During a special meeting of the Kyiv Province State Administration (Kyiv Military Administration), honorary certificates were awarded to representatives of churches and religious associations involved in humanitarian aid and educational activities during the hostilities caused by the aggression of the Russia against Ukraine. Among the recipients were two Oblate missionaries: Father Pawel Wyszkowski OMI, parish priest of St. Nicholas Parish in Kiev, and Brother Sebastian Jankowski OMI, director of the “Kitchen for the Homeless” in Kyiv.
Father Wyszkowski OMI comments on his award:
“I am pleasantly surprised that the State Administration of the Kyiv Province has taken notice of the activities of St. Nicholas Parish in Kyiv during the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yes, we have stayed, we have not fled, we try to serve as best we can. With the blessing of the ordinary bishop of Kyiv-Zytomyr diocese, Vitaly Kryvitsky SDB, our church became a humanitarian aid centre for Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. We distributed and delivered humanitarian aid to the most needy, even when the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions were under enemy fire.”
“All this was only possible because since 24 February 2022, when the then owners of the Chamber of Music (our church) fled, the keys of the church were in our hands for the first time in 84 years, which gave us full freedom of action. The church is open, active and alive, always full of people in need of help and also those willing to help despite the fatigue. It is further proof that the House of God must operate according to the purpose for which it was built.”
“Father Michał Romanów OP, parish priest of Fastów, also received an award today. You only have to go there to see how much good has been done in that town, in society and in Ukraine in general, thanks to the fact that the church was returned to the parish at the end of the 1990s. As for the return of our church, the authorities have been distracting us with promises for more than 31 years. That is why today I am again addressing a letter to our President Volodymyr Zelensky, who in a few days will probably greet us Catholics on the occasion of Easter, as well as the leaders of the European and American countries, who are also Catholics and will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in a few days.”
“I would like to recall and emphasise that the promises that the Ukrainian authorities have been making for 30 years and that they finally undertook to return the church to the parishioners on 1 June 2022, as is clear from the signed memorandum, must definitely be fulfilled,” said Fr Paweł Wyszkowski OMI, parish priest of the Kyiv parish.