Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – As a sign of prayer, awareness-raising and charity, the Pontifical Mission Societies (Catholic Mission) in Australia have launched a network of prayer and fundraising to respond to urgent requests for help from their partner organizations in Poland and Romania, who are trying to support the refugees fleeing Ukraine. According to a statement from Catholic Mission, which “will gratefully accept all donations and will work with partner organizations in Ukraine, Poland and other European countries to provide support where needed”.
The funds collected will first be sent to the national directions of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Romania and Poland, where local parish communities that offer emergency relief and pastoral support in the refugee centers will be supported: “These centers are overcrowded and have few essential services: the faithful in the parishes near the border are doing their utmost to provide mattresses, blankets, pillows and food, as well as diapers and basic hygiene items. Refugee families are being torn apart. It is very painful: if you ask them anything, they start crying”. In Poland, the refugees were received directly in the church communities. Meanwhile, moments of prayer for world peace are being organized in the Chapel of the Pontifical Mission Societies. “The continued prayer and material support for those affected by these tragic circumstances are an expression of the solidarity of the universal Church”, said Catholic Mission President, Father Brian Lucas, adding, “We are doing everything we can to help the people of to give hope to this great need.” Founded in Sydney in 1847, the Catholic Mission supports service projects and initiatives in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America that include spiritual formation, pastoral care, education, health, sanitation and agricultural programs. In Australia, Catholic Missions has representatives in 27 dioceses and also contributes to the spiritual and personal growth of the Australian believers through missionary outreach and educational work. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 29/3/2022)