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News Archives

Vol. No. 1  Feb. 2005

"Every commitment to holiness, every activity aimed at carrying out the Church's mission . . . must draw the strength it needs from the Eucharistic mystery and in turn be directed to that mystery as its culmination."
----- John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 60 


Russia is the largest country in the world,
covering 11 time zones.

Fr. Jim, Sister Mary Katherine, and George standing in front of Lake Baikal

Fr. Jim with some young Russians at the first All Russia Catholic Youth Conference.

SOLT 2005 Advance Team prepares to study in Vladivostok, Russian Far East
Over the last 9 months, under the direction of Fr. Ogie Rosalinas, General Priest Servant, and Fr. Santan Pinto, Second Assistant, Fr. Kelleher has assembled a team of 10 adventurers (2 priests, 3 sisters, and 5 laity) to study Russian in Vladivostok for the month of June 2005.  With God's help a significant number of this group will serve as a nucleus for a permanent SOLT Mission in Russia, beginning in August 2006.
As of February 2005 the lineup consists of:  Fr. Jim Kelleher, SOLT, Fr. Zachary Shallow, SOLT, Sr. Mary Katherine Malmros, SOLT, Sr. Bo Kim, SOLT, Sr. Amata Aumell, SOLT, Sylvia Mays, a SOLT laywoman, Nancy Hunter (Dallas), Marianne Siegmund (Dallas), Laurence Neuhoff (Dallas) and Mark Tamisiea (Dallas).  Personal profiles will appear in our next newsletter.
The goals of our summer program are:  1) To establish a basic foundation in Russian language, culture and history; 2) To plan and assess our needs for the return of a permanent SOLT Team to Russia in August, 2006; 3) To meet with Bishop Kirill Klimovich to receive his direction and guidance with respect to our future permanent mission in his diocese; 4) To develop team building skills necessary for our future work; 5) To deepen and maintain our friendship with Fr. Myron Effing and Fr. Daniel Maurer at Holy Mother of God Church in Vladivostok.  They have been working in Russia for more than 10 years and we have participated in their annual Russian Far East Youth Conference in 1997 and 2004 by giving presentations on theological topics and family life.

George Riess plays the Notre Dame Fight Song for orphan children.

Summer 2004 Visit Sets the Stage
Fr. Jim Kelleher led a mini-ecclesial team of Sr. Mary Katherine Malmros and George Riess to the Russian Far East and Siberia from July 18th through August 17th.  George is a prolife activist who helped found the first pregnancy care center in Eastern Siberia in the summer of 1999.  Since then more than 12 new centers have been opened in the region.  Sr. Mary Katherine served on SOLT's first Russian Mission in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Kansk from 2000-2003.
After arriving in Vladivostok, the team traveled 500 miles with Fr. Myron Effing, pastor of Holy Mother of God Catholic Church, on the TransSiberian Railroad to Khabarovsk, where all three team members presented talks at the Far Eastern Catholic Youth Conference.
Next, the team flew about 2,000 miles inland to visit a Pro-Life Center and Claretian Monastery in Krasnoyarsk to explore the Catholic life in the interior of Siberia.  Our group was touched by the dedication of the 5 Claretian priests from Poland and the dramatic conversion stories of some of the young people.
In early August, we hopped aboard the TransSiberian Express for a seventeen hour journey to Irkutsk, the home of Bishop Kirill Klimovich and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral.  We met with Bishop Kirill to discuss how SOLT could return to Russia with a permanent team in August 2006.  All went well and so we are now seeking to achieve this objective.

Bishop Kirill Klimovich of St. Joseph in Irkutsk and Fr. Jim

Bishop Philip Naameh Invites SOLT Team to Ghana
Bishop Philip Naameh of the Damongo Diocese has recently invited a SOLT Team to come and participate in a "Strategic Planning Workshop" from June 6 - 11th, 2005.  This will provide our SOLT Team the opportunity at the request of Bishop Naameh to assess 3 different mission sites in order to select one of them for the permanent SOLT mission scheduled to begin in August 2006.  Fr. Ogie Rosalinas, General Priest Servant, Sister Anne Marie Walsh, General Sister Servant, and Fr. Roger Abalon, General Lay Servant, are currently in the process of selecting which priests, sisters and lay people will be part of this advance team.  Our Society is blessed that Susie Zook, a SOLT lay member, is currently serving Bishop Naameh as a secretary.
Bishop Naameh describes his diocese as follows:  "It is the largest diocese in Ghana with the most poverty, both physically and spiritually . . . . . 96% of women and 72% of men are illiterate . . . . the main mission of the diocese is primary evangelization."  Part of this mission is "peace building and basic education, especially for the girl child" as well as "formation and maintenance of priests, religious, catechists and lay leaders."


Watch this page for additional news and fotos of SOLT missionaries in Russia, Ghana, India and Spain.
Donnations can be made out to SOLT Mission Development and if you want to designate your donation to Russia, Ghana, India or Spain, please indicate this in the lower left hand of your check.
See below for our address and contact information.  We appreciate your prayers and support.  Please send us any prayer requests you may have.

SOLT Mission Development
PO Box 489
Bosque, NM 87006
(505) 977-8320