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St. James' Cathedral, Riga, Latvia. St. James' Cathedral, Riga, Latvia.  

Latvia’s elderly kept faith alive during years of repression

Pope Francis is visiting St. James’s Cathedral in Riga, Latvia on September 24 where he will address the elderly among others. Fr. Pauls Klavins of the cathedral spoke to Vatican News about the event.

By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis who is on a 4-day visit to the Baltic states, will visit St. James’ Cathedral in the Latvian capital Riga on Monday, day 3.  The Holy Father is scheduled to deliver a discourse there.

Fr. Pauls Klavins the administrator of the cathedral spoke to Janis Evertovskis of Vatican News on the papal event there.

Listen to Fr. Pauls Klavins

He said that among the 260 people who will be present in the cathedral during the Pope’s visit, will include parishioners, representatives of charitable and social organizations,  representatives of those who suffered repression during the Soviet occupations  and those who are active in parishes through ecclesial movements such as the Legion of Mary.   

The elderly kept faith alive

Fr. Klavins also spoke about role of the elderly in keeping their Christian faith alive during the 5 decades of  Soviet and Nazi occupations, when religious literature was not freely available.  They passed on their faith to the younger generations. 

Most of Latvia’s population today who were born during or after the World War II, went through much hardship.   They suffered political and religious repression, including deportation, under the Soviet regime.  So the Latvian generation of today is part of those people who have been very dedicated to their faith through the years of suffering.

Bridging generation gap

Fr. Klavins hopes that Pope Francis, during his visit to St. James’ Cathedral, will urge Latvia’s older and new generations to come closer to each other.  He pointed out that it is not easy for the older generation to accept the values of the younger generation in today’s changing culture dominated by the media.

23 September 2018, 15:52