As the world watches the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in horror, many of us are praying, speaking out against war, and also looking for practical ways to help Ukrainians. FAN has reached out to our network to gather information about the many Franciscan religious in Ukraine and Poland who are working hard to provide services despite the dangers of war. We offer these stories from the Orders of Friars Minor, OFM Conventuals, OFM Capuchins, Franciscan Missions, and Franciscan Relief Fund, with opportunities to donate where you feel called.
We recognize that there are many worthy and trusted organizations collecting funds at this time. Here, we highlight ones that are specifically Franciscan, which were brought to our attention by our network.
Please continue to pray for Ukraine, including for Franciscans serving the Ukrainian people with faith and courage. May the Lord give you peace.
OFM General Minister Friar Massimo Fusarelli has heard first hand of the serious difficulty experienced by the friars who live in the city of Konotop, occupied by Russian forces on February 24. The words of Fr Romualdo, parish priest of the Konotop friary, describe a scenario that no one thought possible just a few weeks ago. “The streets have become a theater of war: armored vehicles have been knocked down, cars have been set on fire and, above all, military and civilian victims are scattered throughout the city. The picture is compounded by the despair into which the population has fallen on hearing the news that the city has been lost by the Ukrainian army. The parish immediately opened its doors to everyone.” READ more
As Friar Daniel Botvina, Provincial Minister of Ukraine, reported, “The friars are well and have remained with the people, not to abandon them.”
Donate to the OFM friars in Ukraine (FYI: amounts listed are in Euros. You may be charged an international transaction fee.)
In Ukraine, the Conventual friars have two friaries east of the Dniepro River near conflict areas, three friaries in the west that are being flooded with refugees, and friaries across the border in Poland and Romania. The Our Lady of the Angels Province is collecting funds in the U.S. to wire directly to the friars taking in refugees.
General Delegate for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Friar Michael J. Lasky (FAN Board member) has also begun a prayer initiative for the Conventual Friars: READ here
Donate to the OLA Conventual friars in Ukraine
The Capuchin brothers in Ukraine assist people in transit to the west of Ukraine and Europe as crowds of refugees pass through their monasteries. They rest, eat and then continue on their way. READ more
Donate to the Capuchin brothers:
The Capuchin Retreat Center in Washington, MI is collecting donations (please include a note that designates the funds for Ukraine), and then the director Fr. Vito Martinez, OFM Cap will make a single wire transfer of everything collected on March 28 to the Polish Capuchins (in order to cut down on wire transfer fees). Here is the address to send checks for this option:
62460 Mt. Vernon
Washington, MI 48094
The Franciscan Missions provide direct financial support for missions of the Franciscan Order throughout the world. The Province of St. Michael the Archangel in Ukraine has 16 friaries throughout Ukraine with 65 friars serving 54 parishes. Some are in areas that have already fallen under the control of the Russian Army. The friars are hosting refugees who are seeking food and protection. All funds donated through the Franciscan Missions will be sent to Ukraine and surrounding countries. Donate to the Franciscan Missions.
Franciscan Relief Fund:
Franciscan Relief Fund was established by the Franciscan Friars to provide crucial assistance during times of natural disaster, war, disease, unemployment or poverty. While many Ukrainians are leaving the country, the Franciscan Friars are staying to help and be with the people they serve. Through the Franciscan Relief Fund, funds will be sent to the friars to help those who desperately need it. Donate to the Franciscan Relief Fund