Friends of the Missions
|Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2015 at 7:20 PM|
The fall of European Communism and the break up of the the Soviet Union left much of Russia a shell of itself. A quarter of the economy had been military based. Most of the economy was controlled by central planners. This all ended with the break up.
During the glory days of Joseph Stalin, people who had smiled in the street were shot as subversive. The Catholic Church was
relentlessly persecuted with perhaps 20,000,000+ being martyred. Numerous Orthodox clergy were detained and killed.
The KGB infiltrated the Orthodox clergy. The common people could trust no one. They had little hope. Most marriages were/are short-lived. Abortion was/remains the most common birth control. (The average woman has 8 in her lifetime.)
By 2000, a huge percentage of men no longer had a decent job. Without much hope, men especially found their peace in too much vodka, which exacerbated everything. For their safety, huge numbers of children were placed in orphanages by the government. All of these trends were magnified in Vladivostok, the home of the Pacific Fleet.
Soon after the fall of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, Fr. Myron Effing and Dan Mauer entered Russia to help to re-establish a Catholic presence in eastern Russia. Twenty years later, they were joined by two young (20s) American Nuns. Our construction missions have been to shore up their efforts, assisting the orphans, college students and women suffering the effects of abortions.