Seyssel-Frangy Chaplaincy: Service Camp in the Ukraine

[Province of France South] From August 1 – 12 we were nine 17 year old youths, 7 girls, 2 boys and 4 adults, who went to Sniatyn with the Daughters of Charity in the House of Marta Wiecka, beatified in 2008.

There, under the guidance of Sr. Barbara and of Sr. Monica, the only Sister who spoke French, we worked on several projects:

  • Cleared the playground for the 3 – 6 year old children who go to school with the Sisters,
  • Weeded the area around the center and then spread gravel.
  • Even cracked nuts for Sr. Maria, an excellent cook!!
  • Meanwhile, in small groups, we visited some sick and blind persons cared for by the Sisters.

One morning, with the Sisters, we spent several hours in a Center with 90 persons with physical and mental handicaps.  The Center is paid for, in part, by the sale of the work done by these young people: brooms, and the breeding of guinea pigs and mice.  This helps them keep their dignity.  In a cultural exchange, we played, sang and danced with them.

At the invitation of the Sisters, we met young people and adults of the area.  There is no language barrier when we sing, play and dance together.

The night before we left we shared a meal followed by an evening of prayer and song with the Sisters and several young people of the area in the little chapel of the house.

The next morning, August 9, we gave the Sisters the school supplies provided by the MAPED Society and the toys, pencils, pens and candies that we had brought for the children.

From the 9th to the 12th were visits to several cities:   KOLOMYIA-Pysanka Museum (painted eggs), IVANO-FRANKIVSK, LVIV and KIEV, the capital, where there are very pretty Orthodox Greek-Catholic and Armenian churches like the Golden domed Cathedral of St. Michael and the magnificent Cathedral of St. Sophie.  The Monastery of Caves most impressed us in our visit to the museum of Chernobyl.

This experience was very enriching and made us appreciate how privileged we are to live in France.

This camp is planned for 2 years.  Teens and adults interested in next year should inquire and make themselves known.

The Youth.

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