Fund Pastoral Travel for a Diocese in Southern Russia
Russia’s Diocese of Saint Clement covers an area of nearly 550,000 square miles, twice the size of Texas. 20,000 Catholics live in the region, and they are served by only 19 priests. Often, a priest serves a tiny community in one locality, sometimes a single family, with their nearest Catholic neighbors hundreds of miles away. It would be impossible to build churches in every one of these microcommunities, and even if it were possible, there would be far too few priests to lead them.
In order to reach Russia’s scattered Catholics, the priests must travel long distances. It is vital that they do, so they can administer the sacraments and preserve the faithful’s sense of identity and belonging. Without the sacraments, faith can fade, leading to fewer religious vocations, reduced pastoral care, and further estrangement from the Church. To this day, most priests in the diocese come from abroad.
But long distances mean high fuel costs, and if the priest cannot afford fuel, then he cannot visit the faithful. No one can participate in the Holy Mass, receive communion, baptize their children, or see them married. The people are already isolated from their brothers and sisters on a daily basis, and to bring them faith and courage, the priests are dependent on outside support.
ACN has regularly supported pastoral travel for the Diocese of Saint Clement, and we have promised to continue this year with a contribution of $16,900.
Will you help us fund pastoral travel costs and support the Church’s work in southern Russia?
We are sure the priests will remember you in their prayers.
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