Letter from Kazakhstan

The SCE commentary table has people from all over the world sharing our bottle of port and good conversation, but I was rather suprised recently to find a blog reader in Kazakhstan! Brother Gary Charles writes:

We are here with the Family Of Mary, in the Archdiocese of the Virgin Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan. We are responsible for the parish of Mary, Help of Christians, here in Scherbakty, which is about 80km to the east, and a little north, of Pavlodar, in Eastern Kazakhstan, along the 52 parallel. The parish here is not so big, about 2 to 300 people. Scherbakty itself has about 8 to 9000 people. It had about 16000 several years ago, but after the “Fall” of Communism, and Germany opening its doors to those of German descent, so many people left. It was a bit of a brain drain!
Most of our mission here is to the kids … we run a Children’s Kitchen for the kids, and they get a hot meal a day, which for some is the only meal, the other times only having bread and tea.
I myself have been here for almost ten years now, and it’s like ‘home’ for me now! Our community isn’t so big, but we have a priest, 2 brothers, and 4 sisters who are here. The priests of our community are in the “Work of Jesus the High Priest,” and the rest of the brothers and sisters are in the Family of Mary/Pro Deo et Fratribus
Good luck and God bless always in your work!!

Gary Charles

Please pray for Br Gary and his community in Kazakhstan! Gary has subscribed to Sentire Cum Ecclesia through the Email Subscription service offered by Google Feedburner (see the side bar) – so he never misses a post on SCE! Someone down that end of the table please pass him the port bottle…

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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