In the 1930s a dozen or more Ukrainian girls travelled to Belgium in order to prepare for the foundation of the first Redemptorist convent in their home country of Ukraine. However, it was not until 80 years later that this dream was finally able to see its fulfilment. The outbreak of the Second World War, and the subsequent Soviet tyranny made their return impossible, and believers faced decades of persecution by the communists. It was not until 2016 that three Redemptorist sisters finally succeeded in establishing the first ever Redemptorist convent in Ukraine.
The sisters had to start from zero, initially establishing their convent temporarily in a family home. They worked hard and long to cultivate the wilderness that had grown up around the house. Soon, another professed sister will join them, but for the present she is still in Poland. In addition there is one young candidate. Meanwhile, the convent has been granted formal permission to admit young women who wish to consecrate their lives to God, and there are already a few interested in doing so. However, they have to wait for the time being, because the house is only able to accommodate eight people.
A number of ordinary Catholic faithful also come to pray with the sisters at the regular prayer times and the other liturgical celebrations. Many come seeking the prayers and counsel of the sisters and a sympathetic ear to listen to their problems.
The sisters are grateful for their vocation and overjoyed that the long awaited foundation in Ukraine has finally become a reality. Nevertheless, despite their frugal lifestyle, it is very difficult for them, as enclosed religious, to support themselves in Ukraine, especially against the background of sharply rising prices. We have promised them 2,000 Euros for the support of their life and apostolate.