The JOY of the Nativity Season is Brought to the Evacuated Residents of Znamyanka Orphanage in Poland
The JOY of the Nativity Season is Brought to the Evacuated Residents of Znamyanka Orphanage in Poland

11 hours and 30 minutes – 568 miles (915 kilometers) – the distance between Znamynka Children’s Orphanage in Ukraine and the Sanatorium in Krasnobrod, Poland.  In this small town (with the population of about 3,000) – 39 children and 4 caretakers from Znamyanka orphanage found a new home since the first days of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Daniel traveled to Poland following his archpastoral visit to St. Job of Pochaiv Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Los Alamos, NM. Crossing the entire USA and the international borders, Vladyka Daniel traveled in 24 hours the distance of 5,850 miles (9,415 kilometers) in order to bring joy of the traditional St. Nicholas Feast Day and Christmas Season to the youth of Znamyanka orphanage, temporarily living in Poland.

For the past 15 years, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA always commissioned Mission Teams in the month of December to visit the residents of Znamyanka orphanage and to gift them with the joy of the season by bringing Charitable Aid, toys and logistical supplies. Taking into consideration the ongoing war in Ukraine, the UOC of the USA this year was not able to send a mission team to Ukraine; however, since a number of children were evacuated to Poland, the archbishop took it upon himself to visit them on behalf of our missionaries, clergy and the faithful of the Church.

Working closely with the director of Znamyanka Children’s Orphanage in Ukraine, Pani Tetiana Valko, Vladyka connected with the Chief Curator of the evacuated youth – Pani Veronica Mykhayletska, and flew to Krakow, Poland.  After a long car ride from the airport, he finally arrived at the Krasnobrod Sanatorium – where the orphaned children, fleeing the Russian aggression, have safely resided since March.

Smiles, hugs and tears were exchanged as the bishop of the UOC of the USA crossed the threshold of the temporary residence. Toys and gifts were brought in suitcases (through the generosity of St. Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral in Allentown, PA – Fr. Richard Jendras – pastor), enabling the children to play with the new toys and to have fun with numerous arts and crafts supplies.

Having visited the children, Vladyka Daniel held a meeting with the staff of the orphanage (Veronica Mykhayletska – Special Education Instructor; Anna Chub – Medical Assistant; Bobik Olena and Olha Chub – nannies), discussing the most critical requirements for the children to fulfill their educational, organizational, and medical needs.   The facility utilizes the services and products of the nearby grocery stores and pharmacies to provide for the basic food, clothing and medical requirements of the children, which are purchased via the charitable funds of the UOC of the USA.

His Eminence Archbishop Daniel concluded his visit by meeting with the administration of Krasnobrod Sanatorium, under the leadership of director Barbara Kowal and her assistants, who provided the bishop with an overview of the most recent repairs of the kitchen and dining hall, which will be utilized by the children of Znamyanka orphanage. Moreover, the archbishop learned about the dietary nutritional plans and medical care that the Sanatorium provides for the residents. Expressing his most profound gratitude to the administration of the Sanatorium, Archbishop Daniel stated: “Our humanity is recognized through our actions, kindness and care which we show for each other. In this time of the Genocidal war in Ukraine, perpetrated by the Russian Federation, we all have a sacred responsibility to care for the most precious gift that the God Himself granted all of us – our life in Him and through His creation.

His Eminence expressed that there are no words that can adequately express the feelings of gratitude for the care that the Sanatorium staff, and the people of Poland, have given to the millions of refugees from Ukraine, but especially to these 39 children and their caretakers. He continued by assuring every one of the Church’s daily prayers for the conclusion of this senseless war and restoration of peace in Ukraine and conveyed his sincere hope that soon we will meet once again in Ukraine, united as caretakers of these young people in Znamyanka. “May God bless you and be with you throughout your life!”

Having toured the exhibits of arts and crafts created by the children, Vladyka Daniel bid an emotional farewell to all in Krasnobrod, making his way to Krakow and later for the United States of America in order to be on time for the parish visitation of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Palos Park, IL on December 10-11, 2022.

The JOY of the Nativity Season is Brought to the Evacuated Residents of Znamyanka Orphanage in Poland

Photos by Anna Chub

(29 images)


Share This:



< PreviousNext >
You might also like:

Strategic Plan

image
image
Prayer Books
Prayer Books
Calendar 2022
Calendar 2022
Prayer Book
Prayer Book

  

Recent Galleries
Metropolia
Directories
Institutions
Organizations

Mailing Address
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
P.O. Box 495
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880

Offices:
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Metropolia Center
135 Davidson Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873