109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Dear Friends!

On Sunday, 24 September 2023, we celebrate the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Pope Francis in his Message recalls the words of the Lord Jesus from the Gospel according to St. Matthew: „For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25, 35-36). The Holy Father says: These words are a constant admonition to see in the migrant not simply a brother or sister in difficulty, but Christ himself, who knocks at our door.

Since last year, we have had the opportunity to experience this extraordinary meeting very literally in Poland. Millions of refugees from Ukraine have swept across our eastern border, fleeing from their homes to escape the horror of the war. Many of us have heard this knocking and recognized Christ. One of the attempts to respond to this extraordinary coming of Christ, in thousands of poor people, was the establishment of the Pastoral Family Care Foundation. Its task is, among others, to help families who, due to the war in Ukraine, found themselves in Poland. Since the moment of the Russian aggression on our neighbors, we have started to help at temporary reception points. Over time, we created our own refugee aid centers. So far, more than 1709 people (776 families) have found support in them. We have provided these people with more than 90,000 overnight stays. We served about a quarter of a million meals. The average stay of one person in our resorts is 52 days. Last month we welcomed about 40 new people. At the moment, about 120 people are under our care every day. These are mainly mothers with children as well as elderly and disabled people who find it difficult to find themselves in such a hard life situation. We need food, hygiene products, cleaning products and funds to pay the bills (energy, water, heating etc.).

We are currently preparing to open a house on Fryderyka Chopina Street in Przemyśl, where until recently the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus ran a school dormitory for girls. However, over a hundred years ago, at the beginning of its activity, it accepted refugees during the First World War. Unfortunately, we were not able to purchase it. We only managed to lease the building. It is in good condition but requires some expenditure so that our charges can feel safe in it. It would be better if it could become our property. This would give greater stability and a greater sense of security in our activities.

We are grateful for all spiritual and material help.

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