March 25, 2009-
The Russian Orthodox community in Rome is very small, with only a few hundred worshippers going to service every Sunday. Father VladimirChurch of St Catherine of Alexandria (Rome) They came to our liturgies, to our masses in Italian, and they see how we pray. And also we go to them for their liturgies and also pray. And also we have, this city of Rome has a lot of saints’ relics, so we also go to pray before these relics and to ask permission from Catholic priests, and they are very friendly to us.
The Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria has been in development since 1991. But the idea of building a Russian Orthodox church in Rome goes back to the late 1800’s, when the czar still ruled Russia. The project was put on hold after the Revolution of 1917, but was revived after the fall of the communist regime, with the blessings of the late Patriarch Alexei II.
The Russian Orthodox community was also very happy that the Church of St. Nicholas of Bari was returned to them. There are only a few Russian Orthodox churches throughout Italy. But the Catholic Church accommodates local Russian Orthodox communities so that they can practice their faith. Father VladimirChurch of St Catherine of Alexandria (Italy) The Catholic authorities allow our priests to take one chapel for celebrating. It’s very important for us because we can’t build our churches here. It costs much. So we are very glad to and appreciate the kindness to us.
The Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria is in the final stages of construction, and will be consecrated on May 23rd by a church official from Moscow.