Testimony of Albertine Brother Bernard Jerzy Czarnucha

“My name is Br. Bernard from the Congregation of Brother Albert. Our shelter in Lviv has existed for six years. The Albertine Brothers are like emergency personnel, first aid. The man on the street, under stress, someone who is freezing, someone very hungry, this is our everyday life. We’re here for that.

Most of our residents are alcoholics, homeless, with drug or gambling problems and those who fled the war. For the
inhabitants of Lviv and those refugees there is hot soup. There is coffee and bread. We expect it to be enough for about 300 people. To say it like God would: if you help someone it will come back to you. Good for good and evil for evil. This is a chain where there can’t be a missing link.

We couldn’t do anything if it weren’t for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Without you we wouldn’t exist. We must be there for those downtrodden whether because of family conditions, whether due to poverty or mental illness, addiction, or war. We must be with them, not abandon them. To show that life is stronger than death.”

The Polish Albertine Brothers have been running a house for homeless people in Lviv for six years. Initially, it was mainly poor, old men, some of whom were also addicted to alcohol and drugs, who found a roof over their heads here, at least for a few months. Today, they are joined by refugees from the disputed areas. The house can accommodate
30-40 men.

There is a lot to do: In addition to the work in the homeless shelter, the four Albertine brothers living here provide 150-200 poor people in the neighbourhood with a warm meal twice a week. On the other days, they organise a food distribution. They buy food and sometimes receive donations, such as leftover food from the military in the city to share with the poorest of the poor.

In the past ACN has helped with the construction of the monastery, of the homeless shelter and the kitchen, as well as exceptional emergency food aid.