Help us Help Ukraine

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“We are pioneers, working in each local situation sharing a vision of transformation with special concern for women, children and family life.”

May 2022

Dear Friends!

We are overwhelmed by your generosity with which you are reaching out to all those in need. Our Sisters are involved on many different levels – volunteer work, direct service together with other organizations, and organizational and leadership level – in all three countries, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia our sisters are fulfilling different offices in the National Leadership Conferences of Religious (president, vice, president, secretary) working together and coordinating the efforts of other religious communities. We hold regular meetings with the superiors of these three districts and make common decisions about how to pace and how to use the funds that have been collected thanks to your generous support.

On April 28th We Distributed 30,000 Euros Among the Three Districts

In Slovakia our Sisters joined the efforts of the Salesian community and are using the funds in their projects. Pictures are attached.

  • Information on the projects to which this money has been sent:
  • Caring for the children from the Salesian orphanage in Lvov: Immediately after the outbreak of the war, we took in 50 boys. Nineteen of them are placed in families and the rest are in our Salesian homes. Legally they are under the state orphanages. After getting accreditation we will have our own orphanage and legally they will be under us. To do this we will need to employ about 30 people, some of whom will be Salesians – others will be lay people and some will be Ukrainians. To do this we will also need to adapt some of the premises of our Salesian homes.
  • Humanitarian aid. According to the Minister of the Interior (today’s report) about 500 tons of humanitarian aid went from Slovakia. About 100 tons were sent by us. We have rented warehouses in Presov and also in Uzhhorod. From there, this aid is distributed along our Salesian lines to wherever it is needed. One truck – about 20 tons of food and hygiene supplies – costs us about 40 000€. We will continue this work as long as we have the financial resources.
  • Accommodation – in this area we accommodate Ukrainian mothers with children in families. So far we have accommodated 152 people for long term accommodation. In addition, our collaborator in TT has already accommodated about 300 people for short-term accommodation: from 2 days to 2 weeks.
  • Field work in large capacity hostels where there are many children and youth. Starting Monday, we will start this work in the format of 4-5 member teams, which will regularly go to these facilities and create social and legal prevention and inclusion programs.

In Hungary the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in cooperation with the Catholic Charities of Szombathely, Hungary are organizing a transport to be sent to the Ukraine to a Greek Catholic community of Sisters who run houses for refugees (they needed equipment (washing machines); bedding, bed sheets, food, etc.) – pictures will be shared as soon as the transport reaches its destination.

In Romania our Sister, who is the secretary of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is distributing these funds between three communities, who work with refugee children, and who deliver humanitarian aid including medicine to their communities working with refugees in the Ukraine. – More pictures will be shared later. As donations flow in we will continue to allocate them according to the emerging needs and we will continue to inform you.

With gratitude on behalf of our entire community and behalf of all who benefit from this support.

Sr. Magdolna Kővári
General Moderator

March 18, 2022

Sisters of Social Service: Answering the Call to Our Name Eastern European SSS Continue to Serve
at the Ukrainian Borders

With assistance from Sister Magdolna Kővári, General Moderator

Sr. Rita Víg from the Hungarian District, who works with Catholic Charities, coordinating services at the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary

Our three Eastern European Districts have joined efforts coordinated by the national leadership conferences of men and women religious in different ways; the district moderators serve in different roles in the Leadership Conferences – Sr. Emma Németh is president of the LCWR(Leadership Conference of Women Religious) in Hungary, Sr. Ildikó Homa, the secretary of the LCWR in Romania, and Sr. Renata Jamborova, the Vice President of the joint leadership conference of men and women religious in Slovakia, and as such they are instrumental of the coordination work. Most of our Sisters are using their free time or taking time off from their regular ministries to volunteer at the borders, at railway stations and refugee centers, offering help and support that is most needed, including packing and organizing goods, services and other life-giving staples, as well as offering a willing ear, personal counselling and guidance. A few Sisters have their full-time ministry related to some organization that is involved directly in relief services, like Sr. Rita Víg from Hungary, whose consistent daily ministry is with Catholic Charities.

Here is an example of how our Eastern European Sisters are making a difference on the frontlines:

Hungarian District

  • Donated 5 million Forints (@ $15,000 in Hungarian currency) to Catholic Charities, where Sr. Rita Víg works
  • Sr. Ildikó Zics is working with the Jesuit Refugee Service as a coordinator
  • Last week the Emmanuel House received 10 people from the Ukraine: 3 adult women, a grandmother and her daughters, and 7 children, the youngest being 6 months old and the oldest 16; they stayed for two nights/days, then travelled on to Poland/Austria in 2 groups. It was definitely an overwhelming learning experience about how to help people in crisis searching for safety and care
  • It is not always possible to admit refugees into Emanuel house because the rooms are not in a separate section of the building, and often the groups for who seek shelter are mixed, or uncertain about the length of their stay; but the district is preparing an apartment of the community to be offered for a refugee family for longer period of time.
  • Other Sisters are regularly volunteering at railway stations preparing sandwiches, helping Catholic Charities, listening to people, counseling, serving them, etc.
  • Sr. Gabó Sári assisted at the Romanian – Hungarian border where many refugees have crossed
  • This past week there was a long weekend due to a national holiday, people had days off; sisters have been using the free time to volunteer at the railway stations and other centers

Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary.

Some new initiatives were born:

  • “Children’s Corner” at the railway station
  • A community center in the inner city focused on folk art and crafts opened its doors to the children of the refugees, who are staying temporarily in the city; the center offers programs for the children; our Sister Eszter also goes there to do crafts with them
  • The refugee service of the religious after discernment decided not to set up yet another tent at the railway station (as there are plenty of them run by the different organizations) they rather took up the mediator role – helping to make connections and forward necessary information to the places where they are needed; they also set up a worship place in the center of the city where there are Ukrainian religious services, refugees can gather for prayer, or receive spiritual counseling

Slovak District

  • There is more stability now in Slovakia regarding refugee ministry; as the result recent legislation, the state took charge of relief work in order to connect organizations and assure cooperation; they still count on the church and other organizations but took over the coordination; a volunteer organization was also set up; the volunteers who commit themselves for a longer period of time will also receive some payment
  • Srs. Marta Andrascikova and Marcela Chromekova have been serving on the Ukrainian border where things are much more organized now; buses with set destinations are waiting for the refugees; they are taken directly to the larger cities; the pressure is now on the relief centers in the cities; the place where Marta serves focuses now on the volunteers and relief workers; Marta is helping with the debriefing, offering support to the volunteers and relief workers, who go out daily to the border and encounter tragedies all day long
  • As larger cities in the Western part of the Ukraine, where many people from the East took refuge, started to be bombarded, more refugees will be expected in the coming days and weeks
  • Parishes and community centers also receive refugees – sisters go there to help with daily care
  • Non-conventual Sisters living alone in the Eastern part of the country took in refugees; the sisters’ families help them with the related tasks
  • Two juniors joined the hotline ministry with 22 other religious who are involved. They are assisting refugees, but also local people who are in panic because of the war
  • The danger of human trafficking is high – there is an organization that offers help on the border taking people to Germany, offering cars or drivers, which secures connections that can be trusted
  • The leadership conference of religious set up a centralized Google Calendar, on which it can be followed how many places can religious communities offer for people would need shelter, and where, and when; this covers the entire country.

Romanian District

  • The Sisters in the Romanian district – given their fulltime ministries – are less involved in direct service but have offered apartments belonging to the district for refugees
  • Sr. Ildikó Homa, the District Moderator, is also secretary of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and is working closely with other communities: she is initiating a platform that would help coordination among the religious orders; she writes grants to organizations who offered help, like the Hilton Foundation
  • Several Sisters teach at the university and are receiving faculty and students as well from the Ukraine
  • Our Sisters, with the financial support received from the Sisters in LA, are helping two religious communities who work on the two sides of the Ukrainian border: the Basilian Sisters who remained in the Ukraine helping refugees there and another community, Sisters of the Holy Mother of God, who receive refugees in their convent on the Romanian side. A transport of food and medicine has just been sent by the Basilian Sisters to their community in the Ukraine
  • Counseling is offered to students who are affected by the crisis
  • The sisters continue the prayer initiatives for peace

March 11, 2022

Sister Marta and volunteers collect clothing for Ukrainian refugees

None of us can escape the horrific images of the escalating humanitarian crisis in Eastern Europe. Since our founding, the SSS charism calls us to act for justice, particularly to the needs of women and children. This is an urgent call to action in the face of suffering, and our Sisters in Hungary, Slovakia and Romania are on the frontlines, living out our charism of advocating peace and justice for the common good. Our Sisters are welcoming Ukrainian refugees with open arms, providing life-giving aid and resettlement assistance as they flee war and death in their homeland of the Ukraine.

Together, the SSSLA and our Eastern European Sisters are committed to providing ongoing humanitarian aid to those in crisis and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. Your gift in any amount is gratefully received and will directly affect all ongoing efforts made by our Sisters here and abroad as they care for and comfort thousands of refugees pouring into their countries. As in other historical times of world tumult, the SSS are, once again, in the trenches and answering the call to care for those living on the margins of society.

How to Help

The important and vital work of the Sisters in Eastern Europe is made possible by the loyalty and support of you, our donors and friends, around the world. Please consider making a gift to this important effort today.

Click here to donate now

Mail your check to SSS
4316 Lanai Road, Encino, CA 91436, and designate “SSS Charism Fund”

For further questions, please contact Mary Hatton, Director of Development
818.285.3358 or

Sister working with children creating loving cards and messages to welcome refugees

In this time of crisis and escalating tension close around us we seek how to become anchors of hope, faith and love especially for those who are most affected by the events, and how not to”grow tired of praying and doing good” when surrounded by the immensity of suffering caused by this war.Our sisters in the European districts join the efforts of the local charity organizations and refugee services, like Sr. Marta Andrascikova, the assistant general moderator, who is helping refugees on the Ukrainian border.

“Ours is a life of empowerment. Acknowledging our own and others’ needs for liberation, we encourage ourselves and our sisters and brothers to work collaboratively with the oppressed peoples of the world to promote justice and peace in our time.”

SSS, 1986