Ukraine. The Provincial of  Mother of God Preprovince of Eastern Europe – Georgia (EEG), Sr. Małgorzata Pietruszczak, in an interview talks about the situation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Ukraine:

“These are situations that God has prepared, which we had never thought could happen. Our sisters pray first of all, then they stay with the people, for the people, and among the people. These are situations that God has prepared, which we had never thought of.

It is no coincidence that the 24th General Chapter underlined the commitment to “be a presence”. Today’s people don’t need anything else, not big things, but small things: to sit next to them, distribute food, bring coffee, hot tea, above all to listen, not in the virtual world, but in the real world, because people are real.

The FMA at Odessa are three; they do these simple services: preparing food, welcoming and listening to people. The area is close to Mariupol, Kherson and you can hear the shelling. Two of them help in the parish with Caritas, while another works with the Salesians of Don Bosco. Even in Kiev, before leaving, they did these things. The sisters are courageous and also wise, as long as they can they stay with the people, with small gestures.

At Lviv the FMA are now 5. The house is close to the border and mostly welcomes people passing through, leaving for Poland. They welcome, give a bed, stay with them. When the siren sounds, they go down into the basement and stay there for as long as necessary.”

Sr. Małgorzata sees in everything a sign of Providence. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, one of the FMA left for Poland with her mother who had recently undergone an intervention and there, as a guest of other religious, she was able to be of help as an interpreter, knowing Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish. The sisters together with her, opened the doors to welcome, prepare beds, meals, and some small recreational moments for the children. The Polish government has provided beds and facilitated travel by public transport.

The help brought by this FMA, who by necessity had moved to Poland, highlighted a priority need that lies not so much in material aid, but in the need to be close to the people in these moments of exodus and to know the languages, and now the FMA are available to bring help to other border posts, where with the Provincial, they see the need to act as interpreters.

When one arrives tried by a conflict, in fact, it is not easy to immediately understand the new situation and the bureaucratic requirements. Furthermore, the fragility of the children is beginning to emerge, both from a physical and mental point of view, so there is a need to listen to mothers and try to understand how to help them.

A Ukrainian FMA has moved to another town in Poland, where she helps more than 30 people who arrived at different times to live in community, preparing meals together, arranging for the tidying up of the house, organizing games for the children and assistance. From being welcomed, they gradually move on to make their own contribution to common life, to return to living in a sort of normality.

“What will be tomorrow I do not know” concludes Sr. Małgorzata, who has in her eyes the hope and the desire, together with the FMA of her Province and with the generous help of all the Provinces of the world and of many Associations and benefactors, to bring relief to this people. “This war is dramatic, but if we don’t take lessons from this situation, nothing changes. If I do not convert, there will be no peace; peace or war begins with us, with little things. We have to talk, dialogue, sometimes leave our point of view, perhaps pray more, first of all to be human, maternal, as God has thought for us. I don’t know what it will be tomorrow, but I think we have to learn from what we are experiencing, also to have respect for the different sides. Peace or war begins with us”.

The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians counts on the generosity of the Educative Communities, Associations and benefactors to continue to bring aid to the FMA of Ukraine and neighboring Provinces that receive refugees. You can send contributions and offerings, through Donate now or through the methods indicated on the FMA Institute website, designating the Ukraine Emergency in the causal.

See also:

FMA engaged on the border with Ukraine – SLK

Lights of hope for Ukraine

Aid to Ukraine

Close to Ukraine

Solidarity with Ukraine

From the FMA Communities of Ukraine



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