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23 June 2008
Conferences of the Symposium on St Paul -Iskendeun
In the afternoon of the first day of the Symposium the conferences were held at the Commerce Rooms of Tarsus. Then on the 23rd they continued at Iskenderun.


22 June 2008
Opening of the Symposium on St Paul
Sunday June 22nd the opening session of the Symposium on St Paul “Paul of Tarsus –History, Archeology, Reception” held by His Excellency, Monsignor Luigi Padovese and by the President of the Antonianum University of Rome, Professor Paul Martinelli. At 11 o’clock there took place the solemn Concelebration presided by His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper and participated by all the Bishops, priests present, as well as the representatives of the various religious-confessions and very numerous local and foreign participants.


21 June 2008
Ceremony of the Opening of the Pauline Year
On the afternoon of June 21 was held at Tarsus at the Church dedicated to St. Paul the religious ceremony of the solemn opening of the Pauline Year. Present for this special occasion was the presence of the Pontifcal Delegate, His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Nuncio, His Excellency Monsignor Antonio Lucibello, all the Bishops of the Bishops’ Conference of Turkey and representatives of other religious confessions present in this land. Besides, there were numerous faithful come from all of Turkey as well as from other countries: groups from Italy and Germany. In the afternoon the civil opening of the Pauline Year took place near the well of St Paul with the participation of civil authorities of the city and of the regions. There followed two concerts, one from the choir of the Opera of Mersin and the Rainbow Choir of Antioch which choir presented songs of the various religions. It was very beautiful ceremony enjoyed by all present.


03 May 2008
Beginning of the Symposium “Unity and Plurality”
On the 3rd and 4th of May, at the “Don Andrea Santoro” Centre of Intercultural and İnterreligious Dialogue of Iskenderun was held Symposıum:“Unity and Plurality: the richness of Christianity” - comparison of christian rites and confessions.. The following participants who explainıng their origin and the prerogatives of their rites and confession were: the Syro-Orthodox Metropolite of Adyaman, Monsignor Melki Ürek, the Protestant Pastor of the Agapehouse of Samsun, His Excellency Mons. Antoine Audo, Bishop of the Chaldean Church of Aleppo, Father Drtak Uzunyan, reppresenting the Armean Apostolic Patriarch, Father Abdo Badwi representing the Maronite Church, and finally His Excellency Monsignor Luigi Padovese , Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia for the Latin Church. Also present was the President of the Association ‘Don Andrea Santoro’, Maddalena Santoro, sister of Don Andrea and a group of persons who had come from Italy to participate at this Symposium. It proved to be a very enriching experience for the relators as well as for the participants.


03 April 2008
First Communion
After being diligently prepared, three children of Iskenderun approached with great joy, desire and faith for the first time their Holy Communion.


23 March 2008
Celebration of Easter at Trebisonda
On March 23rd a small group of the parishioners celebrated Easter at Trebisonda with Don Giuliano Lonati, our new parish priest at Samsun who presided the liturgical celebrations and made Easter a special day.


16 March 2008
The beginning of Holy Week
On March 16, Palm Sunday at Iskenderun, we all entered into Holy Week in the presence of a torch-bearer carrying his torch for peace from Rome to Jerusalem. It really added a special dimensıon and meanıng to the whole ceremony.


24 February 2008
Family Day
On February 24 Family Day was held at Iskenderun. Families from Mersin, Adana, Iskenderun andAntioch participated in this event. After Holy Mass celebrated by our Bishop, Monsignor Luigi Padovese.a lunch for all the families was served. The children enjoyed themselves in the organized games while the adults relaxed as they watched the games and exchanged conversation with other families.


05 February 2008
Two years after the death of don Andrea
On February 5th, Monsignor Luigi Padovese with some priests and religious of the Vicariate of Anatolia went to Trabzon. Together with the sister of Don Andrea, Maddalena and the Bishop of Terni, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, study companion of Don Andrea Santoro, they all participated at the solemn celebration of Mass for the second anniversary of his death.


04 February 2008
New Parish Priest at Samsun
On February 4th Don Giuliano Lonati reached Samsun. He is the new parish priest for Samsun, a priest of FIDEI DONUM of the Diocese of Milan. To him we offer our best wishes of adjustment to his new life and good success in the study of the turkish language.


25 January 2008
Comemoration of the Conversion of St. Paul
There was held a Tarsus, his birthplace, an Ecumenical prayer presided by the Bishop of Padua, Monsignor Antonio Mattiazzo, by our Bishop, Monsignor Luigi Padovese, by the Maronite Bishop of Aleppo, Monsignor Joseph Amis Abi Aad, the Syrian Patriarch of Adiyaman, Monsignor Gregorios Melki Urek and the Evangelical Pastor of Adana, Sukru. Present at the service were many participants from Adana, Iskenderun and Mersin. There were also present a group of Friars Minor from Foggia, Italy doing an itinerant course of renewal.


14 December 2007
Pastoral Visit at Mersin
The Pastoral Visit of the Parish at Mersin was held by our Bishop, Monsignor Padovese on December 13 and 14., 2007.


08 December 2007
Baptisms at Adana
On December 8th, 2007 at our Church of Adana there was the celebration of Baptism for two of our parishioners: the Kingdom of God grows.


21 November 2007
A day of retreat for religious
A day of retreat was held at Antioch for the religious of the Vicariate on November 21st, 2007. On this occasion the Sisters of Maria Bambina celebrated, with all the religious present, the 175th anniversay of the foundation of their Institute.


02 October 2007
Father Francis Dond
4. Father Francis Dondu, ofm cap., Indian Capuchin lent to the Vicariate of Anatolia by the Province of Mangalore, started his ministry at our Church of Adana. We wish him every blessing.


18 September 2007
Meeeting of the Vicariate
Meeeting of the Vicariate at the beginning of the work year Photo taken at the conclusion of the meeting of the Vicariate for the programming of the pastoral year 2007 -2008 (Iskenderun September 17 and 18)


16 September 2007
National Meeting of young turks
The national meeting of young turkish boys and girls was held at Cappadocýa thýs year on the 14-16 of September. About 80 young people attended thýs encounter. Our Býshop gave a conference and then handed out a crucýfýx to each participant.


08 August 2007
Young form Mersin with the Holy Father
. In August a group of young people from Mersin participated in a work camp in Italy. They also took the time to visit several italian cities as well as to have an audience with the Holy Father in St Peter’s Square. The Holy Father recognized these young Turks and greeted them. A happy privilege.


30 June 2007
Symposium on St John Chrysostom
From June 23 to the 26h , 2007 there was held at Iskenderun a Symposium on St John Chrysostom, the XXIII of the annual symposiums, at which professors from various universities of Italy and Germany participated.


29 June 2007
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
On the occasion of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul we had the visit of Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne. He also visited the Church at Adana and the city of Tarsus.


25 June 2007
The mother of our Bishop rest in peace
The mother of our dear Bishop, Monsignor Luigi Padovese, Maria Piccolo Padovese, died suddenly on June 25, 2007. May she rest in peace.


10 June 2007
Feast of the young people
This year the feast of the young people was celebrated in a vocational key. 40 youong people of the Vicariate of Anatolia participated in the Holy Mass of the newly-ordained Capuchin Father, Mesut Kalayci. Later in the afternoon, after having been challenged in various games etc., they heard and listened attentively, to the witness of Father Mesut and posed questions inherent to vocation in general and of his in particular.


03 June 2007
Children’s feast
About 70 children from Mersin, Adana and Antioch got together with those of Iskenderun at the seat of the Vicariate of Anatolia. After the Mass presided by our Bishop, Monsignor Luigi Padovese, and the common meal, there were games and teams of activities for all. This was succeeded by a real catechetical contest ending up with the prize-awarding for the winners of the games and for those of the contest. The ice cream break was enjoyed by everyone and the children (some with their parents) left very happy with a good bye till the next feast!


07 April 2007
Solemn Easter Vigil
Solemn Easter Vigil with the baptism of a newly-born (January 6th). It was the first Baptism ever at the Easter Vigil and the participation of parents and relatives was quite numerous in spite of the fact that the Orthodox Church had the Easter Vigil ceremonies at the same time.


06 April 2007
Good Friday
For the first time the reading of the Passion of the Lord was accompanied by the projection of slides from Zeffirelli’s film “Jesus of Nazareth”. The attention was visible and many were touched.


05 April 2007
Washing of the feet
On Holy Thursday the very evocative ceremony of the washing of the feet of 12 children and adults of the parish was performed by our Bishop.


03 April 2007
Chrism Mass
Chrism Mass in the presence of all the priests of the Vicariate and of the Chaplain of the United States Army Base of Incirlik who joined the community with about 25 of his parishioners.


01 April 2007
Palm Sunday
Holy Week began with a procession led by the Bishop and many faithful come for this occasion. The procession was from the courtyard in front of the Church to the inside as is seen in the photo. The Passion was read in full by several lectors.


31 March 2007
The Bishop Monsingor Luigi Padovese Birthday
There was a solemn celebration of the Bishop’s 60th Birthday in the parish hall after Mass on Sunday.. Ad multos annos Monsignore!


25 March 2007
Feast of the Patron Saint of Iskenderun
The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Bishop was the main celebrant along with three Friars from the Lombardy Province who are the ones responsible for the Missions.


25 February 2007
The Pastor of the Cathedral of Iskenderun
Our Bishop appointed with an appropriate ceremony, Father Joseph Petrila, ofm Conv., as pastor of the Cathedral of Iskenderun.


05 February 2007
Commemorative day of the murder of Don Andrea
Commemorative day of the murder of Don Andrea Santoro at Trabzon. There was a celebration of Holy Mass at the Church of Santa Maria in Trabzon. His Eminence Cardinal Camillo Ruini came from Rome especially with the mother and sisters of Don Andrea for this occasion. Our Bishop, Mons. Luigi Padovese, the Nunzio, H.E. Antonio Lucibello from Ankara also participated at this Holy Mass. As well as the aforementioned, the Ambassador of Italy at Ankara, was also present. Besides, there was representation from the our Vicariate come from Iskenderun, Samsun as well as a group of friends of Don Andrea who came from Rome.


02 February 2007
Visit by the Armenian Patriarch Gregoriano
The Armenian Patriarch Gregoriano, His Beatitude, Mesrob II, visited us at Iskenderun and was received by our Bishop, Monsignor Luigi Padovese.


25 January 2007
Closing day of Christian Unity
Prayer service was held at Tarsus for the closing day of Christian Unity with faithful of various confessions coming from Mersin, Iskenderun and Antioch. Our Bishop, Mons. Luigi Padovese and the “Abuna” from Mersin presided. The protestant pastor from Adana was also present.


23 January 2007
Prayer service for the unity of Christians
A prayer service was held in our Cathedral at Iskenderun for the unity of Christians. There were present faithful of every rite: orthodox, armenians, maronites, syriacs and protestants with their respective pastors. A meaningful and beautiful experience.


17 December 2006
First communion
First communion of Canberk Gazali. In the afternoon the Choir of Mersin held a concert of Christmas songs.


16 December 2006
Meal for needy families
Traditional Christmas meal for needy families at Iskenderun and thereabouts for about 150 people.


28 November 2006
Vvisit by the Pope to Turkey
November 28: the 1st of December was the historic visit by the Pope to Turkey. A busload of pilgrims from Antioch, Iskenderun and Mersin got together to go to Ephesus to meet the Pope at the House of the Madonna. Choice of place really spectacular. Also a group coming from the north, namely Trabzon and Samsun, instead went to meet the Pope at Istanbul.


14 November 2006
Flood from heavy rains at Iskenderun
During this night there was a flood from heavy rains which this city had never seen the likes of before this.. The next day the local Caritas got into action and brought supplies (blankets ecc.) and food to the most needy and badly hit families.


04 October 2006
Visit to the Brothers of Saint Valentine
October 4-5: visit to the Brothers of Saint Valentine who live in Cappadocia. Also a meeting with a group of protestant brothers of Kayseri. On the return, knowing about an Iranian Christian refugee family living in Nidge, which had been transferred from Van, they wished to meet some Christians with whom they could pray, so the group stopped at Nidge to visit and pray with them.


13 September 2006
Pastoral visit to Trabzon and Samsun
Pastoral visit to Trabzon and Samsun where the Bishop welcomes the Matteoli family who had arrived several days earlier to substitute for Father Pierre Brunissen. There was a farewell feast celebrated on the 17th participated by the faithful of the parish and the local authorities of Samsun. Fr Brunissen returns to his Diocese of origin, Strasbourg, as he has reached retiring age.


05 September 2006
Meeting of the priests
September 5 – 6: meeting of the priests, religious of the Vicariate to work out the pastoral programme for the year. Our Bishop comments his pastoral letter.


15 August 2006
Feast of the Asuumption at Guzelyayla
Father Joseph Petrila with a group of young people go the night before on foot to our house in the mountain which is 18 miles from our Church at Iskenderun. Our Bishop, Monsignor Luigi Padovese presides at the liturgical celebration with a good participation of the local faithful and who had come especially for the Mass from Iskenderun.


10 August 2006
Visit of the Italian Ambassador
We had a visit by the Italian Ambassador who visited the church of Tarsus where the sisters and priest of Iskenderun went to meet him. Unfortunately the Bishop was not in Turkey at this time.


02 July 2006
School camp for the young people
July 2-6: school camp for the young people who will be the animators of the summer activities with the children of the parish, Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, our Cathedral.


29 June 2006
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
Celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul at Antioch. The distinguished participants were: the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, S.E. Paul Yazigi; the Maronite Bishop of Aleppo Monsignor Joseph Anis Abi Aad with several of his priests, the Apostolic Nunzio, Antonio Lucibello together with our own Bishop Monsignor Luigi Padovese and the priests and religious of the Vicariate. - The professors of the above-mentioned Symposium and the parish communities were also present.This annual Ecumenical Celebration was held in the morning at the Grotto of St Peter and then in the afternoon there was the solemn celebration of Holy Mass in the garden of our Catholic Mission at Antioch.


25 June 2006
The Xth Symposium about St Paul
June 25 – 28: The Xth Symposium – “St Paul – between Tarsus and Antioch – " The opening of the Symposium was at Tarsus and then the group transferred to Iskenderun where the conferences were held. About forty people participated.


14 June 2006
School camp for the children
June 14 – 23: school camp for the children who come for catechesis from ages 8 – 12. this was held at our summer home in the mountains, Guzelyayla.


11 June 2006
Day for the young people of the Vicariate
This was the day for the young people of the Vicariate. There were over one hundred boys and girls from Mersin, Adana, Antioch and Iskenderun. It is a wonderful experience of friendship and getting to know one another. The group from Iskenderun (more than 30 young people) offered a theatrical play about the searching, the doubts, the fatigues, the joy of believing in Jesus Christ of a young Christian living in Turkey. The drama of the theatre was written entirely by three young people who took part in the acting out of this particular play.


19 May 2006
With the men and women religious
From 19 to 21 May the men and women religious of the Union of Religious of Turkey came to the south of Turkey to visit and to know about us here in this area. They were from Istanbul and Izmir (about twenty in all) and they visited Antioch and Tarsus. They stayed at Iskenderun where there was sharing of their various apostolates and impressions of the sites visited.


14 May 2006
Feast for the families
Feast for the families of the Vicariate organized with the Focolarini of Istanbul. Many families were able to attend. In the afternoon the children who come here for catechesis offered a little theatre play and extended their best wishes to all the mothers and fathers present.


29 April 2006
Feast for the Children
Just as every year during the month of April there is the feast for children at Mersin. Children came also from Iskenderun, Adana and Antioch. They were accompanied by the respective priests of the parish and by the Sisters. They stopped at Tarsus for lunch. At Mersin, first there was the celebration of Mass and then there were games. Finally there was a theatrical representation on the life of Jesus. They all left very happy with the day and look forward to returning next year.


18 April 2006
Opening of the Church in Adana
After months of closure, the Church of St. Paul in Adana will finally be re-opened on Easter Sunday with a Holy Mass celebrated by Mons. Padovese.


13 April 2006
Visit to the Jewish Community in Antioch
On the occasion of the Jewish Passover, Fr. Domenico Bertogli and Mariagrazia Zambon visited the synagogue in Antioch and greeted the Jewish community of the city.


11 April 2006
The Chrismass
Again this year, on the occasion of the Chrism Mass, our priests and religious together with the local community gathered in Iskenderun for the blessing of the holy oils.


05 February 2006
The killing of Don Andrea at Trabzon
As a lightening bolt from a serene sky at about 16.45 on thıs Sunday afternoon, we got news of the murder of Don Andrea Santoro. This dramatic news sent in profound consternation the Bishop of Anatolia as well as all those who have known and appreciated Don Andrea.


01 October 2005
Sacerdotal Ordination of Yunus Demirci
Monsignor Luigi Padovese ordained Fr Yunus Demirci on this day. Fr Yunus was born on October 4th, 1977 at Iskenderun and is the youngest of five children. .After completing his studies in Turkey he left for Italy and entered the Novitiate of the Capuchin Fathers. At present he is the Vice Pastor of the parish at Mersin. Congratulations dear Father Yunus!


25 September 2005
Feast of the Civilizations
From September 25 -30 the First Congress of “Meeting of the Civilizations” took place at Antioch, the city where different faiths and different cultures have lived in peace and tolerance for centuries. This meeting took place at the Campus of the Kemal Mustafa Atatürk University in this Turkish city. It was organized by the Interreligious Citizen Committee – which is formed by the leaders of the diverse religions present at Antioch and presided over by the Head Officer and the Prefect of Hatay – and which Congress was inaugurated by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan. All the religious leaders of Turkey and thereabouts were the honored guests. As representatives of the Vatican the Apostolic Nunzio Monsignor Edmond Farhat and two Bishops who came from Rome. Monsignor Luigi Celata, secretary of the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue and Monsignor Franco Croci, economic secretary of the Holy See. Other religious exponents present: the head of the Religious Affairs of Turkey, Ali Bardakoglu, the Patriarch Bartholomeo I, (Greek-Orthodox) and Mesrob II (Gregorian Armenian) the head officer of the Turkish Jews, Izak Aleva, the Syrian Orthodox Bishop, Monsignor Yusuf Cetin, representative of their patriarchate in Damascua, the representative of the Syrian Catholics Yusuf Sag, the Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Monsignor Luigi Padovese, the representative of the Caldeins Francois Yakan and the Greek-Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Paul Yagizi as representative of his patriarchate. On the 26th of September all the people at the meeting, including the various Ambassadors of the republic of Turkey went to vist the Mosch Habib Neccar, the Grotto of S. Peter, the Synagogue, the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.


07 September 2005
Visit of Italian Deputies
On September 7-8 there was a visit of 40 Italian Deputies with their families at Capadoccia. Our Bishop, Luigi Padovese spent a whole day with them and after celebrating Holy Mass helped them taste, even though very briefly, the beauties of Capadoccia and areas around it..


26 June 2005
IX Symposium on St Paul
From June 26-28 the IX Symposium of Tarsus-Antioch: “Paul, Apostle, between Tarsus and Antioch- Archeology, History, Religion”. Professors from different Universities of Italy, Spain and Turkey participated as well as the members of the Vicariate.


11 May 2005
Conference on Ecumenism
On May 11 – 14, 2005 the Greek-Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, Monsignor Paul Yagizi invited Monsignor Luigi Padovese to give a conference on Ecumenism directed for a group of the people of his Church who work for the Unity of Christians. The Bishop’s Vicar, Fr Domenico Bertogli, accompanied him. They were guests of His Eminence Paul Yagizi who has a very large community of Greek-Orthodox of the Arabic language. (Besides) They also visited the Greek Catholic and Syro-Catholic Bishops. At the conference given by Bishop Padovese there were present Caldean and Armenian Bishops as well as the Vicar General of the Melkites. The next morning while on the way to the Franciscan church for Mass, they met three Friars among whom was a well-known friend of our Bishop, fr Paquale Castellana – “a living encyclopidea” – very fraternal and hospitable. At Aleppo the celebration of the month of May is very much felt with enormous participation and special devotion of girls dressed in blue with a white Franciscan cord. The Orthodox Archbishop then accompanied his guests to Cirro , a city north of Aleppo and today the area of the Kurds of Syria. It was the city of Teodoreto (V Century) and the place of the martyrdom of Cosmas and Damian under Diocletian (303). One can see the remains of the huge basilica dedicated to them. There is also a very big theatre, though abandoned centuries ago.


10 March 2005
Pastoral Visit to Samsun and Trabzon
In the month of March the Bishop made his visit to the small communities on the Black Sea: Samsun and Trabzon. They were happy to have this first visit by the new Bishop.



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Katolik Kilisesi
Yenisehir Mah. Mithat
Paşa Cad. No. 5 - PK 75
31201 Iskenderun, Turkey

Tel: +90 326 6175916
Fax: 613 92 91