Worldwide, some 900,000 Catholics belong to a religious order or institute of consecrated life. Almost four fifths are women. ACN helps these religious throughout the world, including Sister Nune Titoyan.

Her parents were teachers – her father, a headmaster – and both of them were communists. They lived in Georgia. Nune fled her home because her parents would not accept their daughter’s religious vocation to the consecrated life. She went to Moscow, then on to Poland, where she saw the life of Catholic sisters and entered the congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Family. Finally, she ended up in Belarus.

This is where she lives her vocation today, in Ashmyany, where she has found a new family in the spirit of Christ’s words: ‘Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’ (Mt 12:50). Together with three other sisters she cares for the 12,000 Catholic faithful in the parish of Ashmyany.

Last year they had 600 Confirmations. Here in a country that is still very much overshadowed by a communist mindset, baptisms and confirmations continue to be a challenge; as Sister Nune knows well, simply administering the sacraments is not the end of the matter. Grace helps them to remain true to the Faith, but in daily life it is a struggle to live out their Christian calling.

Everything depends on how well their preparation for the sacraments has been carried out. Sister Nune has also written catechetical books that she uses alongside the officially approved catechisms such as the Youcat and ACN’s little catechism,
‘I Believe’.

For the sisters this work means many journeys into the various different towns and villages. If the people cannot come to them, they must go to the people… We have promised Sister Nune and her companions support for a car, so that their mission can maintain its momentum.

The Holy Eucharist Sisters in Sambir-Drohobych Diocese, Ukraine, were founded under communism, in 1957. At that time their charism was one of Perpetual Adoration; indeed the state would not let them to do anything else. Today the sisters – who now number around twenty – also run an orphanage, teach the catechism in Sunday schools, organise pilgrimages and retreats for young people and, during the school holidays, care for young people from East Ukraine.

But their work is growing, so they need more space. That is why, for the past six years, they have also been renovating their former Mother House near Sambir. But they don’t have enough money for the roof. Roughly a third of the sisters survive on a meagre income. The diocese is too poor to support them. They pray, teach, console and care for others. They lead others to God and are surely earning a heavenly reward – but no earthly payment. We have promised them our help to finish roofing their convent.

This article can be found in Mirror 0215.