Local Polish church helping Ukrainian refugees

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SOUTH BEND, Ind., --- A local Polish Catholic Church is doing what they can to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing their war-torn country to Poland for safety.

St. Mary’s Parish of the Polish National Catholic Church has teamed up with their sister parishes near the Polish border with Ukraine to help get essential items to refugees trying to escape their war-torn country.

“Our presiding bishop who is in Scranton Pennsylvania sent out a letter a couple weeks ago and he was encouraging prayers and support and he said for those who are able if we could raise monetary contributions to be sent there,” said Rev. Charles Zawistowski, the Pastor of St. Mary Parish.

Rev. Charles Zawistowski has been running the church for nearly three decades and said the devastation in Ukraine ignited action from his parish here at home.

“We’re probably one of the smaller congregations in South Bend and yet just last week we’ve collected close to $1,000 within our parish,” he added. “We have two parishes in Poland that are in South Poland so they are right there where the need is.”

The century-old church has a long-standing partnership with several sister parishes in Poland, where more than two million Ukrainians have fled to avoid the Russian invasion and ongoing bombardment of certain cities.

Which is why Rev. Charles said there was no hesitation when the time came to mobilize help.

“Everything is already established so we already have the apparatus so this an easy thing for us to do to raise the cash and send it to them so that they can disperse it."

The church said they will be wiring all donations directly to their sister parishes in Poland so that they can purchase necessary supplies there.

You can give a monetary donation by dropping it by on Sunday mornings from 9:00-11:00 am or mailing it to St. Mary’s at

1601 W Sample St, South Bend, IN 46619

You can also contact the church at (574) 485-8520 if you have any questions.


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