Our apostolate in Omsk includes outreach to the children in the Caritas center twice a week. We spend time with them, preparing for the big feasts, and attending to their spiritual needs.
In our town there are also many children, mostly from poor families. Nevertheless, one family has adopted eight children. After our fathers (the IVE priests) gave permission, the family has now formed a part of Caritas and receives other children from the parish at their house where the children often stay all day long. There we teach catechism, and simply spend time talking and listening to them. Twice a year we invite a group of the girls to our convent as a special outing. This year we plan to bring 13 children to the summer camp in Kazan (1,250 miles away) with the aid of the diocese to sponsor them. Still, we see so many poor children, and we are planning new ways to reach out to more of them.
Our convent is an old house owned by the Eparchy. Though it is old, the house is in a good location to get anywhere—a very helpful quality since the city is large. The house has five rooms, one of which has been made into our chapel. So far, this is the only room that has been renovated, though we hope to make the necessary repairs and improvements to the other rooms one at a time. Gratefully, our windows are strong enough to keep out the cold and keep in the heat. On a regular basis the temperature drops to -35° C, though we have been told that the cold is not so severe this year as in the past.
Why the Black Habit?
When our mission in Ukraine opened in 1998, our General Superior recognized the importance of the black habit to conform to the culture, whose liturgy is that of the Greek-Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church. Religious sisters of this rite traditionally wear black habits. Today in Ukraine and Siberia, our Eastern Rite sisters wear the black habit, which, except for the color, is the same as the blue and grey habit, including the Cross of Matará.
How You Can Help
Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to the Siberia Mission.
Your mailing address only will be used to send you a thank-you letter with our tax ID number for your records.
Or send your charitable donations payable to:
SSVM Missions Inc.
Attn: Russia – Omsk
632 W. Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Thank you for your generosity and prayers!