23 RC Missionaries in Kazakhstan

23 Regnum Christi missionaries from Poland recently did missions in Kazakhstan together with two Legionary priests. 

From July 18-29, a group of 23 Regnum Christi members and members of Młodzież Trzeciego Tysiąclecia (Youth for the Third Millennium) Missions traveled to Shchuchinsk, Kazakhstan for an evangelizing parish mission. Fr. Mariusz Kiełbasa, LC, and Fr. Matthew Devereux, LC, accompanied them. Fr. Rafał and Sr. Rufina ran the parish where they did missions and took care of logistics for the mission. 

Fr. Matthew Devereux, LC, commented: “Kazakhstan is a Muslim country with a population of 18 million.  Of course, the Word of God cannot be restricted, but there were some limitations when it came to evangelizing.  Open evangelization is illegal and that is why we dedicate ourselves to participate in the life of the parish and to help people in whatever need they have. 

“We visited the parishioners in their homes, we pray and sing with them.  Most people just wanted to talk, sing and pray together.” Fr. Matthew continued, “Since it is illegal to evangelize, Catholics are committed to an hour of worship before each Mass.  Since they cannot talk to people about Jesus, they tell Jesus about the people.” 

The parish that the missionaries were evangelizing had 70 members, the vast majority of them with Polish ancestry who only speak Russian.  Fr Matthew explained communication between the missionaries and parish members: “Because Polish and Russian belong to the same Slavic language family, in a couple of days communication was no longer a barrier.  The Poles with whom we had contact are descendants of those sent to the Soviet Gulags or simply exiled to inhabit the Russian hinterlands.  Most of them were very happy to listen, pray and sing Polish anthems. It was interesting to note that, although they could not speak it, they knew by heart Polish prayers.” 

This story was translated from the international Spanish-language Regnum Christi site.

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