The UGCC Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center evacuates people from dangerous regions

Wednesday, 06 July 2022, 19:56
The Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center, with the help of the “Mudra Sprava” Patriarchal Foundation, continues to evacuate Ukrainians from dangerous regions of the country that are under bombardment and constant missile strikes.

“Taking into account today’s challenges faced by both our Church structures and the Ukrainian nation, it is difficult to imagine that the Pilgrimage Center would be able to fulfill its original mission – for people to go on pilgrimages abroad. However, we have all the equipment, for example, a bus, a team, etc. That is how the idea of launching evacuation operations emerged,” stated Fr. Lubomyr Yavorsky, Patriarchal Economist of the UGCC.

So far, eleven evacuation operations have already been carried out for 536 people from the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, using buses of the UGCC Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center.  These have typically been for those forcibly displaced from Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia, which today have become primary centers for refugees and forced migrants but can no longer provide appropriate living conditions for everyone. In addition, two evacuation flights to France were also carried out by the Pilgrimage Center.

To accommodate evacuees, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church created a network of 20 shelters at parish communities in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and Vinnytsia regions. These are often housed on the premises of catechetical classrooms or schools, specially converted to provide comfortable accommodations.

However, caring for internally displaced persons is not limited to evacuation and housing. The Church strives to be close to them in their distressing circumstances, especially during their rehabilitation, integration into a new environment, and setting up employment.  

“Understanding the experience of those in our shelters, we have come to realize that they need to adapt. But simply sitting around when you are stressed, have lost your home, and have no idea where to go, is not a solution,” explained Fr. Yavorsky.

That is why the Patriarchal Pilgrimage Center has also started making trips for spiritual renewal to pilgrimage sites in Western Ukraine. Five hundred and nine people have already taken part in such trips.

The project has been implemented in conjunction with UGCC Patriarchal Curia social enterprises. 

Latest statistics of the International Organization of Migration, dated April 26, 2022, report that one in five Ukrainians, totaling over 7 million Ukrainians, have been forced to leave their homes because of the Russian invasion.


The UGCC Department of Information



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