Ukraine – Salesians, fearless, at the side of people most in need

28 April 2022

(ANS - Lviv) - It was a different Easter for everyone in Ukraine this year. It was also a different Easter for the Salesians, who have always been close to and supportive of the local population in its trials, and could not fail to be so in such a difficult moment as the present. The testimony comes directly from Fr Mykhaylo Chaban, Superior of the Vice-Province "Mary Help of Christians" of Greek-Catholic Ukraine (UKR): "Three Salesian priests were able to visit our young soldiers in the different places where the fighting is taking place. Of course, it was very dangerous to go, but they had the courage and the desire to accompany them, to be close to our young people during this Easter period."

None of the three will be able to forget this peculiar mission they carried out, for the certainly not ordinary ways of visiting the faithful and even less for the human and spiritual value of their closeness in that context. "They are very strong experiences," continues Fr Chaban. "To get to a group of our army, the priests were accompanied by the military. Nearby they were forced to travel in the dark accompanied by a soldier who showed the way by walking in front of the car with a small lamp."

But the response of faith on the part of the military testified to the absolute relevance of this initiative: "It was impressive to see how these youngsters waited for the priest for confession until two o'clock in the morning; or how they participated in the Easter celebrations, even in the middle of the night, so as not to be seen."

In addition to spiritual support, the Salesians have also been providing material support. "We were also able to bring and get to the most affected areas and distribute medicine and food to people in need, in the region of Kharkiv, Lugansk, Donetsk, Dnipro, Kyiv, all places where people need help and in particular food, " continues the Superior of UKR. "They were good moments with our refugees from the communities. We celebrated Easter together with about 250 people, mostly children, who were able to enjoy some happy moments of celebration."

A similar initiative was also carried out by the Salesians, and the volunteers accompanying them, in favor of the Ukrainian refugees welcomed at the World Exhibition Center in Warsaw. Some of them were there last Sunday to bring a bit of joy on the occasion of Orthodox Easter.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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