Renovate a Parish Church in Ukraine
Project Code: 438-01-19
The Parish Church of Saint Stanislaus in Balta is the oldest Latin-rite Catholic church in the Diocese of Odessa-Simferopol in the south of Ukraine. Thankfully, after the long years of atheist Soviet domination, the parish is once again vibrant today. Holy Mass is celebrated daily, and there are also many other religious events. Every Wednesday there are catechism classes for the children, on Thursdays preparation classes for First Holy Communion, on Saturdays a Bible study meeting and on Sundays after Mass, catechetical instruction for adults. There are also meetings for altar servers and for adults preparing for baptism or for marriage.
"The members of my parish like to get involved, whether in preparing for the religious feasts or in other things for the Church, and not only through their work but also through their financial contributions," writes Father Marcin Planeta, the parish priest, proudly.
Since 2007 there has also been a community of Vincentian Sisters working in the parish. They care especially for the children of broken homes. Many of the parents are alcoholics and cannot look after their children properly. As a result, the children themselves become acquainted far too early with alcohol and cigarettes, or else they begin to steal. The Sisters offer them a place of security and loving acceptance. They also care for their physical well-being, for the Sisters have set up a daily mealtime service for the children, who would otherwise not get a hot meal.
Afterwards, they can sit quietly and do their school homework, with which they also get support. And there are constructive leisure time opportunities and religious instruction. In summer they also have the chance of camping holidays. By now, there are 40 such children and young people benefiting from the Sisters' help, and their numbers are steadily growing.
And by helping the children, the Sisters and the parish priest can also reach out to the parents, so that they, too, can get the help they need.
The parish does have one major problem, namely that the parish church is in urgent need of repair and renovation work. The roof leaks, and a lack of adequate drainage around the foundations has left considerable water damage and rising damp. The floor, the external rendering and inner plastering of the walls, the ceiling, the roof: everything needs to be renovated. As a result Holy Mass now has to be celebrated in the presbytery.
Despite the generosity of the parishioners, the parish simply cannot afford the total cost of the renovation work, and so Father Planeta has turned to ACN for help. We have promised him $9,000. Will you give so that Father Planeta renovate this church in Ukraine and keep his parish flourishing and serving those in need?
This project is an example of our work. Your donation will be attributed either to this or to another similar project that accords with the pastoral needs that ACN witnesses.
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