Caravan for Peace activists gather in Ukraine
The Caravan for Peace is in Lviv and is delivering aid from Italy. Members of the caravan marched in the city with a message against the war. People were allowed to walk peacefully, but the Mayor asked marchers to not show peace and nonviolent flags since they are too colorful and there is an aerial threat alert.
More than 200 Peace Activists
Deliver Relief Supplies to Ukraine
(April 2, 2022) — The Caravan for Peace crossed the border this morning and is in Ukraine in Lviv. Lviv is in western Ukraine, about 70 km from Poland. The Caravan for Peace, which began in Gorizia, Italy, is delivering aid to the populations in these hours.
Half of the group has unloaded the aid to the Caritas warehouse. The other half was delivered to the Ukrainian Education Platform warehouse in L’viv.
The developments of the peace initiative can be followed at this link: https://www.peacelink.it
There is a window on the PeaceLink home page (sociale.network) where you can read the latest news from the Caravan for Peace, and which can be accessed directly by clicking on: https://sociale.network/tags/carovanapace.
Peace walk for Ukraine.
Repubblica wrote yesterday:
“There is also Monsignor Giuseppe Satriano, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto among the 200 men and women of the Caravan of Peace headed to Lviv on the war front in Ukraine. The departure today, April 1, from Gorizia with a load of aid of all kinds but also with an important message based on the words of Pope Francis: ‘Fathers and mothers of all camps bury their children.’
“It was Fr. Giuseppe himself who announced his departure for Ukraine in the Easter message sent to the diocese, explaining that ‘It was not easy to decide to participate, but the history of our territory has always been a border of peace, a meeting place for men and religions/ [This] helped me to understand that — as your pastor — I had to be there.”
“He also brings a message from the CEI in Ukraine. The Caravan of Peace is directly connected to Don Tonino Bello who, as president of Pax Christi in 1992, led the peace march to Sarajevo while it was under siege.
Today, as then, numerous organizations found themselves behind the ‘Stop the War Now’ appeal. (In addition to Pax Christi, other groups included the Giovanni XXIII Association, Blessed are the Builders of Peace, Libera, Comboniani, Focolarini, CGIL and Gruppo Abele.) They all set off with about sixty vehicles — trucks, cars, buses, minibuses, and vans — loaded with basic necessities to help the population.”
The Caravan of Peace is:
- made up of 66 vehicles;
- almost a kilometer long during the road trip;
- departed from Gorizia with 32.6 tons of humanitarian aid;
- animated by 221 people belonging to 142 pacifist and humanitarian organizations.
Some of the relief supplies delivered by the Peace Caravan
The Peace March of Italian Civil Society Arrives in Lviv
LVIV, Ukraine (April 2, 2022) — “The ongoing conflict evokes the ghost of a past which was considered definitively archived. Instead the bombs, the destruction, the Ukrainian and Russian deaths, the devastation of recent weeks have put us in front of a danger, a threat, always lurking.
It is a cruel and senseless war, that — like every war — represents a defeat for every one, for everyone of us, Pope Francis said at the Angelus on Sunday, March 27, reiterating the invitation to repudiate war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where men kill their brothers without having even seen them, where the powerful decide and the poor die”.
Thus begins the letter that Msgr. Stefano Russo, Secretary General of the Italian Episcopal Conference, sent Pope John XXIII, to the president of Pro Civitate Christiana on the eve of the march for peace in Ukraine, conceived by the Community, Don Tonio Dell’Olio.
“I therefore express my appreciation for the European initiative which, between April 1 and 3, will reach the city of Lviv by caravan, organizing meetings with the representatives of the civil and religious institutions present in that city,” writes Msgr. Russo.
“An important sign — comments Don Dell’Olio — because he recognizes the importance, purity and meaning of this action for peace. And it is in some way the way of the Italian Bishops’ Conference to take sides with the Pope who was very clear on the story of the Ukrainian war”.
The initiative promoted by the Pope John XXIII Community — but which involved dozens of Catholic and lay groups of Italian civil society — started yesterday morning at dawn from Gorizia.
Its main organizer, the secretary of the association named after Pope Roncalli, Pierluigi Cofano, explains that a march will take place this afternoon, April 2, around the station in Lviv “where our vehicles, 66, which brought medicines and basic necessities, will gather some families of displaced people to bring them to Italy where various municipal administrations, including Rome, have already given the welcome green light.”
The caravan, which arrived at the Polish-Ukrainian border last night, is made up of 221 people from various associations. Today also includes a meeting with the mayor and with the local religious authorities of Lviv, provided the situation allows it.
“The Permanent Episcopal Council” — wrote Msgr. Russo in the letter addressed to Dell’Olio and the marchers — “decided to promote a moment of prayer for peace during the Palm Sunday celebrations and to express closeness and solidarity to the Ukrainian Church, through the many initiatives that Caritas Italiana is coordinating.”
The letter recalls that “peace is born above all in the heart of each one, from the desire to accompany each other on the journey of life, to forge relationships based on fraternity. In this sense, the Churches, in every corner of the world, can play an irreplaceable role in building a true peace, which places human dignity, respect for the rights and freedoms of every person and life at the center of attention, the construction of supportive and open communities.
Addendum: Small appendix as in any true story, but maybe it’s worth it.
Message from the Caravan of Peace, from the “Bolognese” sector.
More news from Alessandro Marescotti (automatic translation and original)
All fragile people: elderly peasant women uncertain on legs that were once strong as oaks, disabled people attached to old wooden crutches, young blind people, little girls vanished by the hand of fathers and bewildered mothers.
We will drop some of them once in Poland, where a bus awaits them for their new destination. The others will travel with us all night, up to Italy.
In all 36 people, those loaded by the ‘Bolognese minibuses’ … and 2 kittens!
More information soon on https://www.peacelink.it/ucraina and on https://sociale.network/tags/carovanapace