Papal call to action to support Ukraine reaches Canada through CNEWA

Ottawa, Ontario — Pope Francis called for a special collection for Ukraine at parishes across Europe on April 24 to help families affected by the ongoing war. That call made its way to Canada through special collections taking place throughout the month of May in the Archeparchy of Winnipeg and the Eparchy of New Westminster in Vancouver with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association as recipient.

After two years of war in Ukraine, 10,000 lives have been lost, 1.7 million are internally displaced and one million are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Despite a ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk last year, the war continues to claim more victims.

“The devastating calls for help from the Catholic churches of Ukraine continue and CNEWA Canada is pleased to be able to help the local church, which provides care for desperate families forced to escape the conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” said Carl Hétu, national director of CNEWA Canada. “Two years after the conflict began, the situation remains grim for hundreds of thousands of families. We are grateful to Canadians for their donations to date, but know that, sadly, more aid is still needed.”

In 2015, CNEWA sent a total of $276,000 in response to the crisis, in addition to the ongoing support for social projects and pastoral initiatives through the local Ukrainian church.

Russian-speaking Ukrainians are the first victims of the pro-Russian forces, said Hétu. “Most of them are Orthodox but many of them are members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Ethnic Ukrainians have welcomed their Russian-speaking counterparts fleeing persecution.”

The continued suffering by the Ukrainian people is placing tremendous stress on the rest of the country whose citizens have opened their homes and communities, said Winnipeg’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Lawrence Huculak, a member of CNEWA Canada’s board of directors. “It is difficult to imagine the trauma that these people continue to suffer in witnessing the killings, bombings and destruction of their homes.”

Canadians interested in making donations to help CNEWA and its partners in Ukraine are invited to do so by visiting or to write a cheque to CNEWA Canada (Marked Emergency Ukraine) at 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 6K9 or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. As a registered charity, CNEWA will issue a tax receipt.

About CNEWA CNEWA, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, works on behalf of the Eastern churches. CNEWA has been helping the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to re-establish itself since Ukraine achieved its independence in 1991, through the renovation of churches, providing aid to seminarians, supporting the Ukrainian Catholic University and helping the many social service initiatives helping the poor and marginalized. CNEWA is also present in the Middle East, northeast of Africa and India.

Source: Carl Hétu, National Director, Canada
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

For more information:

Toronto office: Vanessa Santilli
Tel : 416-341-9929 ext. 228

Montreal office: Lauriane Ayivi
Tel : 514-288-8290 ext. 233

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