U&Ukraine – Dublin & Glendalough call to action in support of refugees
The horrific events in Ukraine since February 24 have seen almost 17,000 people who have fled the war arrive in Ireland in recent weeks. Up to 40,000 Ukrainian refugees may come to Ireland by the end of April.
The United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough have committed to responding practically to the crisis and are launching U&Ukraine, an initiative to help Ukrainian people arriving in Ireland to feel welcome.
Permission has been received through the Representative Body Executive Committee and Diocesan Councils to make the Church of St George and St Thomas in Dublin’s city centre available for use as a hub and cultural centre. The well known church, located on Cathal Brugha Street just off O’Connell Street, will become a centre of warmth, welcome and activity for those arriving in Ireland from Ukraine.
Dublin and Glendalough are now issuing a call to action for Ukraine and urging all parishes in the United Dioceses to focus on the start of our fundraising drive throughout Holy Week and Easter.
Funds are needed to upgrade kitchen and restroom facilities in St George and St Thomas’s to ensure they are fit for use by members of the Ukrainian community. The United Dioceses has committed to working closely with the Ukrainian community leaders in Ireland to identify practical ways to support and meet the needs of those arriving in the country.
In the slightly longer term, our intention is to sponsor a priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition and in this way to provide pastoral and liturgical ministry to Ukrainians who have come to Ireland as displaced persons. We intend to do this in the first instance for a year. This will take some time to effect. Meanwhile those who have come to Ireland have many practical needs and your generosity will be an enormous help to them in the immediate crisis that faces them here in Ireland with no personal resources.
Launching the appeal ahead of Holy Week 2022, Archbishop Michael Jackson said it was time for the dioceses to pull together and take action. “Over the past six weeks we have watched in despair as war in Ukraine has unfolded on our screens and in our newspapers. Now it is time to put that despair aside and take action to welcome and support those Ukrainians who have come to Ireland having had no choice but to flee their homes,” he stated.
“When President Volodymyr Zelensky made his historic address to the Houses of the Oireachtas earlier this week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said we are militarily neutral but we are not politically or morally neutral. As Christians we cannot be morally neutral. As we approach Holy Week I urge you to pray for all people who have been displaced and take action to serve them. Please help in whatever way you can to support our U&Ukraine initiative to enable Ukrainian people arriving in Ireland to feel welcome,” he added.
People are encouraged to contribute to the response and donations can be lodged directly to: DIOCESAN FUNDS OF DUBLIN AND GLENDALOUGH, Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin 2, BIC: BOFIIE2D, IBAN: IE16 BOFI 9067 9369 3548 78, Reference: U&Ukraine appeal. Donations can also be made by cheque to: the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough, Church House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6 (marked U&Ukraine Appeal).