Holy Mass for the Anniversary of the Appointment of Pope Francis

Next Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, a Holy Mass “Pro Pontifice” will be celebrated for the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the appointment of Pope Francis. The Holy Mass will be presided over by Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Deputy Secretary of State specially sent from Rome. All are invited to attend to pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

Mons. Martin KMETEC, The President of CET announced the Eucharistic Year of Turkey in 2024

“The Church of Turkey wishes to know, love, serve and proclaim the Lord Jesus more and more and to recognize him present, like the disciples of Emmaus, in the act of breaking bread through the celebration of the Year of the Eucharist. We wish to deepen the faith of the church community on this Sacrament through catechesis and other means to participate more and more actively and consciously in liturgical celebrations, and to remember after eating the Bread of Heaven that we are called to share the earthly bread with all people in poverty and need.”

Mons. Martin Kmetec, President of CET and Izmir Metropolitan Archbishop published a congratulatory message for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey

In his message to the President of Turkey, Mons. Martin wrote that “On the happy occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Republic of Türkiye, I would like to
offer you the fervent good wishes of the Bishops and all Catholic Christians living in this nation”.

Appointment of the Auxiliary Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia (Turkey)

The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Father Antuan Ilgit of the Society of Jesus, hitherto Vicar General and Chancellor of the same Vicariate, as well as professor of Moral Theology and Bioethics at the St. Louis Section of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia (Turkey), assigning him the titular See of Tubernuca.

Curriculum vitae

H.E. Msgr. Antuan Ilgit was born June 22, 1972 in Hersbruck (Germany Federal Republic) to Turkish parents and grew up his early years in Germany and then moved to Turkey with his family. He received a four-year degree in Public Administration from the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Gazi Üniversitesi (Ankara) in 1994. After his first steps in religious life in the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor (Province of Emilia-Romagna), he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus (Province of Italy) in Genoa on November 1, 2005. In 2007, in Padua, he made First Vows. After a baccalaureate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University (2008), he received a licentiate in Moral Theology with a focus in bioethics from the Alphonsian Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University (2011). Sent then to the United States of America for special studies, he earned first a two-year Master’s degree in Medical Ethics from Saint Joseph’s University (2013) and then a canonical doctorate in Moral Theology from the School of Theology and Ministry of Boston College (2017).

In the course of his special studies, he was named a member of Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society of Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education, Alpha Epsilon Lambda National Honor Society – Omega Chapter of Saint Joseph’s University and FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics).

Ė founding member of Friends of the Middle East odv.

He received presbyteral ordination from Em. Card. Giovanni Lajolo on June 26, 2010 in the Church of the Jesus in Rome. From September 2020 to April 2021 he did his final year of formation (Third Probation) in Salamanca, Spain. He made his Solemn Profession in the Society of Jesus on November 19, 2022 in Ankara.

During his life as a presbyter, he held the following positions: assistant pastor of the Turkish-speaking Catholic community of Meryemana Parish in Ankara; community bursar of the Jesuit Fathers (2010-2011); community animator, member of the formation team and spiritual father at the Pontifical Interregional Campanian Seminary in Naples (2017-2020); lecturer in Moral Theology and Bioethics at the St. Louis Section of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy (2017-present); national coordinator for youth and vocation ministry of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference (2022-present); Vicar General and Chancellor of the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia (2022-present).


22 Mayıs 2023 Yazarı: Şule Rogenbuke

P. Alessandro, the National Delegate for International Eucharist Congress entrusted to the intercession of St. Paschal Baylon, a franciscan religious who lived in Spain in 16th century, the way of the International Eucharistic Congress which will be held in Quito in 2024 and also the 1st National Eucharistic Congress of the Church of Turkey.

Mass on Ash Wednesday (22 February) in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

Dear brothers and sisters,

Our bishop, Mgr Massimiliano Palinuro, invites you to the celebration of Mass on Ash Wednesday (22 February) in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.

The Mass will take place after the Sacrament of Confession  (mystery of repentance and reconciliation) at 6 p.m., followed by Holy Mass and the imposition of ashes at 7 p.m.

Ash wednesday cross, crucifix made of ash, dust


The Presidents of Council of Bishops of European countries who are in Prague for the Synod Meeting of Continental level issued a statement forthe effects of the earthquake that caused great damage in the south of Turkey and north of Syria.

In the statement, it was stated that they pray for everyone affected by the earthquake and that the activities foraid and supports of Caritas are actively providing.

Fr. Marcelo Antonio Cisneros OFM, parish priest of the Church of Mater Dolorosa Katolik Kilisesi in Samsun (Turkey),died on 14th of December 2022 due to broken abdominal aortic aneurysm, at age 64.  

Our brother, fr. Marcelo Antonio Cisneros OFM, parish priest of the Church of Mater Dolorosa Katolik Kilisesi in Samsun (Turkey),died on morning of 14th of December 2022 due to broken abdominal aortic aneurysm, at age 64.  

The Holy Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, 20th of December 2022 at 18.00 in the Church of Santa Maria Draperis in Istanbul.

Tonight, Dec. 7, 2022, at 6 p.m. Msgr. PALINURO will preside over the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint-Esprit Cathedral on the first anniversary of his episcopal consecration.

Last year on the evening of Dec. 7, 2021, the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the episcopal consecration of our Bishop H.E. Most Rev. Msgr. Massimiliano PALINURO, Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul, took place.
Tonight, Dec. 7, 2022, at 6 p.m. Msgr. PALINURO will preside over the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint-Esprit Cathedral on the first anniversary of his episcopal consecration. We are invited to join him in the prayer of thanksgiving. May the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, give him grace and health and keep him long in His service in guiding the faithful entrusted to his care.


Mons. Kmetec said that “The whole nation was shocked and deeply sadden by the appalling news of the bomb blast on last Sunday, 13th November, 2022 at Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue that left at least six people dead and 81 injured. On behalf of all the Bishops of Turkey and the Christian Community our deepest condolences and sympathies with the begrieve families at the loss of precious lives and we pray for the speedy recovery of the injured” in his message.

“We are all endowed by Allah the spirit of tranquility and the responsibility to take care of the beautiful earth given to us, let us keep it safe from all harm. May Allah transform the hearts of all who are gone astray and are cause of pain and suffering for others, may they live and work for peace”.


On 7-9 October 2022 the Synodal Conference of the Church in Turkey took place at the Archdiocese of Izmir, which saw the meeting of the representatives of all the people of God who live in this land under the guidance of the Spirit in the certainty that he still has much to say to our Churches as it was two thousand years ago.

This significant ecclesial meeting took place in a context of listening, discussion and prayer and conceived in continuity with the synodal path in recent months that has taken place at the diocesan and national level as desired by Pope Francis.
In the course of his homily, the Patriarch recalled the fundamental aspects of the dogma of divine motherhood and emphasized that “the synodality that exists in the Church can truly be compared to the harmony and concord that reigns among the Persons of the Trinity”.
The first day of work coincided with the traditional memory of the Council of Ephesus, which in 431 the divine motherhood of Mary was dogmatically defined. The celebration of the Eucharist was presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey Msgr. Marek Solczyński. It celebrated in the ruins of the ancient basilica built on the site where the Council of Ephesus was gathered.
The importance of becoming a Christian community more and more capable of interacting with the local culture, without prejudices and closures, more willing to welcome all those who draw close to it, and capable of an effective proclamation of the Gospel because it is alive, was emphasized in particular.

Vatican Ambassador to Ankara, H. E. Mons. Solczynski presented his letter of credence to President Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received Vatican Ambassador to Ankara Mons. Marek Solczynski at the Presidential Complex.

Ambassador Solczynski presented his letter of credence to President Erdoğan at the reception. Ambassador Solczynski introduced some embassy members to President Erdoğan.


The Interview of Mons. Martin Kmetec, Archbishop of Izmir published on www.fr.aletia.org.

Turkey: “A Church with open doors” in an Islamic society

Volker Niggewöhner

Even though Christianity has a tradition of nearly 2,000 years in Turkey; today, after various waves of persecution, There are almost not any Christian in the country. Yet the archbishop of Izmir the West of country, Mons. Martin Kmetec reminds that  “Turkey is where the first church was born”, in the west of the country.

Christianity in Turkey has a long tradition. Before the First World War, the territory of the former Ottoman Empire still had about 30% Christians. Today, it is estimated that around 0.2% of the Turkish population is Christian. In the archdiocese of Izmir, the country’s third city near by the Aegean Sea, the population of Christians is around 5,000. Archbishop of Izmir, Mons Martin states, “If we add migrants and refugees who live around city center of Izmir or in other big cities, it will be a little more.  They mainly live in the city centers of Izmir and in other big cities”. The Archbisop Martin Kmetec originally from Slovenia and belongs to Order of Conventual Minor Friars. He worked in Lebanon almost eleven years then came to Turkey to live in 2001.  In 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Izmir. “We have communities in Konya, Antalya and other cities on the coast. Our Archdiocese is very large; its territory covers approximately 100,000 km2. Konya is the furthest parish, it is 550 kilometers far from Izmir; and Antalya, which is located about 450 kilometers away is on the southern coast of Turkey. There are too much distances here. “

Can you freely proclaim the faith?

Archbishop Martin Kmetec:

– Giving testimony for life and fraternal life is a priority for me as a Franciscan. Saint Francis said that the Word should be preached in every occasion. We are trying to do this  on social media and on the new Archdiocesan website. We try to be actively involved and to be a living church. Our mission is to become a Church with open doors. For this reason, all of our churches are open to the public at certain times. Sometimes there is mass or liturgy. There is always someone on hand to greet visitors and provide information if they have any questions. This is our way of evangelism in this situation.

The first church was born in here among the nations. Also the first  ecumenical councils which marked the Catholich faith took place in this region that is known as Turkey nowadays.

Once Turkey was a secular country, now is currently experiencing an Islamic renaissance. Are Christians experience any discrimination due to their belief?

– I would not say that Christians experience any discrimination generally. However, there may be some negative experiences in dealing with authorities or administrative services. In Turkey, the Catholic Church is not recognize as a legal entity. Nevertheless, if we talk about dialogue, I would say that there is a dialogue of life. Fro example Caritas Organization is a part of our Church, of our Archdiocese. There are Caritas Offices in every dioceses and they help everyone both  Christians and Muslims and all those need help.  We also meet the imams of our region in various occasion, for example on “Brotherhood Day”. I went to the mayor of the city with some of priests and had an occasion to offer a gift: the Turkish translation of Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli tutti. The encyclical Laudato si’, which deals with environmental issues that affect all of humanity, has also been translated into Turkish.

Is there an ecumenical dialogue in Turkey?

We have generally good relationships with the other Christian Churches. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His Beatitude Bartholomew I, maintains good relations with the Focolare Movement and the new Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro. In Izmir, we also meet the Orthodox Churches, but also the Anglican ones, on various Christian holidays. Recently, Armenian priests celebrated an Armenian liturgy in our Catholic Church of Saint Polycarp, because they do not have their own church in Izmir. We also collaborated with the Armenians of Izmir to open a small bookstore for the Bible Society. So there are good signs of ecumenical dialogue.

Turkey is a very popular country for vacationers. Is it important for Christians visiting Turkey, also visit Christian churches?

Yes, it is very important. I would like to remind them that the origins of our faith are here. Here was born the first Church among the nations. The first ecumenical councils, which marked the Catholic faith, took place in this territory, now it is known as Turkey. The mission for Europe was born here. We have a German priest who takes care of the Catholics of German origin living here to support our pastoral activities. I would be happy if we could find another priest to serve the other communities, at least in the summer during the tourist season. But it also requires a financial support. Perhaps the European Council of Episcopal Conferences could think of ways to help us.


Vicariate Day of Istanbul celebrated in the Haghia Triada Greek Orthodox Church- Taksim

The Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul H.E. Monsignor Massimiliano Palinuro, made his first official visit to the Haghia Triada Church of Taksim with the priests who accompanied him and the members of the community of the Latin Catholic Church of Istanbul.

The meeting took place as part of the preparations for the theme of Synod on Synodality that His Holiness Pope Francis initiated on 10 October 2021.

The Catholic Bishops of Turkey convened in Izmir

The 113th General Assembly of the CET

The Catholic Bishops of Turkey convened in Izmir to celebrate the 113th General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Turkey in 13 – 15 January 2022.

During the meeting the important issues for the benefit of the local Church in Turkey were examined as Synod of Bishops, protection of minors and the vulnerable persons, legal situation of the Church, the commissions and delegates of the CET, formats of the magazines Maranatha and Presence.

In addition, a project that initiated by Archdiocese of Izmir, aimed to form a catechism that can help our Church introduced. This document will be a good instrument for who intends to know and deepen the Christian faith. Then the study approved for a new translation and edition of liturgical books of Latin Rite (Messale e Lezionario)

At the end of the study, the Bishops signed a declaration that the statute of the house of Mary (Meryem Ana Evi) as “National Shrine” reaffirmed. The first reading and analyzing of the Statute that intended to provide this place as a place of worship in the future also performed. This document must approved later.

On Saturday 15th of January 2022, the Bishops went to the Sanctuary to thank the Lord and invoke the intercession of the Mother of God for whole Church in Turkey.

Special Prayer for Mons. Ruben Tierrablanca for the First Anniversary of his Passing

Dear all, 
tomorrow, on 22.12.2021, for the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Mons.Ruben Tierrablanca OFM, I also want to invite you to the cemetery in Feriköy where at the tomb of the Friars Minor at 17.00 a special prayer in memory of Mons.Ruben will take place with the blessing of the tomb and deposition of flowers. 
After this prayer, the Holy Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral at 6.00 pm, as has already been announced.

fr. Pawel Szymala OFMCap


The funeral of Fr Jacek NOWACKI, the priest of St. Stephan of Yeşilköy will hold on June 19, 2021, at 10.30 am. 

Fr. Jacek, the Priest of Order of Minor Franciscan Capuchin was appointed to Istanbul Yesilkoy St. Stephen’s Church for a while after serving in Izmir Ephesus. Last Saturday evening, he had a heart attack and died at the monastery of St. Stephan Church.

Fr. Jacek’s funeral will begin with the Rosary to be held at Yeşilköy St. Stefan Church at 10:30 tomorrow morning. After the funeral ceremony to be held in the same church at 11:00, he will be buried at 13:30 in the Feriköy Latin Catholic Cemetery in the section reserved for Minor Capuchin Priests.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on whose path he walked all his life, may grant the reward of eternal life and bless his testimony in this land with abundant fruit.


I am the resurrection and the life.

The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. (Jn. 11, 25)

Last Saturday, June 12, 2021 in the Capuchin convent in Yeşilköy – İSTANBUL, having 52 years of life; 31 years of his life in the Order and 25 years in the priesthood,

Br. Jacek Marek NOWACKI OFMCap died

The funeral will take place in Istanbul on June 19, 2021 (Saturday) according to the program:

• at 10.30, the rosary, St. Stephen’s Church in Yeşilköy

• at 11.00, the funeral mass, St. Stephen’s Church in Yeşilköy

• at 13.30, the burial at the tomb of the Capuchin Friars Minor, Latin cemetery in Feriköy (there will be a minibus)

Give him eternal rest, Lord.

And let the perpetual light shine upon him.


NB. The celebration will broadcast on Facebook on the page: https://www.facebook.com/yesilkoy.kilisesi

The House of the Virgin in Ephesus is one of the 30 shrines for the Rosary prayer “marathon”

Pope Francis hoped that this month of May, dedicated to Virgin Mary, would be dedicated to a “marathon” of prayer on the basis of the biblical expression “From the whole Church rose unceasingly prayer towards God” (Acts 12, 5) to invoke the end of the pandemic.

This community call aims to realize a continuous prayer, which ceaselessly ascends from the whole Church to the Father through the intercession of the Virgin Mary.

For this, he wanted to associate thirty representative shrines located in the four corners of the world, from Japan to Bosnia, from Nigeria to Argentina via Turkey…, every day on another site.

This cycle of prayers began on May 1 with the prayer of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica and the Holy Father will conclude it on May 31 from the Vatican Gardens.

On Wednesday 19th of May, the daily meeting will take place live from the House of the Virgin in Ephesus!

With the prayer of the Rosary, each day of the month is characterized by an intention of prayer for the different categories of people most affected by the drama of the pandemic. For Turkey, this intention concerns people at war and for world peace.

The Daily Marian Prayer is broadcast live every day at 6:00 p.m. Rome time (7:00 p.m. in Turkey) on the official channel of the Holy See.

It can be watched live on May 19 on the Archdiocese of Izmir YouTube channel:


FATHER LUIGI IANNITTO passed away aged 100 years

Dear all,

After days of suffering in silence in the hospital, 100-years- old Father Luigi Iannitto (born January 5, 1921) left us. We pray for his eternal rest.



Father Luigi Iannitto was born in Montagano (CB) on 5 January 192l. After five years of probation in Penne (PE) he entered the Novitiate in Assisi on October 3, 1938. He made his simple profession on October 4, 1939 and solemn profession on December 12, 1942. After his studies in Assisi he continued his preparation in Rome at the Seraphic College in Via S. Teodoro with a license in theology in the years 1945 – 1949.

He was rector of the probands, master of novices, rector of clerics and teacher in high school and theology, parish priest in L’Aquila (1966-1973), secretary and provincial treasurer for three years, Custos Custodum with participation in the 1969 General Chapter.

In 1973 he arrived in Turkey. Here he was pastor for 25 years. He encouraged the creation of groups for a serious Christian formation (Focolarini, Neocatechumens, groups of various activities) and meetings with Islam.

To meet the Muslims he engaged in the study of the Turkish language. For a pastoral ministry embodied in the Turkish land he worked with so much heart for publications in the local language (first festive missal, catechism books for children and adults, translation of Deutercanonic books for Catholic Community , the monthly magazine Sent Antuan Dostu (The Friend of St. Anthony), about 40 catechetical, patristic and hagiographic publications, Breviary in Turkish (Lauds, Ora Media, Vespers and Compline of the four weeks and Office of the Dead).


We thank the Lord for this great gift that he has given us in the person of our brother. Our commitment remains in continuing his generous and free commitment for the Kingdom of the Lord.

We would return with the funeral information further.

Requiescat in Pace



    S.E. Mons. Rubén TIERRABLANCA GONZALEZ, OFM, was born in Cortazar, in the Diocese of    Celaya (Mexico), on August 24, 1952, to Julio TIERRABLANCA and Maria GONZALEZ.

    After attending the Franciscan Pío Mariano Seminary for secondary education in his native land, he entered the novitiate on August 22, 1970.

    He studied at the College Santa Cruz in Queretaro (Mexico) and at the Saint Anthony Seminary in El Paso, TX (USA) for philosophy and theology. Subsequently, in Italy, he attended the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

    He made his religious profession in the Order of Friars Minor on 2 August 1977, and received priestly ordination on 29 June 1978 in his hometown of Cortazar.

     S.E. Mons. Rubén TIERRABLANCA GONZALEZ, OFM, ordained as Guardian (Superior) of the Friars Minor of Istanbul and of the International Fraternity for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue in Turkey, and parish priest of the Parish of Santa Maria Draperís  in Istanbul in 2003. He commissioned as Vicar Apostolic of the Apostolic Vicariate of Istanbul in 2014; he was serving as the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Turkey since 2018.

       Monsignor Ruben hospitalized due to the Covid-19 disease. He passed away last night 22.12.2020 at 11.42 pm due to multi-organ failure due to Covid-19.