Celebration of the 40th anniversary of the missionary presence of the Province of Warsaw – Poland in the Redemptorist Mission in Bolivia.
(Tupiza, Bolivia) It was a great joy for the whole Province to share with the first Polish priests Fr. Stanislaus Odroniec (absent), Fr. Adalberto Kotlinski and Fr. Esteban Karpeta who came to Bolivia from 6 February 1979.
On this occasion, it was a well-deserved recognition by the Autonomous Municipal Government of Tupiza in the category of “Gratos (honouring) guests” all the Polish Redemptorist priests who now belong to the Province of Bolivia.
The Thanksgiving Eucharist for 40 years of missionary presence was presided over by Mgr. Estanislao Dowlaszewicz, O.F.M. The homily of Fr. Esteban Karpeta and Fr. Adalberto Kotlinski, who joyfully recalled their arrival and their first experiences of pastoral care in the Bolivian land, in particular, underlined the great acceptance and the experiences of faith received from the people. A commemorative plaque that the pastoral council of the parish gave to the first Polish priests was also blessed.
For this reason the provincial superior, Fr. Boris Calzadilla, stressed that “it is a privileged time to give thanks to God, for the fruits collected, the Christian communities, the parishes, the chapels, the youth groups, the movements, the catechesis, social work, education and health: all for love and service to the neediest… and more than a celebration is to reaffirm our life and mission as Redemptorists.”
Juan Carlos Urzagaste, C.Ss.R.
In Bolivia with the establishment of the Casa de Tupiza, the Redemptorists have been working since 1910 in southern Bolivia. The date of the celebration is because on May 22, 1997, these three entities: Vice Province of La Paz (France); The Reyes Region (Switzerland and Colombia) and the Tupiza Region (Poland), together with the Bolivian confreres present in the 3 entities, have decided to unite to create the Province of Bolivia.