“Family” Picnic With the Homeless in the Ukraine

by | Jun 24, 2019 | News

The 5th traditional “family” picnic with homeless people took place on May 18, 2019. Volunteers, Missionaries from the Congregation of the Mission, seminarians, and Sisters of Mary participated. We recalled previous picnics and shared experiences. We remembered the positive moments that in turn filled us with gratitude. Singing, dancing, tasty food, friendly conversation– all of this created the atmosphere of a picnic. The Visitor of the Vice-Province of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Fr. Jan Trzop CM, proclaimed the Word of God and offered some reflections which drew us all closer together.

I am reminded of the words: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”. Our faith gives us the grace to receive into our midst “homeless foreigners” as people worthy of respect, attention and love, as people whom we can reach out toward and share our time with and thus, establish a relationship with them. In turn, communicating with the homeless people provides us, volunteers, with the opportunity to correct false views about the needy and receive joy and gratitude from them. Love is unselfish– that was the most important lesson and experience that was provided to us during the time of this “family” picnic.

Sister Marta Meshko МС

Yearly in May I plan one day for a picnic with the homeless. Mostly I like the atmosphere there. It is very friendly, very warm and very joyful. This year it was very interesting to sing together, to dance, to communicate. It’s so interesting to discover the world of every person, which includes both joyful and difficult moments. Every year a picnic for our friends is really a great gift, which warms our hearts with the memories for a long time. Thank God for this opportunity to be there!

Yulia Shushkevych, volunteer

To answer the question why do I go for a picnic with the homeless, I’d mention the following. I consider it the best way to spend time. This is precisely the place, time, and the company that I prefer this day. This gives us a unique opportunity to serve the homeless. Probably I need this more than others, because I know a picnic can be held without my participation but…
This time it was a wonderful traditional picnic which everyone was waiting for. Guests come already knowing what people are waiting for them, that everything is prepared for them. They come truly as guests with dignity which there is sometimes not enough of in society.

People were open and happy about the occasion. Thanks to good organization and preparation by volunteers, sisters and fathers, there was no fuss and chaos that may sometimes arise from the side of the guests in fear that there is not enough food, water or respect.

Veronika Lypivska, volunteer


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