A letter from Ukraine on situation of the members of the Congregation of the Mission

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Conflict in Ukraine, Congregation of the Mission | 2 comments

Since February 24, 2022 Ukraine has been at war. The country is being continually attacked and devastated by the aggressor- the troops of the Russian Federation. Cities, roads, and infrastructure have been destroyed. There is almost constant shelling and bombardment. Dozens, hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed and more than one and a half million people have fled to neighboring countries, over a million of them to Poland alone. We are witnessing a huge humanitarian disaster.
From the first moments of Russian aggression, our thoughts and prayers have been directed towards our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. More and more members of the Vincentian Family throughout the world are calling, writing, and contacting us for news about the fate of the Vincentian Family in Ukraine.
Now we are publishing a letter from Father Jan, the former Provincial of the Vice-Province of St. Cyril and Methodius, who has been working in Ukraine for many years. In his letter he describes, as accurately as he can, the situation of all the communities of the Congregation of the Mission in Ukraine.
Full names and surnames of various individuals are omitted for security reasons.
Other information is being gathered on the situation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul who work in Ukraine. We will share this information with you when we receive it.

courtesy of Fr. Jan, facebook

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 solidarity with us. Thank you for your support and openness to show us support, here in Ukraine and to the refugees coming to Poland. I want to say that I am in permanent contact with the administration of the Province of Poland.
About he situation in our communities in the vice-province. The worst situation is in Kharkiv. The neighborhood of the church and our house there has been completely demolished by the bombardments and shelling. Thank God our church and house remain intact so far. From the outset of the war the members of the Congregation of the Mission and the parishioners were sheltering in the basement of our house. About 160 people were sheltered there. They were practically under continuous shelling and bombing. Many houses in the vicinity of the church were completely demolished. Our confreres, from the Province of Nigeria and India, left at the very beginning of the fighting. Yesterday, March 03, 2022, Fr. Y.S and the rest of the parishioners sheltering in our house left Kharkiv. They are heading towards western Ukraine. Many of them are on their way to our houses in Sniatyn and Storozhynets, and some to Perechyn in Transcarpathia. It was impossible to stay in Kharkiv any longer. The city is severely devastated. Friends who remained and do not have the opportunity to evacuate from Kharkiv are extremely exhausted, frightened. They have no hope.
Odesa. Fathers V.N. and A.T. have been staying there. The rehabilitation centers for addicts “Community in dialogue” which we administer in Buldynka (for men) and in Wizyrka (for women) were evacuated to Sniatyn. Some of the protégés returned to their homes. Others enlisted in the army. Twelve people remained there and they are engaged in volunteer service, distribution of humanitarian aid from western Ukraine to Odessa, and helping to carry people to the border. Similarly, Fr. V.N. is taking care of receiving and distributing humanitarian aid organized by Depaul International [these days a transport of gifts coordinated by DePaul Slovakia has arrived, on its way is a similar transport organized by the Italian Province of the Congregation of the Mission, which has already left Rome – editor’s note]. Fr. A..T. is in the village of Fontanka. He remains with the parishioners and looks after all our projects. In Buldynka there are some residents who take care of the farm. The Depaul Ukraine outpost in Odessa where they take care of the homeless continues their work, they give meals, treat the wounded and give shelter to the homeless.
Kyiv, where the “Gift of God” provincial house is located, the seminary and headquarters of other organizations belonging to the Vincentian Family is under permanent fire. The city is under threat of siege. Fr. M.T., stays in our house in Kyiv. There are also other people connected with our community house and the activities of the Vincentian Family who have found shelter in the house. The neighborhood of the house is under permanent threat and shelling. Fr. O.S., who is disabled and in a wheelchair, was taken to Storozhynets, to his family home where his mother lives. Our seminarian P.M. transported him, and he stayed in Storozhynets, helping the priests in the parish and helping to take care of Fr. O.S.. Fr. J.M.has currently left Kyiv for western Ukraine.
Our homes in western Ukraine have become shelters for refugees from eastern and central Ukraine. People are constantly on the move and seeking shelter.
Fr. V.Z, Fr. J.V and Fr. S.P are staying at the house in Storozhynets. They welcome refugees in the soup kitchen, which they have arranged for this purpose. They provide parishioners with both pastoral and material care according to their needs.
Perechyn. Fr. V.K Fr. T.W. and Fr. Y.H. are staying there. As in Storozhynets, they are involved in welcoming refugees and providing pastoral and humanitarian aid to parishioners.
Dovhom is a parish in Transcarpathia, which the local bishop temporarily entrusted to our care because of the lack of priests. Fr. A.J.  is stationed there. The situation is similar to that in Perechyn and Storozhynets.
Lviv – our Provincial Fr L.K. is there. He is engaged with the Emergency Committee of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese Lviv and Caritas in the organization of all humanitarian aid throughout Ukraine
Fr J.T and Fr S.I. are staying in Sniatyn. Here we also host refugees in our house. The community “Community in dialogue” evacuated from Odessa is under our care. We also take care of our parishioners.
As in all our houses we have our eyes open. As much as possible, we try to support, help, and organize any kind of assistance. Of course, in all of our houses we are not limited to helping our parishioners. We cooperate with church, state and military institutions regarding safety and assistance.
We ask for your prayers,
Fraternally, Fr. Jan Trzop CM.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy and Immortal Have mercy on us… From air, hunger, fire and war deliver us, O Lord!

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Paulinah Appiah Antwi

    God is our hope. He is in control of the situation in Ukraine. He will walk with them through the valley of shadow of death.
    God bless Ukrainians.

  2. James Ruiz

    We pray for you and with you. We support you in many ways. We pray that God prevails, and that Ukraine will be stronger in the afermath od all this damage and distruction and loss of innocent lives.

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