A Gift Of Hope: Local Families Collect Donations To Help Parish In Ukraine
Journal & Topics
While the world is watching the situation in Ukraine, with women and children fleeing communities bombarded by Russian troops and Ukrainian men staying behind to try to recapture their countryside, the first-hand stories are inspiriting the people of Our Lady of Hope, 9711 W. Devon, in Rosemont to raise some hope for one small, determined Catholic parish providing help to refugees on the front lines.
Fr. Wojciech Oleksy, who pastors the mission congregation based at Our Lady of Hope and associated with Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Church in Park Ridge, is from Ukraine himself, and had studied in Poland with Fr. Marcin Miras who is currently the pastor of St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Boyany, in western Ukraine. That church is close to the borders of Romania and Moldavia and on one of the escape routes being used.
Fr. Marcin says they are in one of the safest places in Ukraine at the moment and they can provide temporary shelter, but his parish only has about 20 who are trying to help up to 40 people at a time. Most refugees come without food, and only the clothes on their backs. The goal is to provide warm food, a hot bath, and, “above all, a sense of human dignity,” he writes, and they are converting spaces to take up to 60 people on the church property. Fr. Marcin has been able to get back to Poland to purchase supplies, but the refugees continue to arrive needing help.
Our Lady of Hope is collecting donations to be sent to the parish. Fr. Wojciech says they have made arrangements for 100 percent of the funds they collect to get back to his friend’s church in Boyany.
Checks can be written to Our Lady of Hope-Outreach with “Ukraine Relief” on the message line. Cash donations continue to be made to “Ukraine Relief” through the parish. For more information contact Fr. Wojciech Oleksy or Geriann Gentile at 847-825-4673.
Other ongoing relief drives are planned.