Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates and Friends,
All of us are very aware of the tragic war unfolding in Ukraine this week. Together with the whole Church, we engaged in fasting and prayer for peace on Ash Wednesday. From across Europe and across the Congregation, many of you are engaging in solidarity with the people of Ukraine through gifts of money and essential supplies. Thank you for your generous response to the appeal of the Congregation and the Province of Lviv, Ukraine.
Several million families are already displaced from their homes in Ukraine, and most of these remain in other parts of the country with no place to go. The ongoing bombardment continues to threaten families, hospitals, schools and other institutions. Our confreres, Sisters and parishes are reaching out to help them in their need.
More than a million refugees have already fled from Ukraine into neighbouring countries. Recent reports and estimates expect that this number will continue to grow, provoking a great humanitarian crisis across Europe. We are especially grateful to our confreres, Sisters and lay partners in neighbouring countries who are responding directly to refugees at the present time.
The confreres and people of Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are doing what they can, with the help and support of so many others across the world and across the Congregation. As this crisis grows and deepens, it is likely that every European country, and beyond, will be invited to respond with shelter and assistance to an increasing number of displaced and homeless refugees. Together with our people, we will be challenged to open our hearts and our doors in welcome and support. With gratitude and hope, we also pray for all those who are responding with such generosity and welcome!
May God strengthen all those who suffer from violence and war. May the Holy Spirit open the hearts of all leaders to dialogue and peace!
Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.