Priests are often the local leaders who motivate and encourage local communities to organize groups of support to people in need, to the sick or to medical staff. Although the social dimension of the Church’s service is very important, its first mission is to bring the Word of God to people in all situations and circumstances.
In addition to celebrating Masses (for several weeks, alone in front of empty chairs and now with a maximum of 10 people), priests continue to provide other urgent services, funerals, visits to the sick and the elderly or for last confession. Priests are especially sought after for advice during this time of crisis. In addition to medical personnel, priests become the next group at risk.
The church needs to help its priests to carry out their mission during the pandemic period, by preventing contamination and the spread of infection and by providing the necessary protective equipment – clothes, masks, gloves, antiseptic, etc. because priests are on the front line of the fight against the pandemic along with medical personnel.
The restriction on the use of protective masks will most likely remain in place for a long time. Experts say that COVID-19 is only the first in a series of viruses that humanity will face in the future. Thus, the need for protective equipment will remain acute even after the end of the pandemic.
Emergency aid for protective measures for priests of the Greek Catholic Church
In response to the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in Ukraine, the UGCC (Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church) has founded an anti-crisis centre to coordinate all pastoral and relief efforts of the Church at the local and national level as well. This help is provided in 5 areas: spiritual, psychological, social, medical and informational.
Through local donations on the online platform #LetsHelpTogether and with the help of donors, the UGCC is being providing lodging for medical staff working on shifts, delivery of meals for the elderly and people at risk and other numerous initiatives at the level of the whole-church, eparchial and parish levels.
The UGCC anti-crisis coordination centre has collected information on the needs for protective equipment from all UGCC eparchies, exarchates and religious congregations in Ukraine. The minimum equipment needed for priests is calculated based on the assumption of providing an average of 20 masks, 20 pairs of gloves and 2 pieces of medical clothing per priest.
The costs for 2740 diocesan priests and 1000 religious priests are 49.257€. ACN has promised to fund this project.
Emergency aid for protective measures for the priests of the Roman Catholic Church
“All protective measures, from masks and gloves to liquids, have become ten times more expensive, sometimes even more, since the beginning of the quarantine”. Fr Mikolay Leskiv, priest in Czervonograd
The Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine is asking for our help to finance the protective measures that every priest or seminarian must put in place because of the pandemic. The seminarians were sent home and they are supposed to help in their parishes.
The Roman Catholic Church plans to give each of the 738 priests and 92 seminarians of the Roman Catholic Church an allowance of €50.
Total budget is: 828*50= 41.400€. ACN has promised to fund this project.