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8/8/2001
Significant Dates in the Post-Communist Resurrection of the Catholic Church in Russia
1991
The Holy See installs two bishops during the euphoria following the dissolution of the Soviet Union: for European Russia, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, whose see is in Moscow and for Asiatic Russia, Bishop Joseph Werth, S. J., whose see is in Novosibirsk.

1993
The seminary re-opens in Moscow.

1995
The seminary is transferred to its traditional site in St. Petersburg after most of the original structure is returned to the Church by the state. A bank, for example, still occupies a portion of the first floor of the Cathedral of the Assumption that adjoins the Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Seminary.

1998
The Holy Father names Rev. Jerzy Mazur, S. V. D., bishop and appoints him as auxiliary to Bishop Werth for the Russian far east and far north. Bishop Mazur resides in Irkutsk. The Holy Father also names Rev. Clemens Pickel bishop and appoints him auxiliary to Archbishop Kondrusiewicz for southern European Russia. Bishop Pickel resides in Saratov. Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, a resident of Arlington Diocese is ordained for the Apostolic Administration of European Russia in St. Petersburg by Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz. Bishop Werth consecrates his new Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Novosibirsk.

1999
The Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Russian Federation is formed with Archbishop Kondrusiewicz at its head. The Apostolic Administration of Asiatic Russia is divided into the Apostolic Administration of Western Siberia under Bishop Werth (with his see in Novosibirsk) and the Apostolic Administration of Eastern Siberia under Bishop Jerzy Mazur (with his see in Irkutsk). Archbishop Kondrusiewicz ordains the first three native Russia priests since the 1917 Revolution. Bishop Pickel is appointed Apostolic Administrator of Southern European Russia (with his see in Saratov). On the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, re-consecrates the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow, which during Soviet times had been a warehouse and office space.

2000
Numerous Jubilee Year events across Russia. On 8 September, Jan Cardinal Shotte consecrates Bishop Mazurís new Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Irkutsk, which the next day also hosts the first Mariological conference held in Siberia, land of the Gulags. Archbishop Georg Zur, Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation, consecrates Bishop Pickelís new Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, located in Saratov.

2001
Celebrations in honor of the tenth anniversary of the re-establishment of the Catholic Church in Russia, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Moscow, 25-27 May 2001. Pope John Paul II sends Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Secretary for Relations with the States, as his representative.
Christopher C. Briggs
© Aid to the Church in Russia