Dear  friends  of  Russian  Byzantine  Catholics! This newsletter was
 written  by Feodor Petrov (E-mail: on behalf of the
 Community  of  St.  Archangel Michael (St. Petersburg, Russia) and of
 the  Society  of  the  Mother  of  God  of Vladimir. It can be freely
 distributed and printed anywhere providing no changes are made in the
 text.  Please,  if  you  reprint  this,  save this note at least as a



Several members of the Community of St. Michael
Archangel in the "forest chapel" during the camping this summer.

                                     Some news and needs.

1) Community of St. Michael Archangel in St. Petersburg

New  community  of  Russian  Byzantine  Catholics  was  founded in St.
Petersburg,  Russia.  St.  Petersburg  is a city with a very important
role in the history of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church. Here was
born and served the first Exarch of Russian Byzantine Catholic Church,
Leonid  (Leontiy)  Feodorov,  recently  beatified by Pope John Paul II
during  his  pilgrimage  to Ukraine.  We  Russian Byzantine Catholics
believe that through his prayers, our Church will grow and develop. As
always,  blood  and sufferings of martyrs, confessors and witnesses of
Christ,  become  a  fruitful  seed of faith. Today living in Russia in
very  difficult circumstances, we praise God for all things - and pray
for the revival of our Church.

Informally,  the  Community of Russian Byzantine Catholics has existed
for  about a year. On Friday, September 14th, 2001 (which is September
1st  - and the beginning of the Byzantine Liturgical Year according to
the old style calendar) the community met and, after a prayer, assumed
St.  Michael  Archangel as its heavenly patron and passed a Statute of
the  Community. There's no Russian Byzantine Parish in St. Petersburg,
so,  under  canon law, the Community exists as the private association
of  faithful.  It  doesn't  have  a priest associated with it (because
there are no serving Byzantine Catholic priests in St. Petersburg).

Our  Community isn't big. It has about 7 to 10 members for the moment,
and  also  some friends, some of whom are Orthodox Christians. Most of
the  members  are  former  members of the Russian Orthodox Church, who
came  to  the  conviction  that  the  fullness  of  orthodoxy can't be
achieved  outside communion with the bishop of Rome as the Heir of St.

The Statute of Community determines several aims, such as:

 -  to  support the members of the Community in their wish and duty to
 live in accordance with Byzantine Catholic tradition

 - to assist members of the Community in their religious education

 - to participate in the religious life of Byzantine Rite Catholics in
 Russia and abroad and to contribute to its development

 -  to  contribute  to  the studying of the rich spiritual heritage of
 Russian  Byzantine  Catholics,  as  well as the heritage of the whole
 Byzantine Rite and the whole Catholic Church.

 -  to  promote  the  canonical  foundation  of the Byzantine Catholic
 Parish in St. Petersburg, when it becomes possible

As  the  community doesn't have its own place, we gather for prayer in
the  private flats of our members whenever possible. This causes great
difficulties  with  the  development  of  our  mission, as most of our
members  are  young people and most of their families are atheistic or
indifferent, so it's hard to find a place for meeting sometimes. While
we  don't  have  a  priest  with us, we use several forms of Byzantine
prayer  reader-services,  intended  for such circumstances. Members of
the  Community  keep  contact with several Byzantine priests in Russia
and abroad (in Ukraine and overseas).

We urgently need prayer support and help from our brothers and sisters
in  faith.  Some of our material needs are listed below. The community
can be reached through e-mail: and

  NB:  There  is  a  strange  website  on  the  Internet             - - where it states that it's the site of the
  Community  of  Blessed  Leonid  Feodorov in St. Petersburg. We don't
  know  anything  about  this  community  and  have never heard of its
  existence  nor  its  members.  We  are  the  only Byzantine Catholic
  Community  in  St.  Petersburg  as  far  as  we  know. Please DO NOT
  associate us with this site.

 2) The Society of The Mother of God of Vladimir

During  their first official meeting (and after consultations with Fr.
Sergij  Golovanov  from  Omsk,  Russia)  some members of our Community
founded  the  Society of the Mother of God of Vladimir for the Support
of  the Russian Orthodox-Catholic Movement. "Orthodox-Catholic" is one
of  the historical terms for our Byzantine Catholic Church used in the
times of Blessed Leonid Feodorov.

This  Society is a civil organisation (that legally acts without state
registration  for  the moment). Each person who has the desire and the
opportunity,  can  participate  in  its  work and activities (with the
consent  of  the  Society)  -  so  it  is  not  intended as a regional
organisation or community. We heartily invite all people of good will,
who  share  our  faith  and  heritage, or just understand our aims and
sympathise  with  them, to participate in our work for God and Russian
Byzantine Catholics and to support it.

Investigating  the current state of Byzantine Catholic communities and
individuals  in Russia, we can see some things that bring suffering to
them.  Most noticeable is the lack of different information and mutual
support - as well as some other problems. The Society of the Mother of
God  of Vladimir was founded in order to make at least the most humble
contribution  to  the  solution  of  this  problems.  The Society is a
voluntary organisation  which doesn't claim any authority or right to
speak  on  behalf  of the Church - its intention is only to become the
humble servant of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church in her present
difficult  situation,  uniting  efforts of volunteers, enthusiasts and
friends of our Church.

The  Statute  of  the Society describes its aim as "to provide support
for the development of the Russian Orthodox-Catholic Movement".

In order to achieve this aim through its many activities, the Society:

 -   gathers   and   spreads   information   concerning   the  Russian
 Orthodox-Catholic Movement

 -  makes  contacts  with  the participants of this Movement and other
 religious and social organisations

 -   runs   conferences,   meetings   etc,   concerning   the  Russian
 Orthodox-Catholic Movement, its study and development.

 -  assists  those  interested  in getting necessary information about
 Orthodox-Catholic Movement

 -  assists  Byzantine Catholics (especially in Russia) in realization
 of their lawful religious rights and freedoms

 -  assists  Byzantine  Catholics  (in  Russia)  in  seeking necessary
 financial and other help in Russia and abroad

Let  us  describe  several activities planned by the Society (some are
already in progress):

 -  to  make  contacts  with  all  Communities  of  Russian  Byzantine
 Catholics  in  Russia  and abroad, and with the friends of our Church
 and fellow Byzantine Catholics

 - to collect information connected with Russian Byzantine Catholics -
 canonical, historical, legal, liturgical and practical

 -  to  support  (morally and by proper consultations) those Byzantine
 Catholics,  whose  civil  and  religious  rights  and  freedoms  were
 unlawfully broken

 -  to  provide  those Byzantine Catholics anywhere who wish, with the
 help  of  God,  to start a new community (where there isn't any) with
 the  priests'  contact  information;  liturgical  texts necessary for
 reader-services; canonical, legal and practical information necessary
 for the beginning of the community, etc.

 -  when  possible, to promote Russian Byzantine Catholic studies - to
 promote  the  Byzantine  devotions,  especially  the  devotion to new
 martyrs of our Church - Blessed Leonid Feodorov and Blessed Clementiy

Let us present for you some current projects of the Society:

a) Collecting historical information and news
 We're   working   on  collecting  as  much  information  as  possible
 concerning our Church, its history, news and events.
 If  you  have  any  documents,  photos,  magazines, articles or books
 (especially  old  ones), concerning the history of our Church, please
 contact  us!  We urgently need a copy of any materials you may have -
 for  historical  studies and for the memory of the future generations
 of Russian Byzantine Catholics. We also would highly appreciate it if
 you  could  send  us  your personal memories about our Church history
 here  and  abroad  (maybe  you  were  witness  to some things or knew
 someone  who  narrated  to you about them). Please take time to write
 them  down  -  they  can have a great historical, and also spiritual,
 value.  We  would  highly  appreciate  any kind of help in collecting
 these materials.
 Please also send us news about the events in the life of your Russian
 Byzantine  Community,  Parish  or  Family.  This  information  can be
 important for the writing of the current history of our Church.
b) Russian Byzantine Catholic Magazine - "The Word of Truth"

 From  1903 to 1918, a magazine was published in St. Petersburg called
 "The  Word of Truth" ("Slovo Istiny"). That magazine was published by
 Russian  Byzantine  Catholics  for  themselves  and  those  who  were
 interested. The work of this magazine was supported by Blessed Leonid
 Feodorov,  Exarch  of  the  Russian  Byzantine  Catholic  Church, and
 several of his articles were published there. There were 68 issues of
 "The Word of Truth" published until it was closed in 1918.
 In  the  years  1997-2000,  Fr.  Sergij  Golovanov, Russian Byzantine
 Priest  from  Omsk  (Siberia),  published  a  small  bulletin  called
 "Primireniye"  ("Reconciliation") that was printed in extremely small
 quantities and sent personally to several people. At the moment, this
 bulletin  is on hold because Fr. Sergij is too busy with his pastoral
 This  means that at the moment, Russian Byzantine Catholics in Russia
 don't have their own magazine or newspaper - something which would be
 very   helpful   during   times  of  difficulty  or  lack  of  proper
 The  Society  of  Our the Mother of God of Vladimir decided to revive
 "The  Word of Truth". We plan to start publishing a small magazine in
 Russian  under  this same title, as a newsletter of "Russian Orthodox
 Christians in communion with the See of Rome". We regard the reviving
 of  this  magazine  as a necessary contribution to the revival of our
 Church  - and also as an act of honour and devotion to Blessed Leonid
 The  new  "Word  of  Truth"  would continue the traditions of the old
 magazine  and  also of the bulletin published by Fr. Sergij (with his
 consent), who agreed to be the Church Consultant of the new magazine.
 "The  Word  of  Truth" plans to publish several articles from the old
 issues  of  the  magazine (some of them have remained quite topical),
 and  also  publish  new  articles  written by Byzantine Catholics and
 their  friends  - as well as information about Byzantine Catholics in
 Russia  and  their news. The old issues of the magazine are available
 in  the  Public Library at St. Petersburg (we only need some finances
 to copy them for editorial needs).
 As  the situation in Russia is very difficult, it would be impossible
 for the magazine to survive without donations from the friends of our
 Church.  It's  quite  likely we'll have to distribute the magazine to
 most  of  its  Russian  readers for free. So, we ask you for help and
 support   (and  also  invite  you  to  offer  us  your  articles  and
 The  magazine,  as we plan it, would be published in black and white.
 It  would  have  about  32  pages  (the  old one has 16) and would be
 published quarterly in the beginning (the old one was monthly). We're
 going  to start with a small number of copies - about 250 (increasing
 it  if  the need arises). Provided we follow this plan exactly, total
 costs  for  printing one issue would be about US$60. The distribution
 of  the  magazine  might  also  cost  us  some money. We also plan to
 publish  at  least  some  materials from the magazine on the net, for
 free reading and using.
 We are currently working on the first issue and hope to publish it by
 the end of the year 2001.
c) Building a Website for the Society

 We  also  plan  to  build a website for the Society, where we hope to
 place   a   lot  of  information,  necessary  for  Russian  Byzantine
 Catholics, including:

 -  Russian  Byzantine  Catholic  news  and  events reports (including
 informal information)

 -  Books  and  articles  about  the  history  and spirituality of our
 Church, its current situation, its theology, Liturgy, Saints etc.

 -  Liturgical texts (needed for reader-services if there is no priest
 available) with the necessary explanations on their use.

 - Articles from our magazine "The Word of Truth"

 - Reviews of new books

 -  General  and  contact  information  about existing communities and
 priests - in Russia and elsewhere.

 In  short,  we  hope  to  build a Russian Byzantine Catholic Treasury
 online,  where  Russian Byzantine Catholics can find all the possible
 information they need.

 The  organisation  in  USA, called CathTech, already provided us with
 the  domain  name  and  space  for this site. We're working on it and
 preparing materials we have for publishing there.

 We  also plan to start a mailing-list in Russian, connected with this
 site,   that  would  be  a  pre-moderated  mailing-list  for  Russian
 Byzantine Catholic news, articles etc.

d) New books and materials

 There's  a  need  for  books  and  other materials for developing the
 Russian  Byzantine  Catholic Mission. The number of existing books is
 small and some of them were published long ago and are rare or out of

 We  plan  to  collaborate  with  the  authors, work on the writing or
 translating  new  books  and  materials,  and  prepare  old  ones for
 reprinting.  Then  we  will try to find sponsors for publishing these
 books and materials, with the help of God.

We  invite all who can help in this work to co-operate and collaborate
with us.

 3) Invitation to contact and to participate
If  you're  a  Russian  Byzantine  Catholic  or  a  friend  of Russian
Byzantine  Catholic  Church,  please  contact us. We would be happy to
communicate  with  you.  You're welcome to participate in our work, if
you share the aims of our Society.
We  ask  all  Russian  Byzantine Catholic Parishes and Communities (in
Russia  and  abroad) to get in touch with us and to send us their news
and contact information.
       2) Urgent needs of the Community of St. Michael Archangel
           and the Society of the Mother of God of Vladimir.
We  urgently  need  your moral support and prayers. We started all our
work  only  because  we  believe  it's necessary for our Church in the
present  situation.  Most of us here, in Russia, are very poor - so we
started  out  only  with the support of some priests and friends - and
our trust in God. Please support us, first of all, with your prayers.
Then  we're  in great financial need - we need your help and financial
support if we are to survive and work further.
The  Community  of  St.  Michael  Archangel  doesn't have any place to
gather  for  prayer.  It  causes  great  difficulties,  especially  in
developing  its  mission  and  in  educational  work. At the moment we
gather  for  prayer  in  our flats, where it's impossible to arrange a
proper  place  for  common prayers (and - if any priest could visit us
here  - for Liturgy). We hope to rent a flat, when it becomes possible
-  it costs about US$160 per month (for a one-room flat). We would use
it  for prayers, educational work, and also as an office place for the
Society  of  the  Mother of God of Vladimir and for welcoming visitors
from other cities, when necessary. We would be very grateful to anyone
who could help us to obtain a home for our Community.
We  also  need,  as  has  been  mentioned,  financial  support for our
magazine  "The  Word  of Truth" - about US$60 for publishing one issue
(and  some  money  for  copying  old  issues).  There are other urgent
financial needs - liturgical books, postage for foreign letters, etc).
There are also some non-financial needs.
We  urgently need the English edition of the Code of Canons of Eastern
Churches.  It  can be obtained through the Internet, but we don't have
any  money  for  it. We would be very thankful if anyone could buy and
send  it  to  us (and, possibly, other books on Eastern Catholic Canon
Law).  Please  e-mail us before you buy it (because someone could send
us a copy before you).
We  would  be  thankful  also for any Eastern CATHOLIC ikons and books
(for  it's  not  a  problem here to buy any Russian Orthodox books and
ikons).  If  you  can  send us such things - we would use them for the
aims  of  our  Society - or would pass them to other Russian Byzantine
Catholics who need it.
5) Contacts and accounts

Both the Community and the Society can be contacted by e-mail:

You're  welcome to e-mail us with your prayer requests. We'll remember
you and your needs during our prayer meetings.

Postal Address: poste restante for Drakunova Anna Mikhailovna,
                St. Petersburg, 194354, Russia

If  possible,  please  e-mail  us  before you send something by post -
because our postal address may change at any time. We can also provide
you  with a more reliable postal address - but at the moment we can do
it only on a personal basis, at your request, because of some existing

Bank account:

1) HSBC Bank USA (New York)
 452 5th Avenue Floor 5, New York, USA
 SWIFT: MRMDUS33, acc. 000303402 Alfa-Bank
 for St. Petersburg branch acc. 30301.840.700000001031
 in favor of account number D-2807,
 Drakunova Anna Mikhailovna,
 transfer aim: gift (or donation for educational purposes)
2) Chase Manhattan Bank (New York)
 4 New York Plaza Floor 15, New York, USA,
 SWIFT: CHASUS33, acc. 400927098 Alfa-Bank
 for St. Petersburg branch acc. 30301.840.700000001031
 in favor of account number D-2807,
 Drakunova Anna Mikhailovna,
 transfer aim: gift (or donation for educational purposes)
SWIFT:BKTRUS33 acc. 04415617 Alfa-Bank
for St. Petersburg branch acc. 30301.840.700000001031
in favor of account number D-2807,
Drakunova Anna Mikhailovna,
transfer aim: gift (or donation for educational purposes)

NOTE:  Please  DO  write  what  is  written  above as "transfer aim" -
because it will make your donation tax deductible here.

Please  e-mail  us,  if  possible, before sending money. We would then
know  about  your  donation  and  can  collect  it  here. Also you can
indicate in the e-mail the exact aim of your donation. If you wish, at
your  request, we will send you a full report of how your donation was

Thank you very much for your help in this difficult situation.

Glory to God for all things.

Feodor Petrov (, Russia St. Petersburg
October 15, 2001

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