Old Catholic Church in Ashgabad

“The ecumenical dimension of our Catholic presence is a constant that accompanies us every day. For example, throughout the year we live the experience of interfaith hospitality: in our chapel in Ashgabat, the Protestant evangelical community called the Word of Life gathers almost every Sunday”, Fr. Andrzej MADEJ, Polish priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Superior of the Missio sui iuris of Turkmenistan told Agenzia Fides at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians.

“This is a mutual exchange. Sometimes we Catholic missionaries are called to be preachers during the weekly prayer meetings of the Protestant community. In the same way, a few days ago during the Eucharistic celebration, a boy of evangelical faith gave witness to how Jesus Christ freed his life from drugs and alcoholism”, continues Fr. Madej in the interview with Fides.

Furthermore, the Oblate explains how this spirit of communion is also at the basis of evangelization: “Sometimes I go together with the Protestant Pastor into the various regions of Turkmenistan: we pray and preach together in the homes of the families that welcome us”.

“Good relations also exist between Catholics and the Orthodox Church: I occasionally participate in their moments of prayer and almost always at Easter or Christmas, with the awareness that we are all part of God’s people”, says Fr. Andrzej, expressing the hope of a future of full communion. “We pray so that sooner or later we will be able to celebrate together the Eucharist, as Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras wished in the 1960s. Their dream is our dream”, concludes the priest.  (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 26/1/2018)