A Chapel and a Presbytery for a Catholic Parish in Russia
In 1999, new life came to the town of Usolye Sibirskoye in Russia with the arrival of Carmelite priests to take over the Catholic parish there, which is dedicated to another Carmelite confrere, Father Rafael Kalinowski. In the 19th century, this Polish Carmelite priest was sentenced to 10 years forced labor and deported here to Usolye Sibirskoye. The city is 55 miles from Irkutsk in Siberia and today has a population of close to 85,000.
In 2002, a Carmelite convent was also established here. Close by there is another convent that belongs to the Sisters of St. Albert, who run a children‘s daycare that is at the same time a refuge and a home for children in need.
The good work the Carmelite Fathers have been doing here in the parish for almost 20 years now has borne good fruits, especially among the young people. Many of those who, as children, were the first to be given catechetical instruction are now having their own children baptized here and coming to Sunday Mass with their families. There has been an important deepening of the spiritual life here and the parish is now a lively one.
For many years the parish has only had a small chapel at its disposal, which had originally been a grocery shop. There was simply not enough space for the congregation at Mass or for providing religious instruction. The decision was therefore taken to extend the original chapel and also to build a presbytery at the same time.
ACN was able to help with $55,000 for this work, and Father Pawel Badzinski has written to thank us.
“We are profoundly grateful for your help and we pray for all your benefactors. May God bless and protect them!”
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