Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blessing of Novosibirsk Carmel in Russia

Novosibirsk – Russia (2010-03-11).- On 19th December 2009 Bishop Joseph Werth of Novosibirsk blessed our Carmelite Nuns’ Monastery of the Resurrection of Christ in this, Russia’s third largest city, after Moscow and St. Petersborough. The blessing took place during a solemn celebration with the Apostolic Nuntio, Mons. Antonio Mennini, among those present.
Despite the Siberian weather a large number of invited guests crammed the convent chapel for the concelebrated Eucharist. The Nuncio, who travelled from Moscow for the occasion, preached at the Mass and delivered the Pope’s Apostolic Blessing to the community.
Among the large number of priests in attendance it was particularly significant that two Orthodox priests came from the neighbouring diocese. As a special gift from their own Bishop to the Carmelite Community, they brought a relic of St. Martirii, one of the early monks in the Kiev-Pechersk monastery. His relic has been reserved in the Carmelite altar alongside those of St. Teresa and St. Raphael Kalinowski. Kiev-Pechersk monastery is considered to be the cradle of Russian monasticism, while the deacon-monk Saint Martirii is one of the Saints venerated by both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
The gift of the relic is seen as a special ecumenical gesture. The Nuncio referred to this fact in his homily and compared both the Carmelite community and the relic to the mustard seed of the Gospel, insofar as both signify development in unity between the two Churches. The Nuncio also noted that this particular Carmel, hidden in the middle of Russia, is dedicated to prayer for such unity.


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