The annual formation meeting for priests and sisters was held on October 8-11 in Novosibirsk, Russia, in the Diocese of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Sr. Irina Cziczerowa, a member of our Pallottine community in Ekaterinburg was the only participant this time. This year the theme of the meeting was "Pastoral work with youth". The meeting was attended by about 80 priests and sisters. Bishop Joseph Werth was also attending this gathering.
Only the children who are preparing for their first confession and Holy Communion joined the catechetical classes in this school year. This is a large group, about 15 people, because last year, due to the pandemic, First Communion was postponed. After the start of classes in September last year, the children eagerly began to attend meetings and actively participate in their preparation. But it didn't last long, because the classes had to be canceled beginning in November.
On May 17 this year In Yekaterinburg, in our Ural parish, an important event took place for us, which gathered many parishioners. We hosted Gerhard Cardinal Ludwig Müller from the Vatican, who on his way to Tobolsk came for a stay in Yekaterinburg. On this day, as every Thursday, after Mass and vespers we had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This time, however, a bit longer, because the plane on which the Cardinal was to arrive, was delayed. However, it did not affect the joyful atmosphere of waiting for such an extraordinary guest. The most important thing for us was that the Cardinal finally reached our church. He was accompanied by his personal secretary, Fr. Sławomir Śledziewski and priest D. Stańczyk – the parish priest from Tobolsk.
▪ From April 11th to 22nd Sr. Izabela Świerad, accompanied by Sr. Maria Landsberger went for visitation to Jekaterinburg, where Sr. Katharina Gołub (Ukrainian), Sr. Karolina Słomińska (Polish) and Sr. Irina Cziczerowa (Russian) face a challenging mission as the only Catholic Religious in a city of 1.5 million inhabitants. The visitors witnessed the growth of the parish and the depth and warmth of the faithful. They also saw the reality of the consequences of the communist regime that heavily struck the Church. Srs. Izabela and Maria had the opportunity to visit the Orthodox Church, which was built above the place, where the last Czar family had been cruelly killed. A visit to Bishop Joseph Werth of Novosibirsk also gave them a picture of the difficulties of an ecumenical dialogue that is still refused by the Russian Orthodox Church. Their participation in the celebrations of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday in the parish of Ekaterinburg and in the Chrism Mass in the Cathedral of Novosibirsk, were the high points of this special Holy Week for the Sisters.
From 12-22 April 2011 Sr. Izabela Świerad, our Superior General, accompanied by myself (Sr. Maria Landsberger) travelled to Jekaterinburg in Russia to visit our Sisters. The city with its 1.5 Million inhabitants, named after Tsar Katharina I (1684-1727) and St. Catherine, is situated at the border between the Ural area and Siberia and belongs to the Asian continent.
When we arrived at the Sisters´ place on April 12th at 5 am, a warm air received us at the entrance of the house. We got used to sweat in Siberia! The heating systems are not adjustable and one has to save oneself by flinging open the windows. The outside temperature between 8 to 15 degrees Celsius above zero was extraordinarily mild for the season; last year it had been 17 degrees Celsius minus. But a cold wind often made a thick anorak very useful. Our Sisters Katharina Gołub (Ukrainian), Karolina Słomińska (Polish) and Irina Cziczerowa (Russian) live in a simple, but friendly flat on the 8th floor of one of the typical red high-rise buildings. In their small chapel we first thanked the Lord for our good trip. Then they presented wonderful red roses to greet us. In the early morning we had a nutritious breakfast, with the common Russian mayonnaise salad.
Left to right: Srs. Izabela, Katharina, Karolina and Irina.