Construct a Church in Memory of Saint John Paul II in Russia
Project Code: 427-01-19
In the south of Russia, on the River Volga, roughly 620 away from Moscow lies the city of Tolyatti (also known as Togliatti). It has a population of over 700,000 people and is dominated by the automotive industry. Many people are drawn to this industrial city in search of employment.
The Catholic Parish of Our Lady of Fatima was established in Tolyatti in 1997. Soon afterward, a small wooden chapel was built, but this is no longer sufficient for the needs of the growing community. The parish is flourishing and Holy Mass is celebrated every day. After Sunday Mass, there are catechetical classes for children, young people and adults and several prayer groups, a Mass servers' group and a choir. During Lent and Advent a charitable campaign is held, entitled "Share your heart," during which the faithful contribute food and other aid for the poor. Each year they manage to collect well over 440 lbs. of aid.
Currently the parish has some 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, the city authorities promised the parish a plot of land, and in 2012, the foundations were laid for the new church. It will be dedicated to Pope John Paul II, for whom Russia and good relations with our Russian Orthodox sister Church were so dear to his heart. The parish does indeed have very good contacts with the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Archbishop Sergei is also very pleased that a more substantial Catholic church is now being built in his city.
ACN has supported the building work right from the beginning. We gave $52,800 in 2012 and another $31,700 in 2014. Now help is needed once again to finally complete the building, so we have promised another $8,800.
Will you give to construct this church in memory of Saint John Paul II in Russia?
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