Last week, a CRS/Caritas team responding to an emergency in southern Kyrgyzstan met with Bishop Niklaus Messmer, S.J., the Apostolic Administrator of Kyrgyzstan. The bishop graciously writes this letter to CRS/Caritas supporters overseas:
Peace of Christ!
In Kyrgyzstan there is a small Catholic community – four parishes for the whole country. Six priests, two religious brothers and four sisters are helping me in the spiritual care of the Catholic faithful.
As you have probably heard, recently something terrible has happened in our county: because of ethnic clashes several hundred people were killed and thousands of them lost their homes. Two of our parishes are in the two cities (Osh and Jalalabad) where these clashes happened, and the parish priest, Fr. Krzysztof, tries to help there as much as he can.
Now many humanitarian agencies have also come to help. Among the first were the representatives of Catholic relief organizations (CRS, Caritas, etc.), who came to see what the needs are. I am very proud about this Christian solidarity, and of course I am extremely grateful for all the support. May Almighty God reward you for all your help.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Niklaus Messmer, S.J.
Apostolic Administrator of Kyrgyzstan