The building of the curia for His Excellency Archbishop Kondrusiewicz is a crucial task for us. A bishop rules his flock from a curia, essentially the offices and operation center of a diocese. From here a bishop communicates with the faithful, deals with temporal national, local, and city governments, translates Church documents, administers to the needy, etc. The curia is vital to the life of a diocese. Without the workspace, staff, and basic equipment of a curia a bishop is severely handicapped in his apostolic mission.
Currently His Excellency works from an apartment that he shares with his vicar and priests, yet the administration still works where they eat, sleep, and pray (the apartment has a tiny chapel). Things cannot continue like this. Without a curia in European Russia, the Church cannot move forward as quickly and as efficiently as it must. In fact, without that curia, the Church will have a difficult time holding the advances she has made since the collapse of communism.
That we are now able to work on the curia for Archbishop Kondrusiewicz is a sign of growth and strength in the Catholic Church in Russia, a sign that the Gospel is penetrating, thanks be to God. Seventy-five men train in the seminary in St. Petersburg. Moscow has its Catholic cathedral again. Irkutsk does as well. Centers of education are sprouting up. Social relief is being provided in a rudimentary way in the apostolic administrations. The major pieces of any coherent re-evangelization effort are falling into place. Now the Church, through her centers of operation, must begin to coordinate all her activities for the greatest benefit to the faithful.
The new curia building will be a shining example of the faith of the people in Russia and a beacon of hope. It will house:
… offices for Northern European Russia
... offices for the Russian bishops conference, including meeting rooms
… two chapels
… adequate living quarters for the Archbishop, staff and guests
… social services office (Caritas)
… conference facilities
… offices for the weekly all-Russia Catholic newspaper
Much progress has been made since the groundbreaking in May, recorded here in these pictures. However, we still need 1.5 to 1.8 million USD to complete the project.
We cannot emphasize enough how much we need to provide functioning workspace for the archbishop. The communists nearly succeeded in wiping out religion in Russia. No other ideology or enemy of Christ in history ever got as far as they did, and they succeeded because Lenin demanded, and got from his followers, a tightly disciplined organization dedicated to the communist revolution. It is our firm belief that we must give our Russian Catholic bishops to rebuild Russia what the communists gave Lenin to tear it down.