Provincial Delegation in Uzbekistan
Mother Province: Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow)
Thirty-two years ago, Friar Krzysztof KUKUŁKA, a member of the Province of Cracow, arrived in Uzbekistan. At that time, there was only one diocesan priest working in Uzbekistan, covering two parishes in Fergana and Tashkent. The 1992 Chapter of the Province of Cracow decided to open a mission in Tashkent and restore the church there. Later, two friaries were erected, one in Tashkent and the other in Fergana. Several different friars took turns serving there. In 1997, the Holy See erected the mission in Uzbekistan as a Missio sui iuris and appointed Friar Krzysztof as its Superior. The Order later opened a filial house in Urgench and another in Bukhara. In 2005, just before his death, Pope St. John Paul II elevated the Missio sui iuris to an Apostolic Administration. Friar Jerzy MACULEWICZ was appointed its Apostolic Administrator and was ordained Bishop of the Catholic Church in Uzbekistan. In 2011, the parish in Urgench was put under the care of the Apostolic Administration due to personnel problems. In 2019, the friars transferred care of the parish in Samarkand to the Institute of the Incarnate Word. In 2020, the friary in Samarkand was suppressed and the friary in Bukhara was erected. The government of Uzbekistan recently returned the church in Fergana, built in 1905, to the local Catholic community and friars.
Mass is celebrated in Russian In Uzbekistan. However, in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and the center of the Catholic Church in the country, Mass is celebrated in Russian, English, Korean and Polish. The number of faithful in each parish is relatively constant; it does not increase due to the fact that many people emigrate from Uzbekistan. The Missionaries of Charity of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta also work in the territory of the Delegation. They have their provincial house in Tashkent, which was created by the foundress herself. In 2020, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul also opened a house in Tashkent.
Currently, the Delegation in Uzbekistan has eight solemnly professed friars, two simply professed friars and three friaries.
Tashkent: Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary and Parish
Tashkent has more than three million inhabitants. In 1911, exiles from Poland began building a large church in there, but their work was interrupted by the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. The church was finally completed under the direction of Friar Krzysztof KUKUŁKA and was solemnly consecrated on October 22, 2000, with representatives from the government and different religions attending the ceremony. Tashkent is also the seat of the Delegation. The friars provide pastoral care to four hundred faithful there. In addition to the regular parishioners, the staffs of various embassies also attend the Masses. Sometimes the friars are invited to give lectures about the Catholic Church to groups from the Institute of Islamic Theology.
Fergana: Blessed Virgin Mary Friary
Fergana is a city on the border with Tajikistan. The parish in Fergana has existed since 1987. In 2000, the friary in Fergana was erected. In 2021, the government returned the old Catholic church located in downtown Fergana to the friars. The church was constructed in 1905. Today, the parish community has sixty Catholics.
Bukhara: Blessed Zbigniew Strzałkowski and Michał Tomaszek Friary and St. Andrew Apostle Parish
Marco Polo defined Bukhara as “a most noble and great city.” Known for its production of magnificent carpets, Bukhara remains a center of Islamic culture and splendid monuments. Two friars live there: a priest and a religious. There are around forty people in the parish community.
Franciscan Missionary Center
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