POLAND, Father Arkadiusz Sosna •
Until now I have associated the “Four Seasons” with the composition of Antonio Vivaldi. This year it is quite different: in our Sion, the four seasons from March until today related to the presence of refugees from Ukraine and constant change. It is difficult to speak of refugees when the weeks fly by, and we continue to share this tough time of war; people have become our guests. —
From the beginning of March 2022 until today, two people have been with us permanently. A mother with her daughter. Others have been with us temporarily, and new people keep coming and going, hoping for safety and a better life.
Going to the border
In July I was in Przemyśl, on the border between Poland and Ukraine. There is the station hall with the beds prepared, the reception and the tent for the first meal. This is what the reception of Ukrainians in Poland looks like. Registration, first meal, medical care and, if they have no other option, accommodation for mothers with children. One or two nights, and then the onward journey follows.
The queue of trucks at the border is another example of the current reality. Uninterrupted queues of trucks heading to Ukraine with relief supplies are a common sight.
Artem, the son born with us in Poland, has moved on with his family. We took photos of the moment of farewell and departure. We as Fathers have never been so close to the birth of a child, it was a wonderful experience for us. We are grateful that thanks to the help of many donors, the boy was born in humane conditions and was able to spend the first months of his life in peace.
Three of the mothers who came to stay with us lived in the same apartment block in Zaporizhzhya. They met by chance at our place. Now they and their children are with us, and their husbands have stayed in Zaporizhzhya. One of the women has nothing to return to. Her house was destroyed by rocket fire.
Some came as a whole family and stayed for a while until they could travel on. Happy to be alive and together.
The free place for the unexpected guest
Christmas is just around the corner. We do not know how many will stay with us during this time. There are seven people living in our house now. Everything is in a state of flux. The intense rocket fire lately has increased fear and forced people to leave the city. In Poland, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it is customary to prepare a free place at the table for the unexpected guest. Usually this place remains in readiness, but this time we will prepare more places. And they will probably fill up.
I would like to express my great gratitude to all who support our hospitality on the Sion in Poland with prayer and material contribution. By doing so, you are doing your part to help, and moreover, to give hope to the hearts of those in need.
At the same time, I pray for perseverance for all of us, so that this grim time may become an oasis of Christian hope and concrete service to the lives of others. May God protect and bless us all.
P. Arkadiusz Sosna | [email protected]
Original: German. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org