Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Service of Charity, is once again in Ukraine to bring to the “population battered by war the Holy Father’s comfort” and to inaugurate a shelter for women and children in Lviv, the Vatican said in a statement on September 20, 2023. The Polish prelate also expressed his “sorrow” for an attack on warehouses used by Caritas, a Catholic charity, in Lviv.
“Despite the continuous bombings, the [Cardinal] will inaugurate the “House of Welcome” on behalf of Pope Francis as a sign of support, backing, and closeness to the many people who have been forced to flee because of the conflict,” the note reads.
During Wednesday’s general audience, the Pontiff called, as he does every week, for the faithful to “remain united in closeness and prayer for the dear and martyred Ukraine.”
The House of Welcome in Lviv
This new center built in Lviv will host single mothers with children and homeless women, and will also have a canteen for the needy. It was built in recent months to support the many people who have fled the harshest areas of the conflict and found refuge in Lviv, in the east of the country.
Pope Francis, among other donors, has made a substantial financial contribution to its construction, the Vatican statement explains. The structure will be run by the Albertine Sisters.
During his visit, Cardinal Krajewski also deplored the attack on the Caritas-Spes warehouses, where products sent by Pope Francis, such as power generators destined for isolated locations of the country, were stored.
An airstrike on September 19 caused a fire that turned 300 tons of humanitarian aid to ashes, including 33 pallets of goods destined for over 600 families in Ukraine.
“They struck to destroy the possibility of helping people who are suffering,” said the Prelate in the Dicastery’s statement.
The Pope’s “charity” Cardinal
During his stay, Cardinal Krajewski will also visit the various communities hosting refugees in the region. The 59-year-old Polish cardinal has carried out numerous missions in Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive, including visiting mass graves on Good Friday in 2022.
His travels have sometimes taken him very close to the front line. For example, in September 2022, while in the Ukrainian town of Zaporizhzhia to deliver food and rosaries on behalf of Pope Francis, Cardinal Krajewski and his team came under fire.
The Dicastery for the Service of Charity has regularly brought aid to the population. On August 30, two truckloads of food aid were on their way to Ukraine to deliver 300,000 portions of freeze-dried broth to the areas hardest hit by the war.