Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 03 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Katharine Drexel
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Kazakhstan church becomes first minor basilica in Central Asia

Minor Basilica of St. Joseph in Karaganda, Kazakhstan

Kaiyr | CC BY-SA 3.0

J-P Mauro - published on 09/13/20

St. Joseph's Basilica helped form the largest community of Catholics in the region.

The Vatican has elevated St. Joseph Church in Kazakhstan to the status of a minor basilica. The honor marks the installation of the first minor basilica in Central Asia, a region that includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan.

Catholic News Agency reports that St. Joseph’s Basilica was constructed in the 1970s while Kazakhstan was a territory of the Soviet Union, at the request of Catholics in exile. The church was approved in 1977 and dedicated in 1980, at which point it became a focal point for the country’s Catholic community. The parish church became the cathedral of the Diocese of Karaganda in 1999.

Fr. Vladimir Dzurenda, the current rector of the Minor Basilica of St. Joseph, spoke with CNA about the significance of St. Joseph’s to the people of Kazakhstan. He said:

“The parish of St. Joseph was one of the few churches that was allowed to be built in the 70s in Kazakhstan when it was part of the Soviet Union.” Dzurenda continued, “During communism, people came here, traveled many kilometers to receive the sacraments and spiritual support. In the 80s, the largest community of Catholics in Central Asia was formed here.

According to Aleteia’s own Philip Kosloski, a church can only be named a minor basilica if it demonstrates great beauty and historical significance to the Catholic community which it serves. Philip writes:

Being named a basilica by the pope brings certain “privileges” to the church, such as “conferring a certain precedence before other churches (not, however, before the cathedral of any locality) … the right of the conopaeum [and] the bell. The conopaeum is a sort of umbrella (also called papiliosinicchio, etc.), which together with the bell” was used in processions for official occasions.

Read more about the history of St. Joseph’s Basilica at CNA.

Tags:
CatholicChurch
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
2
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
Gelsomino Del Guercio
7 Sanctuaries linked by a straight line: The legendary Sword of S...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.