“In the extraordinary Month that the Church wanted to dedicate to missions, we decided to meet every day to recite the prayer of the Rosary. For this reason, we meet with the faithful in the parish of Tashkent every day: in our intentions, there are missions from all over the world and in particular ours. The missionary month represents for us a new starting point, which we entrust to the hands of God”. Thus the Apostolic Administrator of Uzbekistan, Franciscan Fr. Jerzy Maculewicz, told Fides News Agency that the initiative organized by the community of the baptized in Uzbekistan on the occasion of October 2019, announced by Pope Francis as an extraordinary Month dedicated to the mission.
After the summer break, which saw the priests present in Uzbekistan alternate to go to their countries of origin, the activities of the local community started again in October, with the feast of St. Francis: “Here in Uzbekistan, among the priests, we are largely Franciscans (with the presence of a diocesan priest and a religious of the Institute of the Incarnate Word), therefore October 4 represents a very important day for us. This year we celebrated by gathering with the faithful and experienced a moment of prayer followed by a small party. The date also gave us the opportunity to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of my perpetual vows”, said Fr. Maculewicz.
The preparation of the sacraments will also begin in October. In this regard, says the Apostolic Administrator: “From this month the catechumenate has started, to prepare adults to receive baptism. It is a beginning in full harmony with the theme of the Missionary Month: “Baptized and sent”. At the moment there are about 10 people, but we are sure that more will come later. Furthermore, we have started catechism for children and young people, in preparation for their First Communion. We do all we can to serve all the people who come to our parishes”.
The Catholic presence in Uzbekistan is made up of about 3,000 baptized, distributed in the five local parishes: to the approximately 700 faithful active in Tashkent, there are others present in Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench and Fergana.