Tashkent (Agenzia Fides) – “Every year during the week before Christmas, we, the community of Catholic priests and religious in Uzbekistan, gather for two days of spiritual renewal and to exchange Christmas season greetings, since we cannot all be together on December 25th . This year our two day celebration falls on 17 and 18 December. It will also be the occasion to organize celebrations for Christmas share our activities to prepare a festivity dear to the faithful”. The apostolic Administrator, Franciscan Friar Jerzy Maculewicz, told Fides about Advent of preparations in the minute community of 3,000 Catholics in Uzbekistan.
The scarcity of priests last Summer when one of the religious had to return to Poland for surgery , has been overcome. “We are a small flock. We live the season of Advent with great intensity. We are all well and able to make progress. Our hope is strong”, said the Franciscan recalling his brief pastoral visits to each of the local communities. The most recent he made were to Urgench, about 1000 km from Tashkent, for the celebration of the parish feast of Mary Mother of Mercy and the parish of Buhara, to celebrate the patron, saint Andrew.
The 3000 Catholics in Uzbekistan, spread out in the five main cities are a small minority in a population 80% Muslim, 8% belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, and there are other small minorities. (LF) (Agenzia Fides 14/12/2018)