On Saturday, April 13, 2024, the Conventual Franciscan friars in Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, dedicated the Parish Church of the Annunciation of the Lord in the nearby town of Ozërsk.

In 1993, Conventual Franciscans from the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk) came to Chernyachovsk at the invitation of the Most Reverend Tadeusz KONDRUSIEWICZ, Archbishop Emeritus of Minsk-Mohilev, Russia. They began to perform regular pastoral ministry in the town. In July of 1995, they also began to celebrate Mass and provide catechesis in Ozërsk, 30 km [18 mi.] away. At first, they celebrated Masses in the homes of parishioners and, starting in 2000, at the community center of the local Polish enclave. This state of affairs lasted for twenty-two years, until the parishioners returned to the actual church in Ozërsk to worship in 2022. The church was given a major renovation, since for years it had been used as a bar.
The Most Reverend Nikolay DUBININ, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia, presided over the dedication ceremony for the renovated church. Also present to share the joy of the parishioners was the Custos of the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi, Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ, as well as many priests, religious and faithful. At the beginning of the celebration, the Pastor, Friar Stanisław WÓJTOWICZ, stood at the entrance of the church and recalled the long process of reclaiming this historic church building, which originally belonged to the Catholic community and now was renovated for divine service.
During the Mass, Bishop DUBININ performed what is called the “Minor Rite of Consecration.” He read a special prayer, sprinkled holy water on the church walls and the assembled faithful, and solemnly placed the lectionary for proclaiming the Word of God upon the altar. Then, he incensed the altar, the rest of the church and the faithful. After the bishop’s homily, the pastor lit the candles on the altar. The church was filled with light, the scent of incense and the joyful voices of the faithful in prayer. At the end of the liturgy, the Holy Eucharist was solemnly placed in the tabernacle.

Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ, General Custos