Support for 69 Religious Sisters in Russia
The Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia serves an area of over 1 million square miles, in which Catholics make up only a tiny minority in a population of 59 million. In big cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and in some other large towns and cities, there are very active Catholic communities. But elsewhere in the country, the Catholic faithful live scattered and isolated in rural areas.
Within the diocese, there are 69 religious Sisters belonging to 20 different congregations, and they take on several important duties in the parishes. Their services include youth groups, catechetical instruction, the preparation of the faithful for the sacraments, and help for the homeless and vulnerable of Russia.
The Polish Dominican Sisters of Jesus and Mary work in the Catholic parish of Oryol, Russia. Their youth apostolate is particularly popular: many young people take part in their community worship, spiritual talks, retreat days, social gatherings, and other leisure activities. For many of them, this shared experience of faith leaves a deep and lasting impression.
This was true for Valeriana, who writes, “I had a lot of physical and spiritual suffering in my life. I felt hurt and bitter that God had given me this cross to bear. But during our spiritual retreat, I sensed the reality of His love. Everything began to make sense, and I understood that in suffering the loss of material values, I gained spiritual ones, which are far more important. I understood that we need to bear our cross with love and to love one another, to be merciful and strive to do God‘s will, even when this demands sacrifices of us. My heart was moved by this understanding and I could see the goal and meaning of life.”
Rhipsime, a first-year university student named for an Armenian saint, used to go to Mass regularly, but it was only through her youth group run by the Sisters of Russia that she really grew in her faith.
She told us, “I understood that I haven‘t been truly living. My studies, the worldly cares, the problems – all these things make us apathetic, empty and quite simply unhappy. When we live like this, we forget God and our soul and think only of ourselves and of what we like and want. Day after day goes by, and we don‘t pray or even desire to spend just a little time with God, who is our Father and our Friend. But He still waits for us.”
All the other Sisters in various congregations are doing similar work within the diocese – and doing it purely out of love and faith. ACN is planning to give $40,800 to help support the life and ministry of these 69 religious Sisters in the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow.
Will you join us in supporting these religious Sisters serving God and neighbor in Russia?
We are sure they will remember you in their prayers.
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