Ukraine war: Cardinal Dolan leads delegation to Poland amid refugee crisis

KRAKOW, Poland (WABC) -- New York Archdiocese Cardinal Timothy Dolan landed in Poland Friday to meet with some of the more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled there amid Russia's invasion of their homeland.

Dolan is one of the world's highest profile religious leaders, and in the afternoon, he strolled through the bustling Krakow Central Train Station.

It is now a makeshift center for refugees, for whom the Cardinal brought a simple message.

"New York loves you," he said. "New York is inspired by you. New York is praying with and for you. New York is advocating for you."

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Dolan and a delegation of New York Catholics arrived to begin a four day tour of the region, highlighting how the church has been supporting refugees, including those taken in by a small parish outside Krakow where he saw the pain of the families ripped apart.

It is a haunting agony plainly visible in the thousand-yard stares of refugees like Olana.

"There's an emptiness," she said. "There's a piercing sense of searching. and there's this haunting question of what next? What now?"

But Dolan says the church, and specifically the New York Archdiocese, is here to stay.

Regular people of New York's 300 parishes have already donated nearly $1 million to support places like an urgent care set up by the Order of Malta, one of an endless number of service organizations - religious and secular - that have set up shop in Poland.

The hub for commuters has morphed into a waystation for innocent people who've lost so much.

"One of the things that we priests learn about tragedies is that a tragedy is exacerbated when people feel alone," Dolan said. "When they feel nobody knows about this, we're isolated, nobody really cares for us, we're on our own. Anything we can do to say you are not alone."

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