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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt Movement in Poland opens their homes to war refugees

By: Father Arkadiusz Sosna

The picture shows the beautiful and peaceful Sion Shrine of the Schoenstatt Fathers on the right bank of the Vistula near Warsaw. From here to Schoenstatt’s place of origin, Vallendar in Germany, it is only 1130 km. From this shrine to Kiev, Ukraine, it is only 770 km. It is a mere 215 km to the Polish-Ukrainian border – a cat’s leap!

There are currently 700,000 refugees from Ukraine in Poland

Since last week, our whole life has been moving at a completely different pace. We work, we organize, we plan. But in the face of war and threat, we have to live here and now. As a Schoenstatt Family we do so according to our motto for the year: “Here and now – joyful, strong and trusting in God”. We were put to the test even before the outbreak of war.

Last week, Poland took in more than 700,000 refugees from Ukraine. This is an unprecedented situation. People cross our border and are welcomed, and we open our homes and our hearts. There are no quotas for refugees. How many will we be able to accept? Many of them want to stay near the border, hoping to return soon to their home country. Others plan to settle permanently in Poland because a family member already works and lives here. And there are also many who want to continue their journey to the place where their loved ones now reside

Heartbreaking stories of fleeing

refugees

The stories of people fleeing Ukraine are surprising and depressing. I heard the story of a mother who fled with her six-year-old daughter. The mother herself is five months pregnant. She walked 15 kilometers, at night and very cold. The husband stayed to fight. And there are plenty of similar stories.

At the border, there are special reception points where refugees are welcomed. A hot tea, a meal, rest, and moving on. Some are met by their Polish friends, others are taken to different places in Poland at no cost. A friend of mine who runs several businesses has set up a camp at the border, where he serves hot sausages and steaks to the refugees. He relies on the help of volunteers. “Here and now…”

The Polish government, the Church and the Schoenstatt Movement are helping.

The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary have already made room in their homes for people in need of accommodation. The first refugees are already living in some of their houses. The Schoenstatt Fathers are receiving the first visitors. We want to receive them in an organized way. A warm place in a room and something to eat are some of the things needed by the people who could only take the bare essentials with them when they had to flee this war. So, in order to help in an efficient way, we need clothing, bedding and much more. For how long? It is difficult to say how long people will remain in our homes.

Support

From our “Fidelity Shrine” we broadcast a daily Holy Mass at 7 pm, praying for people in need and asking for peace in the world. If you could support our efforts with your prayers, we would be very grateful.

If you would like to support our assistance to the refugees financially, we would be very grateful if you could make a donation to the account of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Poland (see below).

I send you greetings from our shrine in the spirit of PEACE.

Padre Arkadiusz Sosna

Donation accounts

● For donations to the Schoenstatt Fathers in Poland:

Account: IBAN: PL04 1600 1462 1813 6457 5000 0002

BIC/SWIFT: PPABPLPK

Note UKRAINE

● For donations to the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary (through the head office in Germany):

IBAN: DE52 7509 0300 0002 1772 26

BIC: GENODEF1M05

Note UKRAINE

 

Pictures:

Shrine of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Jozefow, Warsaw, Poland (Photo: Sosna).

Refugees from Ukraine at the border with Poland (Photo: private)

 

 

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