Kremenchuk is a city of 300,000 inhabitants in the Poltava region of central Ukraine. The St. Joseph Parish, which our friars serve, has about one hundred inhabitants.

For more than fourteen years, the local Conventual Franciscan community has been caring for the homeless, the poor and needy. During this time of war, it has also been serving refugees and displaced persons. Twice a week the friars provide a hot meal, medical assistance, distribute clothes, cut hair and give people an opportunity to take a shower. About fifty people are helped on a regular basis.
During the first months of the war, humanitarian aid was collected for the people of Kharkiv. In a short time, money came in from our Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in Ukraine and from local benefactors. The money was used to buy groceries and cleaning products for the parishioners. The Most Reverend Edward KAWA, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, also provided support at this difficult time. Transports brought several tons of foodstuffs, along with power generators, a few hundred flashlights and a few thousand batteries.
Shortly after the hostilities began, the city filled with people escaping the war zones. Most of them received material support from the friars. This assistance was made possible with the help of the aforementioned benefactors and with the collaboration of Caritas-Spes Ukraine [a charitable organization]. So far Caritas has sent ten trucks of humanitarian aid. Each truck was loaded with thirty pallets of goods: foodstuffs, hygiene products, medicine, children’s items, medical supplies, adult and infant diapers, clothes, wheelchairs for children and disabled persons, bedding, blankets, pillows, etc. Both parishioners and refugees collaborated to unload the supplies, forming a taskforce comprised of volunteers and refugees.
About 40,000 people fleeing the war have already benefited from the friars’ services, including senior citizens and invalids. The friars also provided medicine and medical supplies to the hospitals in Kremenchuk. The soldiers in Kremenchuk, and those at the front, also benefited from this assistance. The friars were given additional support from the association of visually impaired people, orphanages and the Mothers of Kremenchuk Organization.
On January 13, 2023, a training course on medical first aid was held in our St. Joseph Parish in Kremenchuk. It was carried out as part of the ongoing collaboration between our parish and the Caritas-Spes Association of the Diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhya. Eight of our volunteers attended the course. The goal of the course was to learn about modern rules of medical care in case of hemorrhage. The practical activities were also very useful.

Friar Petro FRANKIV