The Catholic Travel Guide
Catholic Sites in the Russian Federation
For those of us who grew up outside the Iron Curtain in the 50's and 60's it seemed like the Soviet Union would be our perpetual enemy. The rapid collapse of Communism took many by surprise and there is no doubt that this was in part made possible through the influence of Pope John Paul II. Of course the Soviet Union as an entity no longer exists and what we now have is the Russian Federation.
Russia is such an immense country that it is hard to capture it in words. It has about 70% of the total land area in the world, encompasses 9 time zones, has 25% of the world's fresh water, and the list goes on and on. With this much geography and diversity it is a country of infinite possibilities for travelers. Despite religious repression, Christianity has survived over the centuries.
Catholic travelers will find that most of the Christian churches in the country are Russian Orthodox, not in communion with Rome. There are some Catholic churches and we are hopeful that restrictions placed upon building new churches will eventually be removed. We have listed the prominent Roman Catholic churches on the respective pages on this site.
Russia offers several locations of particular interest to Catholics and of course it is also a place that many people wish to visit to see just what life is like in a country long thought of as our enemy. Unfortunately under Mr. Putin individual liberties are being curtailed and political opposition being silenced, so we are not sure just what the future might hold.
Residents of most countries need to know that unlike most European countries, visas are required to enter Russia. The process is not difficult but needs to be done in advance of your arrival.
The two most popular cities are Moscow and St. Petersburg. We would also urge you to consider a Volga River Cruise between these two cities. It is a great way to see more of the country and really get to know the Russian people.