(18:00 28 February update):
Truskavets, Ukraine. The Provincial Superior and the Provincial Secretary of Polska wrote to the General Government of the Claretian Missionaries on Monday, 28 February 2022 to inform the Congregation about the situation of the Claretians in Ukraine:
“We give you the current whereabouts of the situation of our community in Ukraine and the country itself. Much information is of course on the internet. Today we spoke with the Parish Priest in Truskavets, Fr. Krzysztof Labedz, CMF. He told us that the situation in the city is stable, but, as it happens in every military conflict of such a level, the situation can change quickly.
The common fear is due to the real possibility of the invasion of Belarusian troops. Many refugees from the eastern part of the country are coming to the city of Truskavets and our brothers are trying to help them: mainly in organizing housing for them or in helping them to travel to Poland. As of today (February 28, 2022), and during the last 4 days, about 300,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Poland. We are very proud of our brothers in Ukraine and also of all Poles who receive in their homes so many people.
Also in our Claretian houses and communities, we receive mothers with children coming from Ukraine.
The Province of Polska is organizing the collection of funds and other basic necessities to send them to Ukraine.
We continue to ask everyone’s prayers for the present situation and for so many people who are suffering.
(18:00 24 February update):
Message from the Provincial Secretary of Polska on the situation of our brothers, the Claretian missionaries of the Province of Polska, Frs. Wojciech Kobylinski (Superior), Krzysztof Labedz (Parish Priest) and Marcin Kukus (Econome), who had been working in Truskavets for almost two years:
We inform you that now they are in good condition because the current military operations occur more frequently in the eastern part of the country. However, we are aware that the situation may change. Father Wojciech wrote that “bombs also fell in nearby Lviv (90 km from us), which means that basically the whole country is covered by the war. Alarm sirens are heard and people are afraid. There are long queues at petrol stations…”.
The Claretian missionaries, together with the Sisters who also work in the place, decided to stay in Truskavets for the pastoral care of the faithful as long as possible. During the state of war, let us pray for our brothers and the people of Ukraine.
(09:00 24 February update):
Russia has begun attacking Ukraine today, February 24, 2022, as we can watch from the news and videos circulating on social media. The attack began moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had “decided to conduct a special military operation” to protect eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. Russia carried missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and border guards and explosions in many cities.
We inform everyone that our brothers, the Claretian Missionaries in Ukraine, are safe for now. Nevertheless, we ask everyone to pray for their safety as well as for the people of Ukraine. We pray that this war will not further escalate and damage humanity and fraternity.
The Claretian mission in Ukraine, 1,392.3 kilometers away from the war zone, is under the care of the Claretian Missionaries of Polska Province.