The Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi 

In 1993, the first friars came to Chernyakhovsk, Russia. Later that year, they also came to Moscow. The Russian Apostolic Administrator asked for a presence of friars to provide pastoral and formational leadership. The Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi was erected on May 13, 2001, during the General Chapter in Ariccia, Italy. The Custody answers directly to the Minister General.
Currently, the Jurisdiction has sixteen solemnly professed friars, plus one who is temporally affiliated to the Province of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the Czech Republic. It has five friaries and one filial house.

Moscow: St. Francis of Assisi Friary
This community in the capital was established in 1993. In 1996, the friary was erected.
Today it is the headquarters of the General Custody. The friars serve in the cathedral and run a Catholic publishing house known throughout Russia. They published the Missal and the Catholic Encyclopedia in Russian. There is also a “Franciscan Center” where various formation and prayer meetings are conducted.

Kaluga: Filial house (of the Moscow friary) and the St. George Parish
Since arriving in 1994, the friars have opened a friary and a parish in this developing city. They reach out to the poor, offering them food and clothing. The friars bear witness to the Gospel by means of human contact, providing information, charity, patience and spirituality.

St. Petersburg: St. Anthony of Padua Friary
In 1996, this friary was erected in St. Petersburg. An old abandoned factory had recently been bought in a good location in the city. Some young, recently professed friars had arrived, and thus the Conventual Franciscan seminary in Russia got underway. The friars’ first commitment is formation and schooling. The friars provide service to the poor and assist at six other churches in St. Petersburg. At present, the house also serves as a retreat center for various groups.

Chernyakhovsk: St. Maximilian M. Kolbe Friary and St. Bruno Parish
This community was established in 1993. In 1995, the friary was erected. The friars provide pastoral ministry to this small Christian community and lead various charitable activities. The community of faithful consists of one hundred and fifty Catholics, originating from Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland. A nice group of Catholic gypsies are present as well. Many people, including non-Catholics, seek the friars for advice and prayer. The friars also carry out pastoral ministry at the parish church in Oziorsk.

Astrakhan’: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Friary and Parish
This community was established in Astrakhan in 2001. In 2003, the friary was erected. The friars take care of the parish and do charity work for children, the poor and the disabled. They also teach catechism to foreign university students. Our church in Astrakhan was consecrated in 1778, and is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Russia.

Astana (Kazakhstan): Friary of Bl. Michał Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strzałkowski
This community was established in 2008. The friary was erected in 2019.

Franciscan Missionary Center
General Secretariat for Missionary Animation