Ukraine was already a country in crisis before the pandemic. Corruption, lack of prospects, economic crisis and the war in the east of the country have caused many younger and well-educated people to leave the country in recent years. The pandemic only exacerbated the hardship, which also affects the Church. ACN has therefore increasingly supported the Church in Ukraine with Covid-19 aid. Even now, in the war that has been raging since February 2022, we will not abandon the priests and religious and thus the people of Ukraine.
Catholics form a minority of just under 10% of Ukraine’s total population of around 44 million. The Catholic Church is represented here by two rites: the Roman Catholic and the Greek Catholic. ACN has been able to help many religious communities in need with material aid as a result of the pandemic. This support was indispensable because, in addition to its apostolate, the Church also provides an important service to society, with religious caring for those seeking advice, the elderly, the sick, people with disabilities and neglected children, thereby giving new hope to many people.
Only the Church helps us.
In addition, we once again helped many priests with Mass stipends. We provided funds for the purchase of new vehicles. In 2021, we also provided funding for construction and renovation work on Church buildings as well as for training in numerous seminaries and monasteries, as the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious orders in Ukraine remains gratifyingly high. Further funds flowed into support for the Catholic media in 2021, which play an important role for many believers, especially in the time of the pandemic. But funds also reach seekers who have had little or no contact with the faith and the Church.
Covid subsistence aid for religious sisters
In the diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, 138 sisters from 22 different communities are active in parishes, hospitals, orphanages and kindergartens. The consequences of the pandemic have left many of them in great need. Before the Covid crisis, they were still able to earn their own living, but now they no longer receive a salary.
At the same time, the communities have to pay heating costs, the costs of maintaining their buildings and much more. To make matters worse, many of the sisters came down with Covid-19 themselves. In order to secure their livelihood and to ensure they can continue to help others, we support the religious sisters with subsistence aid.