Founded in 1850, the Assumptionists have been engaged in a variety of dis-
tinguished global endeavors including projects in numerous parts of Eastern
Europe and Russia.  Between 1905 and World War I a few Assumptionists
established themselves in St. Petersburg, Odessa, Kiev, Moscow and Vilna.
One of the best known of these early pioneers was Fr. Pius Neveu, who arrived
in St. Petersburg in 1906 to become chaplain at the Good Shepherd Cancer
Hospital and Orphanage.  From there he moved to the Donetz mining region
in the Ukraine and took up work in the town of Makeyevka a year later.  Fr.
Neveu managed to remain at his post throughout the tumultuous period leading
up to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, despite imprisonment and the threat
of the firing squad.  Even after the Bolsheviks assumed power, Fr.Neveu
continued to hold services in the church of Makeyevka, despite the Commu-
nist threat to convert his church into a movie theatre.  Because the Catho-
lic Church in Russia was without a Bishop, Pope Pius XI decided that Fr.
Neveu would assume that charge.  He was secretly consecrated Bishop in
Moscow in 1923, where he carried on his work until 1936, most of these
years without an Assumptionist companion.
The situation for Assumptionist missionaries in Russia was dramatically
changed by President Franklin Roosevelt.  After long negotiations with
Mr. Litvinov, the Commissar for Foreign Affairs, President Roosevelt
secured the right for an American clergyman to enter Russia as chaplain
to the diplomatic colony (Roosevelt-Litvinov Agreement, November 16, 1933).
Fr. Leopold Braun, an Assumptionist, was the first to enter Moscow under
the new agreement.  He arrived there on March 1, 1934.  Since the signing
of the Roosevelt-Litvinov Agreement, eleven Assumptionists have held this
position.  Deeply influenced by their contact with the Russian people,
each of these in returning home has found ways to tell the story of his
experience.  Through public lectures, articles, books (1), teaching, etc.,
they have expanded their own understanding of Russia and sought to instruct
others about this fascinating and mysterious country.  Perhaps the most
tangible sign of Assumptionist involvement in Russia is a substantial
collection of original Russian icons. 
See more about Icons at:

Who have served the Church in Moscow

                                                          Arrival                                              Departure
Pius Neveu                              September 4, 1926                                   July 31, 1936

Leopold Braun                         March 1, 1934                                         December 27, 1945

Antonio Laberge                      October 26, 1945                                     January 28, 1949

Jean de Matha Thomas             May 23, 1947                                          September 1, 1950

Louis Robert Brassard              January 20, 1950                                      February 13,1953

Georges Bissonnette                 January 25, 1953                                      March 5, 1955

Louis Dion                                January 25, 1959                                      September 22, 1961

Joseph Richard                         August 25, 1961                                       September 26, 1965

Eugene LaPlante                       September 14, 1965                                 August 28, 1968

Louis Dion                                August 18, 1968                                       August 27, 1971

Joseph Richard                          September 2, 1971                                  April 4, 1976

Philip Bonvouloir                       April 1, 1976                                            July 1979

Eugene LaPlante                        July 1979                                                 September 18, 1983

Robert Fortin                             September 12, 1983                                March 14, 1986

Norman Meiklejohn                   March 3, 1986                                         June 1999