Madrid, Spain, Mar 3, 2022 / 16:19 pm
Before war broke out in Ukraine, Sisters María, María Jesús, and Antonia of the Missionaries of the Congregation of Saint Dominic were running an after-school program in Kyiv. The three were evacuated last week, and they told the Pontifical Mission Societies the story of their last hours before leaving Ukraine.
Sister Antonia Estrada, 85, founded 25 years ago the “Dim Ditey” or “children's home,” a nursery and ecumenical center for children where they offer after school activities. Thousands of Ukrainian children of diverse creeds were cared for at the center over the years, until Russia launched its invasion Feb. 24.
“At 5:30, Nastia, my co-worker, calls me, telling me that they’re bombing next to her house,” said Sister María Mayo, 72, who had been serving in Ukraine for 10 years.
The nun explained that shortly afterward her sisters from the community told her that the consul had just called, "warning that the situation has completely changed, that we can’t stay, that like it or not we have to leave.”