Polish Karmel on the Asian steppe
Our beloved Friends!
From the Kazakhstan steppe, full of silence, covered with the first snow, subjected to God, we connect with you, remaining in the communion of hearts. How deep was faith in God and the care of Mary over those who had come here before we did. The faith let them survive the nightmares of exile, sufferings which they underwent, when the totalitarian regime took them by force from their Homeland and deported them here, to Kazakhstan, called yellow Siberia, to unimaginably inhuman conditions and deep sadness. We believe that Jesus chose this place in a special way. Here He became the Source of lively water for people who have never cursed their life since the first moment, and for those who tortured them, and sent them into exile many thousands kilometres from their houses. Without freedom, priests or churches, they prayed with the Rosary... They did not know whether there would be freedom here one day. It was here like in the camp. And five years after the arrival of the exiles, the lake got filled with a large number of fish. The figure of Our Lady standing here with fish, which was sacrificed by Blessed John Paul II, reminds us of this event. During famine, war - such a big number of fish! People understood it as a sign of God's care. The village Oziornoje has received many graces since 1936 till today. The community Oziornoje, as the first one, built a church, after gaining the permission from Moscow. At present there are permanently priests, nuns, Benedictine Fathers, Discalced Carmelite Nuns. On 12 August 2010, the apostolic Nuncio archbishop Miguel Buendia sacrificed a coal stone under the building of our monastery, coming from the first Carmelite monastery in Israel. Archbishop Tomasz Peta and Bishop Wiesław Mering built in the coal stone. The celebration was attended by the managers of a building company from Oziornoje - Mr Ruslan Cizdajew and his son - Timur, as well as workers and inhabitants of the village, and also those who experienced the deportation. All of them have opened their hearts since the beginning of our stay in Kazakhstan, leading us with love into the reality of the local life. They were serving helpfully, supporting us and advising us about coping with the fierce climate...They were praying with us.
- It would be unimaginable, incomprehensible several years ago...God creates the history of this place by himself - admits Bishop Mering. And archbishop Peta answers: - This place -Karmel - will be a monument of prayer, memoir of the deported, who saved the faith through the Rosary. On the complete desolation, along the monastery wall we have planted 100 trees: Siberian apple trees, pear trees and cherry trees; birch trees, elms and pine trees, four oak-trees, rowans and elder wine... 'And it will be for the glory of God' (Is 55,13). The new monastery is growing and also our community is growing. During the celebration of our St Mother - Teresa of Jesus, Joasia from Wroclaw joined us. In reply to the invitation of Bishop Janusz Kaleta from Karaganda, in the second half of August Discalced Carmelite Fathers from the Province of Warsaw arrived in Kazakhstan: Father Tadeusz of Our Lady, Father Marcin of Jesus. The Fathers arrived to find out about a possibility of undertaking mission in Kazakhstan. An important event in the life of the local Church was the first in history Marian Congress which was held on the turn of June and July in Pietropawłowsko and Oziornoje. There was a Youth Meeting in our village, conducted by the Higher Spiritual; Seminary in Karaganda this year (11-15 August in Oziornoje). The congress of the life defence in September in Astan was attended by the representatives of the nations from Asia and Oceania. In September there were retreats of priests and nuns in Astan. On 14 October this year at Hour of Mercy, the inhabitants of Oziornoje with Archbishop Tomasz Peta, Bishop Wieslaw Mering and pilgrims walked along the Road of Cross. Its stations a scattered in a ravine surrounding the hill called Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. Next day, on 15 October, when Karmel was celebrating our St Mother - Teresa of Jesus in the whole world, whole Oziornoje and pilgrims (nuns from Vietnam were among them), participated in the Eucharist in our monastery. On 31 October this year (vocation from Russia) there were religious vows of s. Irina in the community of Redemptorist Nuns in Pietropawłowsko. We have experienced much help and friendliness, applying for a card of permanent residence in Kazakhstan. The expectance time brought many different events, strengthening our belief and trustfulness in God. Now we all have this card. Father Taduesz of God's Mother OCD wrote in our Chronicle: 'It is a real miracle that Sisters are here today, and it is a real miracle that the building of the monastery started...'
Our dear friends! Your contribution is great in this miracle. Karmel on the steppes in the Central Asia also grows from your hearts, gifts, your love to God and your neighbour. Today the walls of the monastery, warmed and covered with the facing, are covered with a roof. Despite of the first frosts and snow, a Catholic and Muslim team does not stop working. We expect another Christmas, another New Year. Let's experience this time in a deeper relationship with Mary - 'The Blessed one who believed'.
Connected in the adoration of God's Baby and subjected to Him - Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Oziornoje:
S. Joanna M. of Jesus the Risen
Eva S. Mary of the Eucharist
S. Elizabeth of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Caramel
S. Dominic Mary, Mother of Unity
S. M. Daniel of Crucified Love
S. Joanna Agnieszka Pietrasiewicz
Donations for Caramel in Kazakhstan can be paid into the account:
Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Caramel
Monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns
st. St. Hedwig 83, 42-200 Częstochowa
No: 48 1240 1213 1111 0000 2379 7460 (payments in zloty)
No: 37 1240 1213 1978 0000 2379 7473 (deposits in euro)
SWIFT: PKOPPLPW (for remittances from abroad)
Bank PKO SA, St. Kopernik 17/19, 42-200 Częstochowa