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Reviving the Catholic Church in Eastern Russia.
In the early part of this century, the Russian Far East boasted a thriving Catholic population. Many Russians, Poles, Lithuanians, and other groups inhabited the area, and had built schools, hospitals, and beautiful churches. Then the Russian revolution swept in to the region. After the revolution of 1917, Siberia became a showplace of the new Communist era, a land without churches and without God. Under Stalin, all Catholic churches were confiscated, and many were turned into the most degrading uses imaginable. Catholics were murdered by the thousands, and their bodies were dumped into mass graves. Cemetaries were turned into amusement parks. Two American priests, Fr. Myron Effing, CJD, and Fr. Daniel Maurer, CJD, arrived in Vladivostok in 1992 to help re-establish the church in this region. They currently pastor seven Catholic parishes in an area of covering thousands of square miles. Now that the foundations have been laid, additional priests, and sisters are joining the work, and parishes are growing and multiplying.
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