Novosibirsk, October 10, 2012
The event was organized by the Novosibirsk Archdiocese, the government of the Novosibirsk Region, and the West Siberian railway, with the support of local governments of the rural areas.
The train consisted of 21 cars. As in previous years, it included one car converted into a church, and nine cars containing health care facilities. The total length of the train was 520 meters, reports Karasuk diocese.
At each station where the train stopped the residents could visit the car-church of St. Nicholas, where everyone could receive the sacraments of Baptism, Communion and confession, an individual talk with a priest, obtain holy water and spiritual literature.
In addition, groups that included priests, social workers, doctors, and cultural workers set off on their way from the station in seven directions. They worked with people in remote villages, conducting educational and awareness-raising activities, visiting nursing homes, orphanages, charitable houses, schools and boarding schools.
During this missionary trip almost 2.5 thousand people were baptized, and more than 400 sacraments were administered. The participants of the event reported increased interest in the church mission. The number of baptized doubled in comparison with last year’s results (2424 people compared to 1177 in 2011); the number of sacraments served increased by almost a hundred.
Several crosses were consecrated, including one at the border with Kazakhstan in the Karasuk area in Kupino. More than a hundred people gathered in the village oif Kolibelka of Krasnozersky area for the consecration of a cross in the place where a church is planned to be built. The sacrament of Baptism was served to over 57 people here at one service. There was another case in Karasuk when almost a hundred people wanted to be baptized. However, the car-church could not accommodate even the half of this number. The authorities of the railway station reacted promptly and provided space for the baptism service. In many villages people asked for help to open a church as locals are in dire need of spiritual nourishment and are willing to fully participate in parish life. In a number of villages, churches are being built and restored.
Medical specialists were providing their services at the train stations, and diagnostic rooms were available. Doctors have helped about 1000 people. Social and charitable assistance was given to the needy and the poor (in excess of 350,000 rubles). There were 60 packages of free medicines that were transferred to the obstetric units. The specialists of the Ministry of Social Development have also provided their assistance to 2,500 people.
Spiritual and educational conferences, round table discussions, and meetings with students and parents were held in 65 districts. More than 9,000 people participated. The performances of professional and amateur artists, poets, writers, film screenings, drama performances, and exhibitions were held as a part of the creativity program (a total of 170 events).
The event involved 30 thousand people in 132 villages of 19 districts of Novosibirsk. All services of the missionary train are provided on a charitable basis.