On 8 July, UCU greeted the head of Renovabis, the charitable foundation of the Catholic Church in Germany, Pfarrer (Fr.) Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwartz. This is Fr. Schwartz’s first visit to the Ukrainian Catholic University since he was chosen to head the foundation in the fall of last year.
Fr. Schwartz came to Ukraine to understand what help Ukraine needs now, suffering from the Russian invasion. The goal of his visit was to be on site and gain an impression of what, where, and how Renovabis can most effectively support Ukrainians. Fr. Schwartz is visiting various cities of Ukraine and is now spending time in Lviv.
“Our work has radically changed,” explained Fr. Schwartz in an interview for Vatican News. He said that, after 24 February, all the foundation’s efforts have been directed at concretely helping people in Ukraine, and also refugees who are now outside the country. “We recently financed the purchase of 2 000 bags for the bodies of the dead, and this truly affected me very much, showing the terrible reality of the war,” the priest recounted.
Together with UCU Rector Fr. Bohdan Prach, UCU Vice-Rector Nataliya Klymovska, and UGCC Patriarchal Treasurer Fr. Lyubomyr Yavorskyi, Fr. Thomas Schwartz discussed the situation in Ukraine, how the UGCC and UCU have reacted to the challenges of war, what volunteer projects the university has implemented, how the educational process is happening in conditions of war, and also the importance of education and the generation of new leaders for the future rebuilding of Ukraine.
During the discussion, Rector Fr. Bohdan Prach thanked Fr. Thomas Schwartz for the many years Renovabis has supported the university, which has helped UCU grow and carry out its mission, and he emphasized the importance of supporting the university’s students and Ukraine at this difficult time.