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Ukraine: Kharkov, dedication of a new church to the Holy Family. Support to refugees in the east of the country

The dedication of a new church to the Holy Family in Kharkov, Ukraine, due on Saturday 13th May, will be the highlight of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima in the diocese of Kharkov-Zaporizja, a suffraganean of the archdiocese of Lviv. ccording to the parish priest, don Leonid Tkaczuk, the church, “built in just a few years from scratch by the Marianist Fathers”, as stated by the ordinary of the diocese, monsignor Stanislao Syrokoradjuk, could be erected because the city “had been entrusted by the bishops to the immaculate heart of the Virgin” and has not been damaged by the war so far. Since the start of the war in Eastern Ukraine, about 100 thousand of the 2 million refugees from conflict zones have arrived in Kharkov. The parish of the Holy Family, where some Polish nuns work along with the priests, helps about 5 thousand families who fled the regions fought over by the Ukrainian separatists, supported by Russia, and the military departments led by Kiev to defend the country’s independence, proclaimed in 1991. The refugees, as Sister Rosa says, “hoped they would only stay in the city for a short while, but, since the conflict is going on, they cannot go back home yet”. “As a result of the trauma of war, they often fall ill, sometimes even seriously”, adds the Sister, who points out that “often they cannot be properly treated as there are no drugs nor the money to buy them”.

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