Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Sep 10, 2012 / 23:00 pm
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima was consecrated in the city of Karaganda in Kazakhstan on Sunday, marking the rise of Christianity in a region that once hosted camps for victims of Soviet persecution.
Bishop Janusz Kaleta of Karaganda voiced "great joy for a real cathedral." He told Fides news agency that the large church will be "a place of prayer and a visible sign to attract new faithful to the Christian faith."
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, served as Pope Benedict XVI's legate to the ceremony. He concelebrated the dedication Mass of the gothic-style church with Bishop Kaleta and others. Over 1,500 attended the event, including Catholic faithful, Orthodox Christian leaders, Muslim leaders, and local civil authorities.
Fr. Piotr Pytlowany, rector of the Diocese of Karaganda's seminary, said the achievement is "the fruits of the martyrs and the suffering that Christians lived in the past in these lands."