What is it like for one LCI graduate in Russia? Well, 102 years after the Bolshevik Revolution and 28 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this is what a Catholic church in a small city near St. Petersburg looks like. Now Fr. Andrej (LCI ’11) has the arduous task of renovating this building, which still officially belongs to the state as a historic monument. This is where he celebrates Mass, in a side room of the building which has not been condemned, for 20-30 parishioners. “This is what 100 years of Godless culture does,” he notes.
Fr. Andrej has served as a missionary in Russia for the last 20 years, including several years in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, where winter temperatures drop below -40 degrees. In that cold environment he oversaw the building of a new church for a small and growing community of Catholics. The next nearest Catholic church there, in what is geographically the world’s largest diocese, is over 250 miles away.