The feast of Presentation of the Lord is also the day dedicated to consecrated life and people who elected to follow this road of life. Just like every year, the majority of consecrated persons from our diocese of Karaganda – together with our shepherd, Bishop Janusz Kaleta – met for communal celebration at the convent of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns located in the parish of Mary Mother of the Church. There are many female religious congregations serving in the diocese of Karaganda: the Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Sisters Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist, Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King (School Sisters), Missionary Sisters of Divine Mercy (of Mother Theresa); School Sisters of Notre Dame, Pro Deo et Fratribus (the Family of Mary), and Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (Greek-Catholic). Also, in attendance were members of two male communities: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Naturally, there are other numerous religious communities in Kazakhstan. For the first time, we’ve invited diocesan priests to come celebrate with us our dedication to God in priestly vocation.
The meeting opened with a midday breviary prayer, followed by a talk delivered by Fr. Aleksander Posacki, SJ, a recognized expert in the field of demonology and exorcisms. He spoke about the battle that must be continuously fought against evil spirit and help that we can give to people whom we meet in our daily life. Father Aleksander also described the most important Kazakhstan problems we may face that result from the influence of the evil spirit.
Holy Eucharist concelebrated by the Ordinary of our Diocese and attending priests culminated our festivity. The faithful from our parish participated. After the homily delivered by Fr. Posacki, all consecrated persons renewed their religious vows, each community using their own religious formula. To close, because it was the first Saturday of the month, we prayed before the Most Holy Sacrament with words from the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and then, in the spirit of thanksgiving, we sang the hymn Te Deum.
Our communal celebration was concluded with an agape. Carmelite Sisters prepared a delicious lunch for all. Since such an assembly provides the opportunity to gather all the priests and sisters from our diocese, the Bishop related certain important current matters. There was also time to get to know the newcomers – sisters who only recently came to serve in our diocese. This final part, filled with joy, talks, and sharing, closed with a Rosary prayer and a blessing imparted by our shepherd. And of course, just like every year, gifts from our hosts – the Carmelite Sisters – weren’t in short supply.
Grzegorz Burdyński MIC