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Advent is slowly coming to an end and, like many other places around the world, it is different from what it usually is. Our community in Yekaterinburg (Russia) is currently made up of two Sisters. After many years, Sr. Agata Browarczyk returned to Poland. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the external borders of Russia are closed due to Covid-19, Sr. Dorota Szubstarska, who was supposed to come in September, has not yet joined our community. In the meantime, we are waiting and praying for the fast and safe arrival of our Sister.

The pandemic affects our community, as well as personal and parish life. Yekaterinburg is a huge city with about one and a half million inhabitants. Not everyone, however, is complying with the recommended sanitary restrictions. In our parish of St. Anna, we try to keep a social distance during the Liturgy, wear masks and we ask elderly people over 65 years old to refrain from attending Mass.

Since September, in accordance with the school year schedule, catechesis for children and adults has begun. Unfortunately, in mid-November the situation forced us to cancel classes until January. However, we found a small solution. We systematically prepare topics for children and pass them on to parents at online meetings so that they can teach catechesis at home.

Every year in our parish, at the beginning of Advent and just before Christmas, there is a Christmas market, prepared by parishioners. The collected funds are intended for the catechesis of children in the parish day-room and for a holiday formation and recreation trip. This year only the Advent fair took place. The Christmas market has been canceled for fear of a pandemic.

Parish life, liturgy and sacraments are celebrated in the ordinary manner, but unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer people present in the church.

Sr. Irina Cziczerowa SAC, Russia

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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)