The Master of the Order grants the ‘Benemerenti’ diploma to the volunteers of the St. Martin de Porres Centre in Fastiv

On 1 May 2023, during the canonical visitation of the Vicariate of Ukraine (Province of Poland), the Master of the Order solemnly awarded the diploma and medal ‘Benemerenti’ to the volunteers of the St. Martin de Porres Centre in Fastiv, about 30 kilometres from Kiiv. In the tradition of the Order, the ‘Benemerenti’ diploma and medal are given to people outside the Dominican Family who have supported the Order’s mission in some way. Beyond an expression of gratitude, the recipients are spiritually connected to the merits of the Order. 

In awarding the ‘Benemerenti’ diploma to the volunteers of the St. Martin de Porres Centre in Fastiv, the Master of the Order, following the proposal of the Provincial of Poland, wished to express the gratitude of the whole Order for the efforts of the eighty or so people who support the friars of Fastiv in their charitable mission to the victims of the war in Ukraine. He also promised to include them in the Order’s prayers. This is probably the first time in the centuries-old tradition of the ‘Benemerenti’ that the diploma has been awarded to a group as a whole, thus highlighting the community charism of the Order’s mission. 

After the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, the volunteers of the St Martin de Porres Centre, on the initiative of the Dominican community in Fastiv, set up a revalidation centre for children traumatised by the war. Since the Russian invasion of 2022, the centre has increased its activities for victims of war violence. By distributing food and equipment to the victims in Fastiv, in the surrounding villages occupied and destroyed during the Russian occupation at the beginning of the offensive, but also by organising humanitarian convoys to Kharkiv and Kherson, they bring proof of God’s mercy to those who suffer. They also contribute generously to the primary school in the Centre and to the café, which provides a friendly, beautiful and peaceful environment for all. In addition, they assist the inhabitants of the nearby St. Margaret’s Centre in Città di Castello, which opened its doors last winter to accommodate women with young children who had to flee their homes because of the war. In the same building, two other floors, which will also accommodate adults with mild disabilities, are currently being renovated. Thanks to the financial support of the Province of the Holy Name in the United States and many other donors of the Order, the St. Martin de Porres Centre and its volunteers are able to offer a fine example of Dominican solidarity with a population that is particularly hard hit.

Account Name: Polska Prowincja Zakonu Kaznodziejskiego O.O. Dominikanów
Address: ul. Freta 10, 00-227 Warszawa, Polska
Address of bank: 2, Kasprzaka str., Warsaw, Poland
Branch Code: 16000003
Account Numbers (IBAN):
PL 03 1600 1374 1849 2174 0000 0033 (PLN)
PL 73 1600 1374 1849 2174 0000 0034 (USD)
PL 52 1600 1374 1849 2174 0000 0024 (EUR)
With the note: “Peace for Ukraine”

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