Official SVDP Syria Hostage Updates  March 19, 2015

by | Mar 20, 2015 | Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Vincentian Family

Syria-Area-MapOfficial SVDP updates from Syria, Paris and the US

The CEO of the Vincent de Paul Society USA writes…

We have received many questions about the ongoing tragic situation in Syria. Our International President Michael Thio has received an update that we can share with Vincentians even though you may not see this circulated widely. A lot of misinformation and re-reporting with speculation is out there, too. Therefore I devote my usual space in this week’s E-Gazette to help you learn the facts as we know them for now from Michael, and I ask for your continued prayers for our brother and sister Catholics and Vincentians in the Middle East.

Yours in Christ,
Dave Barringer

International President Michael Thio  writes. from Paris, France…

May the grace of the Lord be with you.

You asked Stephane what other news do we have of our Vincentians in Hassakeh, Syria, and please see the latest email of 12 March below from Sr. Ella Bitar, who is the National President of SSVP, Lebanon. The latter, supported by CGI, have been providing assistance to Syrians and Iraqi refugees at the Lebanese border and also inside Syria through SSVP Syria in Damascus and Hassakeh. The situation is very difficult and dangerous security wise.We do all we can in our humble way in doing what we can and also with our continuous prayers. Storming heaven with prayers for the suffering people in those countries.

Kind regards and God bless.


Dr. Michael Thio
President General
Int’l Confederation SSVP

Sr. Ella Bitar – National President, SSVP Lebanon


Dear Brothers,

Peace of Christ!

We have finally been able to get in touch with our brother Loutfi Younan, the secretary general of the National council of SSVP Hassakeh. We only knew he had left Syria to Sweden. For the time being he is in Germany. He has called to tell about the dramatic situation in Hassakeh.

Some years ago, thousands of Iraqi families came to Hassakeh region seeking asylum from the war in their country, and then was the time for the Syrian displaced to find shelter in Hassakeh. Finally it is the Hassakeh families who are now fleeing from their own homes.

The 20 residents of the elderly Home of the SSVP in Hassakeh suffer from shortage of food items, medicine, diapers, gasoil and oxygene. This is without counting all the displaced families that were previously sheltered in the Home.

Before the Syrian war, cost for an elderly residing at the Home was 7 US Dollars per day, while now it is around 20 US dollars per day per person. The president of the National Council of Hassakeh, who is still there, is confused in front of such deplorable situation.

Many family have emigrated to Sweden, Germany, Lebanon…, among them many Vincentians. They have no news neither about the inhabitants nor about the Vincentians who still were in Hassakeh at the time of the IS offensive, except for the Darmo family who seem to taken as hostages, and an ex-secretary of the SSVP who is reported dead.

They fear for their lives, for their children, they live day by day, praying the Lord to save them.

How can we help them? How can we give them hope?

We join our prayers to the Vincentians prayers from all around the world, praying specially for our resurrection the soonest possible.

Thank you all for your continuous support.


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