JOURNEY WITH ACN is our weekly newsletter regularly posted to our website and designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world and introducing you to various projects we have helped to bring into being together with our partners and ACN benefactors.
This week: Russia
Success Story: Construction of a church in Toljatti in memory of Saint John Paul II
In the south of Russia, on the River Volga, roughly 1000 km from Moscow lies the city of Toljatti (also written Togliatti). It has a population of over 700,000 people and is dominated by the automobile industry. Many people are drawn into this industrial city in search of employment.
The Catholic parish of Our Lady of Fatima was established in 1997 and soon afterwards, a small wooden chapel was built. But it is no longer sufficient for meeting the needs of the surrounding community where the parish is flourishing and Holy Mass is celebrated every day. Catechetism is taught to children after Sunday Mass – and to young people, adults and several prayer groups also gather. A Mass servers’ group is also held and a choir practices. During the Lenten and Advent seasons, charitable campaigns are run, entitled “Share Your Heart” – the faithful contribute food and other aid for the poor. Overall, the collect is well over 200 kg of aid just about every year.
Currently the parish has around 150 members, but there are many more Catholics in the city who are not in regular contact with the parish. There are also many foreigners (Koreans, Americans, French and others) who are present in the city in connection with the automobile industry. The chapel that is currently used by the community is far too small, even for the people who regularly come to church.
In 2008, city authorities promised the parish a plot of land. In 2012 the foundations were laid for the new church which will be dedicated to Pope John Paul II, for whom Russia, and good relations with our Russian Orthodox sister Church, were so dear and close to his heart.
The parish, indeed, has very good contacts with the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Archbishop Sergei is also very pleased that a more substantial Catholic church is now under construction in his city. ACN has supported the building work right from the beginning. We gave $66,160 in 2012 and another $39,690 in 2014.
Now help is needed once more in order to finally complete the construction. We have promised $66,160. Would you like to help finance this project or one similar to it? Please click the donate button to make an on-line donation.