60th anniversary of Vatican diplomatic relations with Turkey

Istanbul Aydın University provides great service to history researchers by publishing the edition “Türkiye ile Vatikan Diplomatik İlişkilere Doğru (Towards Turkey-Vatican Papacy Diplomatic Relations)” of Rinaldo Marmara has written under the light of Vatican Ministry of Foreign Affairs archive. The edition is the first documented catalog book in Turkey of the history of Turkey-Vatican relations.


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.

ONLINE – Exequial mass on Tuesday, Dec.29 at 11:00 a.m.


To the Priests, Consecrated and Lay Faithful of the Apostolic Vicariate of Istanbul


On the evening of Tuesday, December 22, at about 11:13 p.m.,
our Brother and Father Bishop Rubén TIERRABLANCA GONZALEZ OFM, Titular Bishop of Tubernuca and Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, passed away at the age of 68, called by our heavenly Father. He had been hospitalized at Koç University Hospital since December 2. 
In this sad circumstance, we present our condolences to his sister Mrs. Celia, to the Religious Family of the Friars Minor, to all his close collaborators and to the faithful of the Vicariate who mourn his loss. May the Lord reward our Brother and Father Bishop Ruben for the gift of his consecrated life in the service of the Church, and may the Lord Jesus receive him as a good and faithful servant in the joy of his kingdom. 


An exequial mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 29 at 11:00 a.m. in the Cathedral absente cadavere, and burial will follow after the mass in Feriköy Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. Seats are limited, and entrance to the cathedral will be allowed only to those who have an official ticket from their parish.


The ceremony will be broadcast on SAT-7 TÜRK. It is recommended that you participate primarily by attending the live broadcast on SAT-7 TÜRK.  For those who wish, it is possible to visit the Cathedral for a prayer of suffrage. 

Due to the limitations imposed by the pandemic, you may leave a message of condolence on this site: https://www.facebook.com/ruben.tierrablanca.39/  


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.



125th anniversary of the Coronation of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Dearly beloved,

Pope Francis is granting all the faithful of the world the possibility of obtaining an indulgence while staying at home on 12 December on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Coronation of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
On this occasion, I want to invite you to pray for our Bishop Ruben.
I suggest that you pray for him tomorrow, 12/12 at 12 noon so that we can have a communion in prayer in the Vicariate that Bishop Ruben desires.
Let us pray to the Lord Jesus that, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, He may grant Bishop Ruben the grace of good health.
You can use the attached poster to invite others to pray.

Peace and Good
Br Pawel Szymala OFMCap, vic.del.

Appointment of new Archbishop of Smyrna

Resignation and appointment of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Izmir (Turkey)

The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Izmir (Turkey), presented by His Excellency Mons. Lorenzo Piretto, OP.

The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Metropolitan of İzmir the
Reverend Father Martin KMETEC OFM Conv.,
Currently Superior of the Community of Conventuals of Büyükdere, Istanbul.

Curriculum vitae

S.E. Msgr.Martin Kmetec O.F.M. Conv. Was born on November 10, 1956, in Ptuj, Slovenia. He completed his institutional studies of Theology and Philosophy in his religious Province in Slovenia, in which he made his simple profession on September 25, 1977, and the solemn profession on October 4, 1982. He obtained a Doctorate in Theology, with a specialization in Dialogue and Religions in the University of Ljubliana. In addition to Slovenian, he speaks Turkish, French and Italian. He was ordained as a priest on June 29, 1983. He has held various positions in his Order: Rector of the minor seminary, Missionary in Lebanon, Superior of various Convents. He was also Vicar Custos of the East and the Holy Land of the Friars Minor Conventual from 2014 to 2018. From 2011 to 2020 he was in the Convent of St. Mary in Büyükdere, Istanbul, but in the role of Superior only from 2018.

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The Holy Father has appointed the Most Reverend Luís Miguel Muñoz Cárdaba, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea

At the same time elevating him to the titular see of Nasai, with the dignity of archbishop.

The Holy Father has appointed the Most Reverend Luís Miguel Muñoz Cárdaba, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea, at the same time elevating him to the titular see of Nasai, with the dignity of archbishop.

Rev.do Mons. Luís Miguel Muñoz Cárdaba

We rejoice in the Lord for this happy news that honors our Church in Turkey. We express our sincere wish to our dear friend and brother, Archbishop Luis-Miguel for everything would be fine for him pledge of our prayers for him that the Lord always accompanies him in his delicate ministry where the countries he would be sent.


Bari, Turkish Church an example of hope

“The Church in Turkey is a school of hope”. Bishop Rubén Tierrablanca Gonzalez is Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul and participates to the meeting of the bishops and patriarchs of the Mediterranean area in Bari (Italy) with the awareness of those who know that an international event of this magnitude is a real gift: “It is a unique opportunity of confrontation between us bishops and the problems of the whole Mediterranean area. By listening to each other we can understand and help each other”. On the day in which the themes of migration, wars and poverty were the bench, Monsignor Tierrablanca Gonzalez wanted to emphasize that reality also shows positive perspectives such as those of his church.


Listen to the interview with bishop mons. Tierrablanca Gonzalez (Italian):


Priestly ordination in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit of Istanbul

İstanbul Kutsal Ruh Katedrali’nde Fransisken Rahip Alvaro Rodriguez Vázquez’nin Rahiplik Kutsaması yapıldı.

22 Kasım 2019 tarihinde, İstanbul Kutsal Ruh Katedrali’nde 8 ay önce İstanbul’a gelen ve 29 yaşındaki Meksikalı Alvaro Rodriguez Vázquez’nin görkemli Rahiplik Kutsamasını gerçekleştirildi.

Türkçe, İspanyolca ve İngilizce yapılan ayin, İstanbul Latin Katolik Kilisesi Episkoposu Monsenyör Ruben Tierrablanca tarafından yönetilirken Diyarbakır Keldani Katolik Kilisesi Başepiskoposu Monsenyör Ramzi Garmou ve Türkiye Süryani Katolik Kilisesi Patrik Vekili Korepiskoposu Monsenyör Orhan Çanlı eşlik etti. Süryani Ortodoks Kilisesi Korepiskoposu Monsenyör Melke Akyüz, Rum Ortodoks Kilisesi İstanbul Patrikhanesi temsilcisi, Türkiye’nin farklı şehirlerinden ve İstanbul’daki Katolik Kilisesi cemaatlerinden, Meksikalıların olduğu bir grup, rahipler ve rahibeler bu çok özel ayine katıldılar. (SAT-7 TÜRK/ Nathalie Ritzmann)