There are many different forms of mission, but all involve service to others, all are expressions of love. As Father Werenfried wrote, this pastoral outreach is more than mere humanitarianism, ‘with money you can comfort people, but with love you can redeem them’. 

This is precisely the spirit in which Sister Franziska and Sister Helena of the Missionary Dominican Sisters of Jesus and Mary are working in the towns of Oryol and Bryansk, in Russia. In these towns, which are over 80 miles (130 km) apart:

  • They give catechetical instruction to children, young people and adults.
  • They also visit the sick and take Holy Communion to them; for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
  • They prepare the altar and play the organ;
  • They clean the presbytery and cook for the clergy; they conduct Liturgies of the Word and organise retreats;
  • They visit the elderly and laugh and pray with them.

For all this pastoral work they need a reliable car. They would also love to be able to visit the Sisters from their congregation in other parts of the country. But just recently it has been as though they are driving with the handbrake on.

Their car comes from Poland, which causes complications as it does not meet Russian environmental standards and can’t therefore be registered in Russia. So it has to be registered in Poland and, for legal reasons, return there every six months. Border crossings are expensive.

To cut a long story short the Sisters need to buy a Russian car. They need our help and we will help them.


This article can be found in Mirror 0218.