In May, the Dom Polski Centre hosted a Mother’s Day lunch fundraiser, organised in conjunction with the Association of Ukrainians in SA and the Federation of Polish Organisations in SA, as a way of supporting the 5.5 million displaced Ukrainians now living in Poland.
On August 23 – the eve of Ukraine’s Independence Day – about 60 people gathered at the centre to celebrate the official transfer of more than $10,000 to Caritas Poland. Special guests included Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, Vicar General Fr Dean Marin, Fr Marcin Izycki (director of Caritas Poland via Zoom),
Fr Evgen Kvasniuk, Fr Michal Skiba, the Hon Jing Lee MLC (shadow minister for Multicultural Affairs); Frank Fursenko (president of the Association of Ukrainians in SA), Edward Dudzinski, (president of the Federation of Polish Organisations in SA) and Kathleen O’Keefe, who donated her painting entitled ‘Sunflower’ as part of the fundraising efforts. Multicultural Minister Zoe Bettison was an apology on the evening.
Addressing the gathering, Archbishop O’Regan spoke of the importance for people of faith to stand in solidarity and communion with those in need, adding it was not simply “what we do, but why we do what we do”.
“As Catholics we know that faith needs to be seen,” he said. “Ringing in our ears is St John’s reminder ‘how can you love God whom you cannot see if you do not love your neighbour who you can see?’
“Tonight we see solidarity in action, I am delighted to be among you and congratulate those who have taken St John’s words to heart.
“In a world that seems to be withdrawing into itself more and more, this message is more important together. Faith means we are in this together.
“People of faith do this because the love of God impels us to do so. We see humanity as a gift from God.
“So thank you to the Polish community for showing us what solidarity and communion look like.”
Organiser of the lunch fundraiser, Dom Polski Centre chairperson Len Nowak, said the Polish community was committed to supporting Ukrainian refugees.
“Poland has opened its borders to Ukrainian refugees, offering unprecedented generosity not only at the official level, but also where individual Polish citizens have likewise offered accommodation and support at great personal expense,” he said.
“This sacrifice of the Polish people who have opened their houses and lodgings to the Ukrainian mothers and children must be supported. If the Polish people have accepted the burden, then we too have to assist them in their endeavour.”Jump to next article