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It is not easy to be a Pole and a Catholic at the same time in Belarus. Each sister who worked there has her own experience in that matter. Long lasting persecution of the Catholic Church had an effect not only on its material state (ruined buildings, some changed into granaries, magazines, stores, shops, cinemas, cultural centers, etc.), but on people's mentality as well. The present openness of the authorities to freedom of beliefs (mainly directed to the Orthodox Church as an official state's religion), gradually changes the attitude of ordinary people to catholics too. The Catholic Church has been on the safe side: according to the Gospel, first of all serves the poor whatever the religion or denomination. This has been our, Pallottines, new/old apostolic field. New - because until collapse of the communism, there was no option of any apostolic work in Belarus. Old - because before the II WW the borders of Poland ran further to the East, and Rajca, the place of our Pallottine origins, belonged to Poland at that time, and after the war become a belarusian possesion.

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* Our Way of Life *

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)

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