Saint Petersburg, Russia. Russian Claretian Fr. Malov Denis Dmitriyevich, CMF, was ordained a priest on December 16, 2023, at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Bishop Nicolai Gennadevich Dubinin, O.F.M. Conv., the Auxiliary Bishop of Madre di Dio a Mosca (Moscow) and Titular Bishop of Aquae in Byzacena, conferred on him the order.
The representatives of Santiago Province faced a challenging trip to attend the event due to the current situation in Russia. The Provincial Superior, Fr. Adolfo Lamata Muyo, CMF, the Prefect of Apostolate of Santiago Province of Santiago, Fr. Luis Arribas Estebaranz, CMF, and the Local Superior of the community of Saint Petersburg, Mariano Sedan, CMF, had to overcome various difficulties in the days leading up to the ordination ceremony. The Claretians from Siberia were also present on that day through the presence of Polish Fr. Marcin Dragan, CMF, of the Obschina Klaretinov – Bratsk community in Siberia, about 1000 kilometers east of Krasnoyarsk. The family and friends of Fr. Dennis were present, as well as the parishioners who came all the way from the Parish of St. Michael Parish in Murmansk.
In the previous weeks, Rev. Denis and the seminarians of the Inter-diocesan Seminary Mary Queen of the Apostles prepared with great care for the celebration. The event turned out to be dignified while retaining the emotional significance it deserved. One particularly notable detail was the vesting of the chasuble on Fr. Denis by the Provincial Superior. The chasuble was a gift from the parish community of Murmansk and the Claretian community of Saint Petersburg. Additionally, the newly ordained priest Denis received a chalice and paten as a gift from the “holy people of God,” which were offered to the Bishop by Denis’ mother and one of his brothers.
After the celebration, the Bishop handed over the floor to the Provincial, who then expressed the immense joy of the Province of Santiago in commemorating the completion of the initial formation stage of Fr. Denis. He emphasized that Fr. Denis had been called to serve the Church in the Claretian Family due to the Congregation’s presence in the Arctic Circle territory for almost 25 years. The Provincial also wished Fr. Denis the ability to maintain the witness of missionary joy in his service to the People of God, which should always be his most active quality.
During his words of gratitude, Fr. Denis said,
“Please pray for me that in my priestly ministry, I may be part of you. For I am part of these people. I am among you as the one who serves. I am here for you.”
His mother, Rita, thanked the Lord and the Claretian Missionaries who were not afraid of the harsh conditions of the Arctic Circle and came to serve the people of God in Murmansk.
“I believe and hope that in the person of my son, the Church has found a worthy successor to the work of St Anthony Mary Claret and the holy apostles, a pastor for whom love of God and neighbor is not a set of lofty words, but self-denial expressed in daily service actions.”
She also read a greeting on behalf of the parish community to Denis, who was happy to see one of his sons placed at the service of the other brothers in the faith.