ATINY silver chalice—it Is only If in, high—made by miners, is being used by a priest to celebrate Mass underground at a Siberian forced labour camp.
The Mass is celebrated in the early hours of the morning for Lithuanian prisoners working 600 ft. below ground. The priest is dressed in overalls.
Many workers receive Holy Communion. Communion wafers are allowed through the post by the Russians as " Lithuanian bread." The wine comes from the Cr imea. The story of the Mass comes from a former prisoner, Dr. Joseph Scholmer, who says that an Archbishop, three Bishops, about 700 priests and about the same number of monks and nuns have been deported to Siberia from Lithuania.
Last Easter, said Dr. Scholmer, Holy Communion was distributed secretly to more than 400 Lithuanian prisoners in an ingenious manner.
The miners were given a tin of cigarettes. Under the first layer of cigarettes a consecrated Host was wrapped in a small piece of clean linen. The Host was then broken and distributed to four or more communicants.
Wherever there are priests, said Dr. Scholmer, they always manage to have some kind of services. Where there are none, Catholics pray in groups, sing hymns, baptize the newly born, assist the dying and place crosses on the graves of the dead.
Several priests. he said. have managed to have themselves included among those prisoners who were sent to Soviet Asia for landclearing projects.