Consecrated Life: Strong presence in Armenia and Kazakhstan

Numerous pastoral initiatives by nuns and religious

Vatican City, July 23rd (VID) - It is men and women religious who are in the forefront of the evangelization work of the Church in Kazakhstan, a republic located in Central Asia and which has arisen from the break up of the Soviet union. Kazakhstan shall be the destination of the Pope' s next trip from the 22nd of September to the 25th of September. Immediately after, from 25th to the 27th of September, the Pope will visit Armenia, another country distinguished by the presence of the consecrated life.

In Kazakhstan, the Church hierarchy is constituted by a diocese and three apostolic administrations. The diocese is that of Karaganda, whose bishop is Monsignor Paul Lenga, of the Congregation of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. The diocese counts 40 thousand Catholics out of 3.4 million inhabitants, with 3 religious and 23 nuns. The other religious is Monsignor Henry Theophilus Howaniec, OFM, Apostolic Administrator of Almaty; here there are 50 thousand Catholics out of 6.3 million inhabitants. There are 5 religious are and there is the same number of religious sisters. The others two apostolic administrations are that of Astana, headed by Monsignor Peta (3.9 million inhabitants, of whom 90 thousand are Catholics, 19 religious and 27 religious sisters) and that of Atyran, headed by Father Janusz Kaleta, with 160 Catholics out of 2.6 million inhabitants and three diocesan priests. The present Congregations are, above all, the Friars Minor, the Sisters of St. Francis, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, as well as the Swiss Congregation Pro Deo. Opus Dei has been also present since 1999. According to the Franciscan nun Magdalena Sumilasova, however, the Catholic presence is ampler than the data revealed by statistics, because according to her, there are many believers "in secret", who do not attend the Church. In Armenia instead the presence of the religious is constituted above all by the Mekitarist Congregation, founded by the monk Mekitar of Sebaste in the 18th century.

Vidimus Dominum
23. juli 2001

av Webmaster publisert 23.07.2001, sist endret 23.07.2001 - 12:24