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Situation Remains Critical
This letter comes from Dominican Sisters in Poland, describing the situation in Ukraine. Please continue to pray for peace. There will, sadly, be much bloodshed these days.
Dear Sisters, Dear Brothers,
Yesterday, when I wrote to you, I mentioned “normality”, which ended in the morning. Before 5:00 a.m. I was awakened by a phone call from Fastov from Misha Romaniwa and his question: how is Kiev? In Fastov, explosions were heard as Russian troops bombed the air force base in Wasylków (between Fastov and Kiev). We had complete peace and quiet. In the morning I went to celebrate Mass at Carmel. A trip that usually takes 25 minutes lasted almost an hour and it was only because google was guiding me through back roads. The sisters have a monastery just outside the city. In such circumstances, the Eucharist brings real peace. The sisters, of whom there are five at the moment, said that they had decided to stay in Kiev and pray. I hope that in the following days we will be able to reach them to say Mass.
Traffic Jams and Long Lines
In the morning, apart from traffic jams, there were long lines at each ATM, similarly in front of gas stations and some shops. Last night, Paweł Bębenek, a musician and composer, flew from Krakow to Kiev to conduct liturgical workshops over the weekend. Of course, they will not be there, and after a long search, we found the last train tickets so that Mr. Paweł could return to Poland and his family with transfers. Providence is watching, because on the way to Fastów, from where Paweł was supposed to have a train, we drove to the embassy to take things for the kids at St. Martin. It turned out that a group of Poles was just forming a caravan of cars and headed towards Poland. The ambassador will help you find one place in one of the cars and Mr. Bębenek is on his way (certainly a long one) to Poland, if only he can get there safely. Traffic jams have disappeared from the streets in the city center. Sinister emptiness …
We are preparing a cellar in our Kiev monastery. You might need to see what’s going on around you. Tomek Samulnik has just gone to line up in a long line to refuel the car. He just called that they only sell 20 litas, but fortunately you can buy them.
People Seek Shelter
In the morning I spoke again with Fr. Ireneusz Pogorelcew, who is in Kharkiv. He says that the bombings are neither heard nor seen, but some of the parishioners have come to the monastery asking them to stay with us. Irik stated firmly (and he is alone in the convent now) that he was staying with them. Fighting is taking place around Kharkiv.
Prayers in the Lviv Cathedral
In Chmielnicki, in the morning you could hear the planes. Jakub Nesterowicz said that the Russians bombed a military airport near the city. Father Igor Gnius said that in Lviv, apart from the morning howling of sirens and police messages, there was peace. In the morning, in the Lviv cathedral, where Igor went to confess, there were more people than usual. Calm in Chortkiv.
Food and “Whatever is Possible”
Misha Romaniv organizes food and whatever is possible for all the people who are in Fastov. On this occasion, thank you very much for your kind response to my letter from yesterday and for supporting the children from Mariupol. These measures will be very useful. Misha has just told me that a third group of children from that region is being organized, but they have a problem with leaving. A group of a dozen or so people from an orphanage in Donbas, which has been in contact in recent days, may also come to Fastów. There are no military units in Fastov, so hopefully no one will think of attacking the city.
Pray for us. So far, the phones and internet work, but it is not known what may happen next. I will try to provide you with daily information as much as possible. Sorry for not keeping up with replying to all private notifications.
This website will provide updates as we receive them.