It was on Monday June 12, 2017 when we arrived in Samsun, the Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Bishop Paolo Bizetti and Father Patrice de Pommerol, pastor of Trabzon, were waiting for us. The church and the house had been closed for eight years and no one knew if there was a Christian community here. We contacted some Iraqi families and three days later 25 people came to clean the house and the church.

To everyone’s surprise, on Sunday June 18 we celebrated the first mass with about 40 families. A large community of Chaldean Rite Catholics, Iraqi refugees who had fled the fundamentalist violence present in their country. Little by little we became aware that the community was even larger and that they lived in different cities: Amasya (130 km away); Corum (167 km); Tokat (225 km) and Yozgat (274 km) were mostly Chaldean rite, and the closest church to them was our Samsun church.