Daughter of Red Army General Credits Father for Vocational Decision

MOSCOW, AUG. 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Sister Teresa de Bouriatie, a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of San Domenico, embraced the religious life in the Catholic Church thanks to her father, a general in the Red Army.

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In a testimony posted on the website dedicated to consecrated life, Vidimus Dominum, Sister Teresa, 26, recounts the impact of her dying father’s last words. While laying on his deathbed after being seriously wounded in Afghanistan, he told his children “to put God first in your lives.”

Sister Teresa was 12 at the time and she tells in her testimony that her father’s words impressed her as he was not a man who had ever shown religious sentiments.

The young sister works in Oulan-Oude, a Siberian city of 400,000 inhabitants, on the railway line to Mongolia, more than 5,600 kilometers from Moscow.

Together with two Polish nuns, Sister Teresa spends four days a week helping street children, prisoners and the sick whom she visits either in the hospital or at home.

Sister Teresa highlighted two difficulties of pastoral work. The first is the extreme material poverty in which the people she helps live, which is a challenge for people’s faith and intelligence. According to the sister, she can no longer give away new clothes and toys because “their parents resell them to buy vodka.”

A second difficulty she encounters in her apostolate is the intense activity of South Korean and U.S. protestant movements.

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