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Knights of Columbus Donate $400,000 for Humanitarian Aid in Ukraine.

Aid will be distributed by Catholic Church in violence-torn country

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the violent conflict in Ukraine continues to create an enormous humanitarian disaster in the freezing winter months, the Knights of Columbus is providing $400,000 to relief programs sponsored by the Catholic Church in Ukraine.

Gifts by the Knights of $200,000 each to the Greek and Latin Rite Catholic communities of Ukraine are being used for humanitarian relief, including projects that feed and aid homeless children and refugees living on the streets of the capital city of Kiev.

During their ad limina visit with Pope Francis on Feb. 20, the pope assured the Latin and Greek bishops of Ukraine that "the Holy See is at your side," and urged them "to be attentive and considerate to the poor."

The gifts of the Knights of Columbus have been sent to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk and Roman Catholic Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki.

"Too often, the conflict in Ukraine is discussed purely in military or geopolitical terms, while the most vulnerable and marginalized - the young and old, the poor, the sick, and the increasing number of refugee families - are almost invisible to the outside world," said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "Our support is meant to further enable the bishops of Ukraine as they help their people and further implement the Holy Father's call to aid those most in need."

Working in the midst of uncertainty, many of the Catholic efforts are designed to help provide a social safety net for the needy, especially orphans and children who are separated from their parents.

The programs attempt to carry out in a practical way the spiritual message of Pope Francis. Speaking about the care of migrant and itinerant people, he said: "Let us not forget the flesh of Christ, which is in the flesh of refugees: their flesh is the flesh of Christ."

The Knights of Columbus began working in Ukraine at the invitation of Church leadership in 2005. A formal presence was established in 2013, and the organization has so far established seven councils with 300 members in the country.

Founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the Knights of Columbus' 1.8 million members worldwide donated more than $170 million along with more than 70 million hours of charitable service in 2013 alone.

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Geographic Code:4EXUR
Date:Feb 26, 2015
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