By Fr. Andrzej Juchniewicz OMI
We, the small community of Oblates in Belarus, have taken the initiative to launch a new website for ourselves for the first time in our short history. The new website has the domain name www.oblate.by. Although it is in the Belarusian language, in this era of the internet where online translations are ever so easily available, the website will certainly function as a great source of information about Oblate life in Belarus for everyone.
According to Wikipedia, about 17% of the total population of Belarus is Catholic. Most of these belong to the Latin Rite. The Missionary Oblates of Immaculate Mary have been ministering in Belarus since 1938. Before the Second World War, they had two mission stations, in the Archdiocese of Vilnius and the diocese of Pinsk. After the war there was only one Oblate – Fr Wojciech NOWACZYK – who worked, among other places, in Waszkiewiczach and Nowogródek. After the collapse of the USSR, the Oblates returned to Belarus in 1992.
Right now there are 4 Oblates ministering in the country. Two are missionaries from Poland, and the other two are locals. There is also a novice and another priest who belong to the mission, in Poland at present. Our services in Belarus are generally extended to people from different cultures and nations.
We expect that the new website will be a good support, especially to those young Oblates who desire to be missionaries, and will facilitate their contact with the Oblates in Belarus. We also extend a special thanks to the diocesan seminarian Eugene Shymanovich for his generous cooperation in the realization of this Oblate venture.
We invite you all to have a look at our website and wish you a pleasant viewing!