Since the start of the war, the Conventual Franciscan friaries in Ukraine have been sheltering refugees. This service has become even more important during the winter and because of power outages.

Refugees are brought inside to warm up, get a hot meal and recover some of the normal and joyful way of relating that the war has taken away, especially during the recent Christmas holidays. The friars of the General Custody of the Sacred Convent of St. Francis in Italy (Assisi) are requesting support for our friaries and parishes in Ukraine and the services they provide.
Friar Giulio Cesareo, Director of the Communications Office at the Sacred Convent of Assisi, issued a statement explaining the situation: the friars “continue to help people seeking salvation and those needing shelter from the war, from hunger, from the freezing cold and from the isolation caused by the constant bombing. Almost a year has passed since Russia invaded Ukraine and peace still seems a long way off. The war continues to cause death and destruction. The Ukrainian people are being afflicted by the cold and by the constant bombing of power plants and civilian infrastructure. They are in constant need of help.”
Indeed, most cities in Ukraine lack heating and the entire country is affected by power outages. Friar Stanisław KAWA, the Custos of the Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in Ukraine explains further: “In many areas of the country, electricity is only available for a few hours a day. These conditions require people to rely on other sources of energy, such as generators. Our friaries and churches are using solid fuel for heating and are equipped with generators in the event of power outages. They are providing refuge, shelter and comfort to the people. Our friaries are providing food aid, hot meals and blankets every day.”
The friars of the Sacred Convent of Assisi are making an appeal to all people of good will, because, as the statement reads, “The war is a monster. For now, we can only respond with prayer, friendship and by being neighborly to each other to the extent that we can.”
You can help our friars in Ukraine by donating to Caritas Francescana [a charitable organization] of the Sacred Convent of Assisi. Go to: