Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A new Russian Catholic priest.

Making the rounds of the blogosphere today, here is news of the ordination last month in Novosibirsk of a Russian Greek Catholic priest, Father Pavel Gladkov, translated by me from the original French report found on the Fides et Ratio weblog:
Today [on Tuesday, November 8th], Father Pavel Gladkov was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Novosibirsk for the service of the Apostolic Exarchate of Eastern Catholics in Russia. Father Gladkov was ordained by Bishop Milan Šašik, Greek Catholic Eparch of Mukachevo (Ukraine), acting at the request of Bishop Joseph Werth, Latin Bishop of Novosibirsk and Apostolic Visitor to the Exarchate.

Father Gladkov was born in 1982 in Kaluga and grew up in an Orthodox family, becoming Catholic in 1999. Between 2003 and 2011, he studied for the priesthood in the Eastern Rite at the Holy Spirit Theological Academy in Lviv (Ukraine), at seminaries in Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, and at the Blessed Theodore Romzha Theological Academy in Uzhgorod (Ukraine). He was married to Miss Gayane Valerovna Manvelyan on August 13th of this year and was ordained a deacon on October 14th. Thus, we congratulate him on his marriage and his ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood, all within four months!
The Fides et Ratio post sadly offers no further details on Father Pavel's personal story; it would be very interesting to know about what led him to become Catholic and then to pursue a vocation to the priesthood. As Fides et Ratio notes, Father Pavel will be serving 'a minority of a minority of a minority': Catholics of any kind are a minority in Russia, Greek Catholics are fewer still, and Russian Greek Catholics are even fewer (most Greek Catholics in the country are Ukrainians who found themselves dispersed throughout the former Soviet Union). For more on the history of Russian Catholics both inside and outside Russia, click here.

The above video offers a closer look at Father Pavel's ordination to the priesthood; the narration is in Russian, but the visuals will be self-explanatory to anyone familiar with the rites of ordination. There are some Jesuits in this video: one is Bishop Werth himself, and among the concelebrating priests I recognized an American Jesuit who works in Russia and whom I know from his periodic visits to the United States; I suspect some of the other concelebrants are also Jesuits, as there a few working in Bishop Werth's diocese. Whatever your views may be on larger issues regarding relations between the Churches, I hope you'll spare a prayer for Father Pavel Gladkov and for the small and scattered flock that he has set out to serve as a priest. AMDG.


At 12/29/2011 2:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus said to Peter, you are rock, on this rock I will build my church and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it. This account in the holy book suggests unity of his disciples on earth. Notwithstanding our inherent differences, we are one community of Jesus Christ. A community with foundation in the church at which Jesus himself built, the seat of Peter with his successors in chain of time, the holy father in Rome now Pope Benedict 16, our earthly shepherd.


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