Fr. Slawomir Knopik,the Provincial Superior of the Dehonians in Poland, tells us about the social commitment of many of our communities that have opened their doors to refugees from the Ukraine. He thanks for the spiritual and economic support received so far. The situation is in a continuous and dramatic evolution.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Dehonian communities in Poland have opened their hearts to help the refugees with great commitment: providing materials (clothes, medicines, food, etc.) and arranging the accommodation (in religious houses)
The refugees have been in both religious houses in Warsaw and in three houses in the south of Poland: Krakow, Stadniki Koszyce Male. Among these arrivals are children (2-15 years old) and adults, especially women. In the retreat houses of: Pliszczyn, Kluczbork, Zakopane and Węglówka there is refugee house directed by Caritas. In addition, the house in Pliszczyn helps the families of the students of the John Paul II Foundation in Lublin.
Dehonian communities in parishes (Belchatow, Weglowka) have organized places for refugees in the homes of parishioners. Other parish communities collect the most needed items and deliver them to those in need.
The Foreign Missions Secretariat collects funds from benefactors and donates to support the specific people in Sacred Heart communities. The PROFETO group published the relief campaign in the media and collects gifts for those in need. With the money raised, much needed items are purchased.
We strongly encourage you to pray insistently for peace in Ukraine and the world. We also remember the Ukrainians who have come to us and those who are fighting. In a special way we remember some of our brethren working in Ukraine. All of them remained in the midst of the war to serve their parishioners and all those who are in ineed any help – regardless of Catholic Church affiliation.
One of our communities (Irpin), where three priests work and a new church is being built, is very close to the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, where the fiercest fighting is currently going on. Everyone is safe at this moment. The situation is obviously dynamic and anxious.
On behalf of our entire Polish Province of the priests of the Sacred Heart, I would like to express my great gratitude for every gesture of solidarity and help. First of all, thank you for your prayers, but also for the material support that some Provinces have already provided. We hope that this war will end soon and that Ukrainians will return to their homes to live and work to rebuild their damaged properties. And then our help for them will be just as important and necessary.