3424 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010
213-637-7223
Missionoffice@la-archdiocese.org

Mission Cooperative Plan Appeals 2020

MARY MOTHER OF GOD MISSION SOCIETY- GROUP 1397

Mary Mother of God Mission Society is a USA based non-profit Catholic organizationthat support two American priests who are serving in Vladivostok and the far eastern territory of Russia. Fr. Myron Effing, C.J.D. and Fr. Daniel Maurer C.J.D. have been working there since 1992, to revive the Roman Catholic Church.

In the early 90s, with no Catholic parishes open and all the dioceses in Russia closed, Fr. Effing. answered the call of 6 faithful Vladivostok Catholics who secretly held onto their faith after 3 generations of religious persecution in Communist Russia. Fr. Effing was soon followed by then, Deacon Daniel Maurer. How these two Priests overcame lack of food, supplies, places to worship, and the many obstacles of spiritual poverty of an entire nation in those early years can only be explained as God’s grace. With God’s help, and His grace in the hearts of many from the US, they have done amazing work.

Our priests’ first Masses were celebrated from the back of storerooms, in an auditorium, and anywhere else where they could find and gather Catholics. In all, they have founded or re-founded 11 mission parishes in a 500,000 square mile area. Fr. Effing would regularly hitch rides on the back of trucks to get to parishioners living hours away to celebrate Mass. He negotiated with the Russian government for several years for the return of the Catholic Cathedral structure, long since desecrated and converted into a government archive building. Once returned to the Church, it took 16 years to restore the Cathedral. In March of 2010, the ringing bells from the Church’s completed steeples could be heard over the entire city for the first time since the Communist revolution of 1917. Communist persecution is gone, but the Church survives.  It’s a tribute to the Glory of God. Today the parish has grown to over 600 members. Still, there is much work to be done.

For a country over 2 times the size of the US, there are only 4 Catholic Dioceses in all of Russia, 350 parishes, and 200 priests. Of the 350 parishes, only about 60 parishes have actual church buildings. The rest are apartment rooms converted into chapels or temporary locations. Our Diocese of Irkutsk, largest of the 4 Dioceses in Russia, encompasses an area greater than the size of the US, but we have only 42 priests. Compare that to the 45,000 priests in the United States.

The great need for priests is worldwide. We are grateful to have the boundless blessings of many vocations to our order of Canons Regular In Jesus the Lord (CJD) founded by Fr. Myron. We are supporting over 45 vocations from the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Russia. All are deeply faithful. 10 priests have been ordained so far, 2 have been sent to the Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada to serve in the USA, two to Russian-speaking Kazakhstan.  Five are serving in Indonesia, and one in Vladivostok. We have 3 deacons, 3 brothers and 29 seminarians. We take care of all their daily needs for food, clothing and school expenses, in addition to travel and VISA expenses to and from their home countries. The cost for each seminarian’s education and care is approximately $10,500 per year, but what can we do? We need proper formation and education for these young men.  The need is so great.

Fr. Effing and Fr. Maurer bring the love of Christ many ways through the numerous charitable programs and selfless work they do throughout several cities in Eastern Russia. Our priests opened the first Crisis Pregnancy and Pro-life centers in Eastern Russia. Today we operate 6 centers. Men and women coming to the centers receive marriage and Natural Family Planning counseling, pre and post natal counseling and care, attend Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, and more. Our center volunteers go to high schools and colleges to lecture about the same. Women in Russia have any average of 6-8 abortions in their lifetime. Last year we celebrated a very important milestone at our centers by having saved over 3000 babies from abortion. Thanks be to God. The cost to operate an average Crisis Pregnancy center and to provide help to babies, mothers and families runs approximately $900 per month.

Our priests have also supported several orphanages with nutritious meals, clothes, educational toys and major equipment. Imagine, before the help provided by our mission, Baby Hospital #3, the orphanage housing over 60 newborns and children under the age of 7, went without hot water or adequate equipment to launder all the sheets, clothes and diapers.  It’s almost unimaginable. With the help of donors like you, our mission has provided hot water heaters and industrial washer and dryers for the children. The orphans often suffer many emotional and developmental problems from lack of human interaction and proper nutrition.  Through our Project Hope, our seminarians and volunteers bring hope to the future of the orphans and others in the reform school by visiting and caring for them on a regular basis. A sponsorship to Project Hope is only $60 per month.

Our priests are responsible for so many other charitable works. They send volunteers to the abandoned elder hospital, run a food distribution program for the poor, visit prisoners, operate programs for outreach to college students, secure medical aid for the poor, provide lunch and afterschool programs for the poorest children in 2 villages, host AA programs and more. The Liturgical Music concert series held in the Church addresses the need to spread the news of Christ beyond our church doors. The Sacred Music concerts draw people from all over the community. Many have said they hear about God and Jesus for the first time when the liturgical music is explained before each performance.

We would like to now invite you to do these things: First, please pray. Pray as armchair missionaries. Please pray for the continued conversion of Russia back to Jesus. Consider praying the Rosary. This is the single most important thing to do. Second, if it is within your means, we ask please for your financial support as you sacrificially have the opportunity to aid in the conversion of Russia. It is slow going and our priests can only accomplish the work through your help.

Thank you for your prayers and gifts. May our Lord and Blessed Mother look after you, your families, and your parish. You may visit us at www.vladmission.org for more information.

To support the Mary Mother of God Mission Society, please click on the button below to donate and either select your parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or type Group 1397 in the memo box. God bless!

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