By Diego Lopez Marina
The seminary of the Diocese of Tarazona welcomed Sunday 60 refugees from Ukraine who arrived accompanied by dozens of volunteers who had helped them make the trip from the Polish-Ukrainian border.
The group was received March 13 by Bishop Eusebio Ignacio Hernández Sola of Tarazona; the mayor, Luis José Arrechea; the rector of the seminary, Father José Luis Sofín; the families of the volunteers; and a large group of citizens.
According to a statement from the Diocese of Tarazona, the group of refugees consists of women, children, adolescents, and three men.
They will be housed in rooms adapted for them and will have two living rooms to gather in, a game room, and a dining room. In addition, they will have outdoor recreation areas.
“Every effort has been made in the shortest possible time to welcome these people and make them feel at home. It’s necessary to work together and in collaboration to pull in the same direction and help as much as we can,” Bishop Hernández said.
He also stressed that “the ties of fraternity and the good will of these volunteers who went and came back from Poland in almost record time, in a totally altruistic way and showing boundless generosity, to help these people in need who are fleeing from the war.”
“Now our part is to give them warmth and affection because let’s not forget that they have left everything in Ukraine,” he said.
Bishop Hernández said that when the war began he wondered “what we in the Diocese of Tarazona could do and so I offered the diocesan facilities and, in particular the seminary, and the initiative of the volunteers was providential.”
The group of refugees arrived in Spain thanks to the initiative of several volunteers from Tarazona who organized a collection of food, clothing, and medical supplies with the idea of taking them to the Polish-Ukrainian border and returning with refugees.
A convoy of three trucks and nine vans left Tarazona March 9. Three days later, after distributing the aid, the convoy returned to Spain with 60 people who were picked up at a refugee camp in Warsaw.
Upon their arrival, the volunteers and also the refugees thanked everyone for their gestures of solidarity and requested more help because “many things are still needed, medicines, food and money.”