Ukraine – Mary watches over displaced: “Mariapolis” rises in Lviv, a modular city under Salesian care

24 May 2022

(ANS - Lviv) - It is called "Mariapolis," the city of Mary, and it is a modular city, composed of many prefabricated buildings designed to temporarily welcome those displaced by the war in Ukraine: it was set up by the Municipality of Lviv in collaboration with the Salesians of Don Bosco and with the support of the Polish government, and it rises in the working-class neighborhood of "Sykhiv," in the vicinity of "St. John Paul II" Park.

The inauguration of the "Mariapolis" citadel took place on May 19 under the chairmanship of the Governor of the Lviv Region and Military Administration, Mr. Maksym Kozytskyi, and the mayor of the city, Mr. Andriy Sadovyi.

The moment of prayer and blessing was led by Fr. Andriy Bodnar SDB, Provincial Vicar of the Salesian Vice-Province "Mary Help of Christians" of Greek Catholic Ukraine (UKR), accompanied by local pastor Fr. Orest Fredyna. "We wanted to give the citadel the name 'Mariapolis,' the city of Mary. Mariupol is extremely close to the heart of every Ukrainian and every person on this planet who desires peace," said Fr. Bodnar on the occasion. "We wish that people's stay in this modular citadel will be full of hope; and that the symbol of this little 'Mariapolis' can become a great prospect for the rebirth of the city Mariupol and all Ukraine."

The container-houses, which came as a gift from Poland, are equipped with bunk beds, tables, closets. Some rooms then serve as dining rooms, laundry rooms, and house showers and toilets. Finally, a playground for children has also been set up on the grounds.

The Salesians shall primarily provide pastoral care for the people, offering spiritual accompaniment and psychological support. But that's not all: they will provide food for about 350 people housed there, thanks to a mobile kitchen donated by the Emilia-Romagna Region through the Civil Defense and in collaboration with the Salesian NGO "VIS - Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo."

"Many people who have now settled here until recently lived in our communities in Lviv: we prayed together, had deep, but also painful conversations. Our animators organized various activities for these children. And we will continue to support these people in this difficult period of our lives," Fr. Bodnar said again.

The state authorities, for their part, thanked the Salesians, "Thank you for sharing your warmth and love. We feel that God's grace is present in this citadel. We pray that the Mother of God will take this 'Mariapolis' under her protection," Mayor Sadovyi concluded.


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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