Poland
“I don’t know what the situation is in other countries, but in our country there are already 400,000 Ukrainian refugees who have come for help. The whole country is mobilizing in an incredible way to help them.
We have given our readiness to receive the refugees, but for the moment those who arrive in the east of the country are going to join their relatives (because in the last few years more than one million Ukrainians have come to work and live in Poland) or have gone to reception centers all over Poland.
The State and the Church try to help them. They can travel for free all over the country, everywhere in the big cities they are given what they need.
Each diocese had to decide within two days how many refugees it could take in and where. Our diocese has declared that it can receive 1,200 refugees and this morning 200 handicapped children arrived from Ukraine with their caregivers and will be placed in three places in the diocese.
Yesterday, a sister who works in the bishopric and who is Ukrainian called because her brother priest is trying to help the people who are there. The people, both soldiers and civilians, lack everything. We have contacted our friends to help them.
Just now, through Miriam, our intern, who lived 4 years in Ukraine, a new request for help arrived for a brigade of 800 soldiers near Tarnopol! So we are calling everywhere to know how to help them. A doctor is coming this afternoon and we are going to see if his hospital can go to the border to bring help to these soldiers. Will the refugees come and live with us?
We’ll see, because at the moment there are many more places to stay than there are refugees, so we’re asked to wait and see how the situation develops. Many Ukrainian men who were working in Poland, when they had the possibility of being safe, left to defend their country. There are really incredible situations every day. A young father of two, gives his children’s passports to the border and asks to be taken care of because he has to leave and defend his country. In spite of the horror of this war situation, there are so many beautiful things happening! So we pray and we will see what the Lord will make us live in the times to come. Here is some news. In communion.”
Sr. Faustina de Jesus
News of Slovakia
Our house is about 250 km from the border, and there is a gathering of military air defense equipment at the border, so we can hear the movement of this equipment and planes towards the border, especially at night.
So far, about 65,000 refugees have arrived in Slovakia. However, it is already a little more organized than in the first days.
days, now the government has decided that they will be
placed first in the public state institutions and only if necessary in other
only if necessary in other accommodations like us. Because it is not only about providing accommodation and food, but it is also about the social administration associated with it. Most of the refugees do not want to stay in Slovakia, but want to go further west (only a little more than 50 people have applied for asylum).
So, for the time being, we are still praying and preparing for the eventual arrival of Ukrainians in our country. We are offering our accommodation possibilities as well as voluntary help to Catholic Charitas and the city hall, which coordinate the help to the refugees in the place.
It is very encouraging to see how the nation (divided politically, ideologically) has united and from the first days the warehouses have been filled with humanitarian aid (food, clothing, medicine), and in this regard we have already been asked to stop sending aid. At the same time, we are aware that this aid will still be needed in the long term, as well as aid directly to Ukraine. Therefore, in the long run, we also count on a possible participation as volunteers in case of need. United in prayer,
News of Czechia
In the village of Dolany there are about 30 Ukrainians who live here and came to work in the Czech Republic a few years ago. We visited them this week to ask them what we can do for them and their relatives. We got in touch with their boss who is looking to help the families of his employees first. We are waiting for some families to come this Sunday that ́we will host at our place. We will see what happens next… the refugees themselves do not know yet how long they will stay… it all depends on how the situation develops.
The parish of Dolany is also concretely involved, so we will discern and work together… This will be clarified as we go along, and we will keep you informed. In communion of prayer, in the heart of Mary
News of Hungary
The situation is the same as in Poland or Slovakia.
For the moment the refugees are just crossing into Hungary. Everything is already well organized at the border. The Ukrainians can travel for free and receive the aid they need. There are reception points where they can rest if they want. They also receive health assistance.
Earlier we received a letter from the Conference of Superiors of Hungary. The state invites us to prepare the ground for the refugees, if it becomes necessary.
Tomorrow morning I will visit our bishop to see how to work with our diocese in this increasingly difficult situation.
I will keep you informed if the situation changes. Let us pray together for all those who have to leave their country, who are forced to fight, and for those who have an influence on the future. Fraternally yours,