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The Catholic parish in Terijoki.

Terijoki was always a multinational settlement. Besides the Finns and Russians, who formed the main part of the population, the representatives of many other nations lived here. The Finnish references inform, that twenty seven languages were spoken in Terijoki. Of course, they were the people not only of different nationalities, but they also professed different religions.

The Catholics - Latvians, Lithuanians, Belorussians, Russians, Belgians and Germans - in 1906, in one of buildings, arranged a small prayer house, which worked only in the summer. It was named "summer church". During the First World war, many Polish refugees arrived to Terijoki. By 1921, 120 Catholics were totalled in Terijoki and its vicinities. Therefore the decision to establish the capellan parish of the Sacred Heart was accepted.

After the establishment of the parish, the question about the temple had arisen. Its construction would be very expensive, therefore the building located on the main street of Terijoki, Viertotie, near the Lutheran church, was adapted for the temple. It was a beautiful three-storeyed dacha, which before the revolution belonged to somebody Nechaev (unfortunately, it was not possible to find out, who this man was). Right after the revolution the house was empty, later the club of the Suojeluskunta (Defence League) was placed here, and in 1924 the building and the site were bought by the Pope Pie XII for the temple. The priest had to live in the same house.

The local inhabitants named the new church as the «Polish church». Initially the Terijokian parish was a part of the Viipuri (Vyborg) parish, and since 1927 it became independent.

Since 1921 and up to the termination of its activity (officially the parish was closed in 1945), the dean of the parish was Adolph Carling. He was a Finn, the son of a smith from Helsinki. He got a perfect education: at first he studied at the Lyceum, then in the university of Helsinki, on the departments of Slavic and Finno-Ugrian languages. Being a student, he began to show a large interest to the Catholic religion (probably, this was inspired by study of the Polish language). Having got the secular education, he went to study further - he studied in the spiritual seminaries in Rome and then in St.-Petersburg, and in 1911 he entered into the dignity of the priest.

Adolph Carling spoke twelve languages, and all of them perfectly, therefore he was able to carry out the divine service on every of the twelve ones. Carling used his language knowledge not only in the church activity - he taught Latin in the Terijokian Lyceum and English in the Finnish people’s school. Carling was one of the most respectable persons in the settlement, he took an active participation in the life of Terijoki. He had a respect also in the church circles. For instance, in 1921 he got the highest spiritual ranks of monsignor and prelate, and in 1923 the Terijokian parish was visited by the official delegation from the Pope.

The Catholic parish existed officially till 1945. In 1939, only 80 believers were totalled in it, and in 1941-44 - even less than this. After the war Adolph Carling lived in Helsinki, where he died in 1966. The temple building after the war accepted the new owners - the Young Pioneers’ House. Zelenogorsk inhabitants of the older generation, certainly, remember the beautiful white house on the Lenin Prospekt. Unfortunately, like many other architecture masterpieces of Terijoki, this building has failed to keep - it has burnt down rather recently, in 1970s.

Catholic church Catholic church Pope's delegation
Catholic church. Catholic church. The interior. The Pope's delegation inspecting the Terijokian Catholic parish. At the right - Monsignor Carling.

Konstantin Vinogradov
"Zelenogorskij Vestnik", N 8(10), March 1991


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