PRESS RELEASE : Ukraine – The Catholic Church is trying to aid the people

Reinhard Backes, ACN International

Adapted by Robert Lalonde, ACN Canada

Koenigstein , 21 February, 2013 Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, ArchbishopMontreal/Königstein – March Monday 2nd – 2015 – The Catholic Church in Ukraine is trying to aid the people regardless of their confession. The Archbishop of Lviv, Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, drew attention to this during a visit to the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). “We look after refugees, provide pastoral as well as material care for the families of soldiers, operate soup kitchens, and we are now also distributing food and medicines to other needy people,” said Archbishop Mokrzycki while looking in briefly after an ad limina visit to Rome.

“Pope Francis listened very carefully to us, the bishops from Ukraine, and he promised to speak out for peace in Ukraine to those in positions of political responsibility and to the international institutions. He also agreed to give us material assistance for our work on behalf of Ukraine,” the Archbishop of Lviv emphasised.

UKRAINE / NATIONAL 14/02434 Support of the Ukrainian Caritas for

The Catholic Church’s aid activities are directed to refugees from the conflict regions in the east of the country as well as to the needy in West Ukraine. The conflict has been made more acute by the critical economic situation in the country. Archbishop Mokrzycki said: “The Mayor of Lviv, for example, addresses himself directly to the Churches again and again, asking if we can help to accommodate such-and-such a number of refugees.

There is great solidarity; Christians of different confessions are coming closer together. Although the people do not have very much, they help one another.” In order to house the refugees, according to the Archbishop, makeshift shanties have now been erected in both East and West Ukraine. ACN supports the Church’s aid activities in numerous Ukrainian dioceses. In recent months, a sum of more than 182 300 dollars has been provided for this purpose.

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PRESS RELEASE : Iraq – A delegation from ACN on the way to Iraq


Click on the image or call 514 932 0552 ext. 226

Robert Lalonde, AED Canada

Johannes von Heereman

Montreal, Tuesday, August 12 2014 – A delegation from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will leave shortly to Erbil, in the north of Iraq, as a sign of solidarity with the numerous Christians who fled the most recent attacks in Qaraqosh – the Christian capital of Iraq – and in the Nineveh plain.

This delegation formed by the International Executive President, Johannes von Heeremann, the Director of Projects, Regina Lynch and the Assistant Director of Communications, Maria Lozano, will be there as the Prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of the People, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, named on August 8 by the Holy Father will visit Iraq as a gesture of solidarity towards Iraqi Christians.

ANKAWA-7As the Church is extremely busy managing the daily needs of the population, it is difficult to give detailed information to ACN, this trip will be the occasion to witness the actual situation of Iraqi Christians and to see how the money already sent was used.  Once we have this information, we will be able to decide on new projects which will, can then be rapidly put in place to relieve the populations in distress.  All benefactors and people of good will be able to generously contribute to these new projects having at hand all the proper information by phone at 514 932 0552, extension 226 or by following this link.  It is also possible to visit our blog to follow closely the situation.

In CanadaMarie-Claude

During that time, on Thursday, the National Director of ACN in Canada, Marie-Claude Lalonde, will attend a press conference at the Diocesan office in Quebec City, 1073 René-Lévesque Blvd. West at 1:30 pm.  “We are facing a humanitarian crisis which risks being a long one.  It is of the utmost importance that we take all the necessary means not only to support but also to accompany our brothers and sisters who are going through terrible times.  They must not feel abandoned by us.”

The Director also announces that a special campaign for Iraq will be launched in September.  “We have just prepared an information brochure which will be sent out on September 1st to all our benefactors and we will be very active in the coming days on social networks and on our blog with exclusive information from our international delegation that will be present in Iraq.  I wish to emphasize that we are getting prepared for a long term humanitarian crisis”, concluded Marie-Claude Lalonde.

To this day, ACN has already sent $300,000 to Iraq making this organization one of the biggest donors helping during this humanitarian crisis.


PRESS RELEASE: Syria – Compassion in a time of crisis

Charity rushes through aid payments after urgent appeal from bishop

 John Pontifex, ACN United Kingdom

Adapted by Robert Lalonde, ACN CanadaSYRIE 1

Montreal, February 4th, 2014 – Wounded, destitute and sick people in one of the cities worst affected by the conflict in Syria are to receive emergency aid from the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need amid worsening reports of crisis as winter bites deep across the region.

The aid packages totalling 284,500 $, being sent out by ACN this week will provide medical help for the wounded, repairs to the war-damaged homes of Christians and basic aid – heating, food and rent money for people on the breadline.  This latest emergency help means that, since the Syrian crisis broke nearly three years ago, ACN urgent aid for the region has now topped 4,42 million dollars one of the largest aid packages of its kind since the charity began in 1947.

Jesus and Mary are being entrusted

Amid continuing dire reports from Syria, ACN pushed through this latest aid after a desperate S.O.S. appeal from Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, who described “the bombing of many Christian homes” and the urgent need to help “many wounded people” in his city, in the north of the country.

SYRIE 2Working under Bishop Audo’s authority, Aleppo-based Sisters of Jesus and Mary are being entrusted with 134,765 $ to help up to 500 families in urgent need of gas and electricity for heating and cooking as well as rent money, medical assistance, food and clothing. A further 74,860 $ will fund repairs to war-damaged homes, shops and other businesses of Christians in Aleppo who are determined to stay in the country. Bomb-blasted windows and doors are being given top priority for repairs. At Bishop Audo’s request, another 74,860 $ is going to help wounded people receiving treatment at St Louis Hospital, Aleppo.

In her letter of last week requesting ACN help, Sister Annie Demerjian from the Sisters of Jesus and Mary described the urgent need to increase help for suffering families both in Aleppo and in another northern Syrian city, Hassake, also receiving aid from the charity.

At a time of increasing reports of a widespread breakdown of schools and employment in Aleppo with bombing of factories and key services, Sr Annie said: “We feel the massive need to carry on providing assistance to our Christian families threatened with the loss of morale. “The assistance will enable us to erase the families’ pain.” This aid for Aleppo comes on top of earlier ACN aid sent through the Jesus and Mary Sisters a year ago.

A key aim : to help Christians to stay in the region

Since then, the help needed has drastically increased and the number of people receiving emergency assistance from the Sisters has more than doubled. Appealing to ACN for help, Sr Annie wrote: “Unfortunately, life has become very expensive due to the lack of materials, particularly energy. To obtain gas and diesel fuel, especially in the harsh winter, is like a dream.”


Echoing the words of Bishop Audo, she said that a key aim is to help Christians to stay in the region. She said: “Despite the dramatically difficult situation, people still do not want to leave their homes. “So that they are not forced to emigrate, we are trying to help them survive until hopefully this present crisis is overcome.”

Commenting on the latest ACN aid packages, Aid to the Church in Need UK National Director Neville Kyrke-Smith noted the lack of progress in the Geneva II peace talks set up to bring the warring sides in Syria to the negotiating table. He said: “There seems to be a terrible impasse in the Syrian conflict. Yet, all our efforts, prayers and aid must continue. Now, thanks to solidarity and compassion of the friends and benefactors of Aid to the Church in Need we are providing vital help for those injured in the conflict and trying to rebuild some hope in Aleppo.”

Thanking ACN for its help, Sr Annie wrote: “Many people in Aleppo and Hassake, particularly women, children and elderly are expecting us – as workers of Christ – to give a helping hand. “Without your help, we cannot alleviate their suffering in this misery that we actually undergo in Syria.”