RMG – "I was a stranger and you welcomed me..." (Mt 25, 35). The Salesian Family at work to welcome Ukrainian refugees

14 March 2022

(ANS - Rome) - The war in Ukraine has given rise to an important flow of generosity. These days, initiatives to collect funds, basic necessities, and direct hospitality for the Ukrainian population fleeing the war are proliferating. Here are the latest updates.

As soon as he received the task of supervising the implementation of Salesian activities, services, and programs in the field throughout the territory directly involved, Fr Krzysztof Grzendziński, Economer of the Province of Poland-Warsaw, got in touch with Fr Jacek Zdzieborski, Head of the Salesian Mission Office in Warsaw, and together they discussed how to make the information and communication service on Salesian actions more effective in this situation.

In addition, work has begun to tighten the network with those involved in the country’s other provinces - Krakow, Wrocław, and Piła - and in Slovakia and Ukraine. The intention is to focus more on helping "host families" who receive refugees in their homes. Work is also being done in favor of orphans and the creation of an asylum. And another idea that has emerged is to create a database on job opportunities to offer their Ukrainian refugee parents.

In terms of economic aid to the Provinces on the front line, donations continue to arrive from all the Salesian realities of the world: from Hungary to Ireland, from Switzerland to France, from Hong Kong to Belgium, from Thailand to South Africa...

Even at the level of groups of the Salesian Family, we can report direct and committed participation in solidarity: this is witnessed by the global initiatives promoted within them by groups such as the Salesian Cooperators and the Salesian Sisters.

As for hospitality, then, if it is true that the lion's share is made by the Provinces closest to the western borders of Ukraine, several Provinces throughout Europe are also finding more and more spaces to host those in need. Because, as Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, Provincial of the Salesians of Sicily recalled, "it is a commitment that goes well beyond the collection of money or material, it is a question of sharing their dramatic experience with any refugees."

So yesterday morning, Sunday, March 13, the association "Don Bosco 2000", which works with the Salesians of Sicily, organized, together with Fr Marcin Kaznowski, Provincial of Poland-Cracow (PLS) a bus trip to bring 48 women and children from Przemyśl, Poland, to Alcamo, Sicily. These people will be housed with 36 in a structure of the association, and 12 in families who have given their availability.

In the Special Circumscription of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta (ICP), the number of Salesian families and communities who have made themselves available to host refugees has risen to 118. And the Chieri work - in agreement with the Salesians of Lviv, with some families, and with the Municipality - organized the journey and the reception of 31 refugees (mothers, children, and young people), who arrived at their destination last Friday evening, March 11.

Finally, the last front, the spiritual one, should not be forgotten either. Here, too, the initiatives are innumerable. Just to mention a few: the secretariat of the Salesian Youth Movement of ICP proposes every Monday evening of Lent the common recitation of the Rosary to implore peace; while students, Salesians, and staff of the "Salesian Institute" of Macao gathered in a moment of prayer for peace in Ukraine last March 4.


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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