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Good Shepherd Catholic Cathedral & Pastoral Center in Bishkek - the Kyrgyz Republic render image camera 4 with filter

*Tax-deductible donations can be made via American Jesuits International, the international solidarity organization of

the Jesuits in the United States.

Donate to the:

Good Shepherd Catholic Cathedral & Pastoral Center 

Total Area

2800 sq. m.

Cathedral with 250 people hall

300 sq.m.

Parking

6 Classrooms for different activities

Youth Club space

Parish and Caritas offices

Apostolic Administration office

7 rooms for priests and a few guest rooms

A Pastoral Center where we will move our existing "Faith & Reason" educational center

Location

Bishkek, Umetaliev St. 107,

The Kyrgyz Republic

Help us shine the light of Jesus Christ in Kyrgyzstan

Approximately 600 Catholics currently live in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is exceptional in the region due to its earnest embrace of Democracy and its principles. In 1969 in the capital city of Bishkek, a handful of parishioners converted a private house on the outskirts of town into the city’s only Catholic church building. Local and visiting Catholics still gather today in this small church, but the location is difficult for newcomers to find and quite far for those living more centrally. With the recent generosity of international Catholic communities, the Jesuits in Kyrgyzstan purchased in 2022 a parcel of land (approximately 3000 square meters) in downtown Bishkek to construct the first Catholic cathedral in Bishkek and in all of Kyrgyzstan. In April of 2023, a few friends of the parish (living in Bishkek and in the U.S.) joined with Father Anthony Corcoran, SJ, the Apostolic Administrator there, to kick off a new capital campaign to raise the outstanding funding for the new construction.

The primary goal of this project is to expand the evangelization process through a larger space where we can serve more people and provide a more definitive outline of Catholicism in Kyrgyzstan and the larger territory of Central Asia. In addition, the new church and pastoral center will make much more accessible to the approximately one million people living in Bishkek the unique and remarkable spiritual, pastoral, academic, cultural, and humanitarian resources that the Catholic community has to offer.  It will enhance the sense of solidity of the Church's presence in a changing social and religious atmosphere.

The cost of the construction project is approximately $900 dollars per 1 square meter or a total of $2,520,000 dollars. We have already raised the equivalent of $1,220,000 dollars but still need approximately $1.3 million. Having obtained most of the necessary permissions to begin construction, we plan to start construction this year – 2023.

First Catholic Parish Established in Kyrgyzstan in the 1950s

The first Catholic parish in Kyrgyzstan was established in the 1950s by a Jesuit of Lithuanian descent, Fr. Anthony Shishkyavichus, who was imprisoned for his faith by the Soviet regime. Shortly after his exile, the prelate, Fr. Michael Kohler, arrived in Bishkek (then Frunze) and clandestinely took care of the parish (mostly exiles of German descent from Russia), walking the thin line with the Soviet authorities. He had little resources but pastored the small flock with great faith. Jesuit Fr. Nikolaus Messmer followed and was serving in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and when the country gained its independence, thereby becoming the Kyrgyz Republic or Kyrgyzstan. In 1997, Pope John Paul II officially entrusted care for Catholics in Kyrgyzstan to the Society of Jesus.

In 2006, Bishop Nikolaus Messmer, SJ, was appointed as the first Catholic Apostolic Administrator in Kyrgyzstan by Pope Benedict XVI.

After Bishop Nikolaus passed away in 2016, Pope Francis appointed in 2017 a native Texan, Fr. Anthony Corcoran, SJ, as the new Catholic Apostolic Administrator in Kyrgyzstan, who, by that time, had already served more than 20 years in the Russian Federation and held the title of Major Superior of the Independent Russian Region of Society of Jesus.

Thank you for considering a donation to the Catholic Apostolic Administration in Kyrgyzstan.

Yurts (nomadic houses) in jailoo in Kyrgyzstan

Your donation contributes to the invigoration of the Catholic faith in Central Asia.

*Tax-deductible donations can be made via Magis Americas,

the official international solidarity office of the Jesuits

in the United States.

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