The first Oblates of the Redemptorist Congregation in Kazakhstan

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On Sunday, 5 May 2024, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Petropavlovsk, North Kazakhstan, a beautiful ceremony was held to present the diplomas of Oblates to Mr. Anatoly Zhelezetsky and Mr. Alexander Tikhonov.

Fr Dariusz Paszyński CSsR, Superior of the Warsaw Province, presided over the Eucharist in the parish church. As he presented to the new Oblates, he expressed gratitude for their long collaboration with the Redemptorists, who began missionary work in Petropavlovsk in the early 1990s.

The title of Oblate of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer was conferred by the Superior General, Fr. Rogerio Gomes CSsR, at the request of the Redemptorist community in Petropavlovsk. It expresses the spiritual connection with the Congregation and participation in its missionary work through prayer and assistance to the apostolate.

Here is a brief presentation of the new oblates

Anatoly Yosifovich Zhelezetsky, born in 1949 in Petropavlovsk, has lived for almost 50 years in marriage to Natalia Nikolaevna Sadovoi, with whom he has two children. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, he worked for many years in a radio technology factory. As an adult, he experienced the moment of his conversion. After the arrival of the first Redemptorist Fr. Zbigniew Kotlinski in Petropavlovsk in 1993, Anatoly began to practise regularly, attend Mass and participate in the building committee for the parish church. He also contributed to the reconstruction of the old Heart of Jesus church in the park and the adaptation of a building for the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. With his wife, he has been a member of the Rosary group for many years, is a member of the Legion of Mary and wears the Carmelite scapular. To the extent that he has time and strength to devote, Anatoly helps at the Redemptorist Sisters’ monastery and the Heart of Jesus Church in the park near his home.
During his long years of involvement in our parish and community affairs, he has made himself known as a trusted friend of the Redemptorists who is sincerely interested in matters of faith, apostolate, Church and our Congregation.

Alexander Ivanovich Tikhonov was born in Shumsk, Lithuania, in 1955. As a child, he came with his family to Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. He worked in several factories, mainly as a bricklayer and tinsmith. At 28, around 1983-84, he started attending Mass with his mother and other relatives in the village of Tajnsha, 150 km from Petropavlovsk. When Fr Zbigniew Kotlinski CSsR, one of the first missionaries to arrive in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union, arrived in the spring of 1993, the bishop directed him to Petropavlovsk. Alexander Tikhonov brought Fr Zbigniew to Petropavlovsk and lodged him in his flat for several months.
From the beginning, Alexander was involved in forming the Catholic parish in Petropavlovsk and constructing the new church. For 30 years, he has been actively involved in the parish’s life, helping the local Redemptorist community and the monasteries of the Redemptorist Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Alexander also carries out his apostolate by drawing his relatives to the Church and parish. Thanks to his efforts and witness, several of his relatives and their families have recently come closer to the Catholic Church.

We heartily congratulate the new oblates on their distinction, confirming their religious commitment and living bond with our Congregation.

Fr Sylwester Cabała CSsR

(source: www.redemptor.pl, text abbreviated and edited by Scala News)