Advent is slowly coming to an end and, like many other places around the world, it is different from what it usually is. Our community in Yekaterinburg (Russia) is currently made up of two Sisters. After many years, Sr. Agata Browarczyk returned to Poland. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the external borders of Russia are closed due to Covid-19, Sr. Dorota Szubstarska, who was supposed to come in September, has not yet joined our community. In the meantime, we are waiting and praying for the fast and safe arrival of our Sister.
The pandemic affects our community, as well as personal and parish life. Yekaterinburg is a huge city with about one and a half million inhabitants. Not everyone, however, is complying with the recommended sanitary restrictions. In our parish of St. Anna, we try to keep a social distance during the Liturgy, wear masks and we ask elderly people over 65 years old to refrain from attending Mass.
Since September, in accordance with the school year schedule, catechesis for children and adults has begun. Unfortunately, in mid-November the situation forced us to cancel classes until January. However, we found a small solution. We systematically prepare topics for children and pass them on to parents at online meetings so that they can teach catechesis at home.
Every year in our parish, at the beginning of Advent and just before Christmas, there is a Christmas market, prepared by parishioners. The collected funds are intended for the catechesis of children in the parish day-room and for a holiday formation and recreation trip. This year only the Advent fair took place. The Christmas market has been canceled for fear of a pandemic.
Parish life, liturgy and sacraments are celebrated in the ordinary manner, but unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer people present in the church.
Sr. Irina Cziczerowa SAC, Russia