Nuns open doors of over 1,000 convents to Ukrainian refugees
By Linda Bordoni
There are currently over 1,000 convents run by nuns in Poland and Ukraine helping the multitude of people forced to flee their homes as the Russian invasion advances in Ukraine.
“In 924 convents in Poland and 98 in Ukraine, sisters are providing spiritual, psychological, medical, and material help,” to vulnerable people fleeing war, reveals a statement issued Tuesday by the Council of Major Superiors of Congregations of Women Religious in Poland.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the statement says, each of the nearly 150 religious congregations operating in Poland and Ukraine has been offering shelter and other types of assistance to those in need.
Specifically, there are 498 convents in Poland and 76 in Ukraine currently offering to house refugees. That means at least 2,400 families – which include over 3,000 children and almost as many adults – have found shelter under their roofs.
Sixty-four other religious institutions, the statement adds, have found a place for 600 orphans, while 420 others are offering a safe haven to almost 3,000 mothers with their children.
Nuns offering all sorts of humanitarian assistance
The religious sisters are also on the frontlines providing aid and are involved in the preparation and distribution of hot meals, hygiene products, clothing and blankets.
They are active in helping transport people from war-affected places, in searching for employment opportunities for refugees in Poland, and are creating new jobs in their own centers.
They have also put themselves at service to coordinate assistance for refugees, the statement continues, to help Ukrainian children register at Polish schools, serve as translators, organize classes for children and mothers coming from Ukraine, and cater especially for elderly and disabled people.
Another important contribution the religious congregations make is to collect financial donations and transmit funds through their foundations.
Currently, the Council of Major Superiors of Women’s Religious Congregations in Poland notes, there are over 330 sisters from Polish congregations in Ukraine.