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To Russia With Nuns

Although Christianity can now be freely practiced in Russia, the effects of more than 70 years of communist rule have left a deep wound on the spirituality of Russians.

Forty percent of Russians are baptized, yet less than 1% attend church. Drunkenness is a common problem, as is abortion and the abandonment of children. The average Russian woman has seven to eight abortions in her lifetime.

The problems are significant, and in some places, the Church has limited resources for re-evangelization.

But in the Kansas City, Mo., area a recent development may have far-reaching effects in at least one part of Russia. A new community of sisters has been launched in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, after receiving the approval of Bishop Robert Finn for the canonical status of private association of the faithful. Members of the Sisters in Jesus the Lord, a budding five-member community, may now have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in their Raytown, Mo., convent, publicly wear a habit and use religious names.

The establishment of the community is the latest milestone in the 18-year history of the mission of Most Holy Mother of God Church in Vladivostok, Russia. The Missouri convent’s purpose is to recruit and train sisters for the mission: They have already begun visiting the mission and assisting in its apostolates, and plan one day to permanently establish a convent in Vladivostok itself.

The far-eastern Russia port city of 600,000, 30 miles from China and less than 100 miles from North Korea, is a major shipping and fishing center and is home to a large Russian naval base.

Read more at National Catholic Register

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