Another CHF 1.5 million for church work in war zones
Seven weeks after the start of the military invasion of Ukraine, the global Catholic charity ACN launched the second phase of its emergency response. A good CHF goes to 1.5 million monks, priests, parishes, seminaries, monasteries, churches, orphanages and refugee facilities.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has already provided CHF 3 million emergency aid for church work in Ukraine. On the first day of the war, the relief agency CHF launched a relief program worth 1. 1.3 million.
Focus on church refugee work
The focus of the new emergency is on refugee work, run by monasteries and parishes, especially in western Ukraine. Many of them have accepted as refugees. Care and housing is a huge pastoral and financial challenge. According to the UN refugee agency, about ten million Ukrainians are fleeing – about a quarter of the total population. About six million of them are internally displaced.
“The new emergency aid goes specifically to facilitate the settlement of refugees. In addition to food or medicine, so many people need electricity generators to be able to cook or heat, explained Magda Kazmarek, project manager at the Ukrainian aid agency. On Holy Week, he is standing in Lviv, western Ukraine, with other representatives of the ACN to show solidarity with the people and coordinate further assistance.
Vehicles required for relief transport
Kakajmarek said more transport vehicles were needed now so that aid could flow from western Ukraine to the south or east of the country. Humanitarian aid from abroad is usually delivered to Elviv, then Ukrainian aid workers take responsibility for further transportation – often at the risk of their lives. Dioceses and parishes have also begun transporting aid. They make sure that the people of the village are taken care of. Extremely bad roads often lead there even in peacetime. It has become more difficult since the fight started.
The new emergency assistance package includes about 600,000 CHF for public grants. According to Catholic tradition, these are voluntary gifts for a holy mass celebration, often accompanied by a request for prayer. They benefit the priests of Ukraine who receive little or no wages from their diocese. They not only secure the work of pastor staff in war zones, but also benefit parish work – for example, when a pastor buys gasoline for a car with relief supplies or takes a parishioner to the hospital.
ACN has been supporting Ukraine since 1953
The ACN was one of the first to promise emergency assistance in Ukraine, “said Magda Kazmarek. The aid agency has been supporting the work of the Church of Ukraine since 1953. Ukraine is regularly among the five most funded countries in the world by ACN. Aid agencies are active in 140 countries. “It is important that the people of Ukraine know that they will not forget, even if this war drags on and there is no end to it,” the project official stressed. “We will continue to look for ways to support the local church’s commitment if necessary.”
Einsiedeln’s pilgrimage centers on Ukraine
The International Catholic Aid Organization “Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)” invites you to Einsiedeln on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Holy Mass will be held there at 12.30 pm: The main celebrant is Bishop Clemens Pickel of Russia. Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh from Ukraine will greet. At 3:15 p.m., the panel will begin with the topic: “Extreme Suffering in Ukraine: The Consequences of the Church?” Speakers on the stage: Bishop Clemens Pickel, Bishop of Saratov and President of the Conference of Russian Bishops; Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh from Ukraine, Exercise of the Greek Catholic Church in Germany and Scandinavia since 2021; Abbott of Einsiedeln Abbey, Urban Federer and Magda Kazmarek, Ukraine Specialist for Aid for the Church in Need (ACN). All interested are welcome.
More information at www.kirche-in-not.ch.