Converting a Private Home into a Chapel in Russia
A new chapel has been built!
Father Jerzy Jagodzinski is from Poland but has been working in Russia since 1995. He belongs to the Steyler Missionaries (Divine Word Missionaries) and he is currently in charge of two parishes in the Kaliningrad region – the Parish of Saint Joseph of Gvardiejsk and the Parish of the Thrice Wondrous Mother of God in Polessk. The Kaliningrad region has a population which is nearly 5% Catholic, which makes it the most Catholic region in all Russia.
The small town of Polessk, which until 1945 was called Labian and belonged to Germany, has a population of just 7,600 people. The present Catholic parish here was not established until long after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact it has been in existence only since 2009 and is still in its infancy.
On Sundays and major feast days there is a congregation of 60 or so Catholic faithful attending Holy Mass. However, the number of the faithful is growing, above all as a result of the influx of Polish, German and Lithuanian migrants who have resettled here in the Kaliningrad region from Kazakhstan or the other Central Asian republics. By and large they are the descendants of those who were deported to these regions during the Soviet era.
The original Catholic church was confiscated during Soviet times and is still being used today as a music school. As a result, the parish has purchased a house that is intended to serve not only as a dwelling for the priest and for a small community of religious Sisters but also as a place for religious instruction; it will also be converted into a small chapel for religious worship.
With the help of ACN a section of the house has now been converted into a chapel, thanks to the contribution of $21,900 we were able to make through the generosity of our benefactors.
The chapel has now been solemnly consecrated by Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God, in Moscow. And on the day of the consecration of the church there was an additional reason for celebration, as seven members of the parish received the sacrament of Confirmation.
Our warmest thanks to all the generous benefactors who contributed so that this chapel could be built!
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