Photo of the Day for September 23, 2014

Northern Light (part I).  Паўночнае асьвятленьне (частка І).

Archbishop Tadevush Kandrusjevich confers the sacrament of Confirmation during the celebratory Mass for the 110th anniversary of the consecration of the current church of St. Andrew the Apostle, Narach (Kabyl’nik) 2014.

Арцыбіскуп Тадэвуш Кандрусевіч надаёць сакрамэнт Канфірмацыі (таемства намазаньня) пры ўрачыстай Імшы да 110-годдзя кансэкрацыі цяперашняга касьцёла Сьвятога Андрэя Апостала, Нарач (Кабыльнік) 2014 г.

Photos of the Day for September 22, 2014

Northern Light (part I).  Паўночнае асьвятленьне (частка І).

Celebratory Mass in commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the current church of St. Andrew the Apostle and sacrament of Confirmation, church of St. Andrew the Apostle in the northern Belarusian town of Narach (Kabyl’nik) 2014.

Урачыстая сьвятая Імша праведзеная Арцыбіскупам Тадэвушам Кандрусевічам з нагоды 110-годдзя кансэкрацыі цяперашняга касьцёла Сьвятога Андрэя Апостала й таемства Канфірмацыі, Нарач 2014 г.

Photos of the Day for September 21, 2014

Polesian evening at the end of August.  Палескае вечаровае асьвятленьне на прыканцы жніўня.

One can tell by how clean they are that these cows are privately-owned.  Wanting to be milked, each cow knows her way home, but few can resist exasperating the herders by stopping for a last few bites of delicious grass.  Al’shany 2014.

Каровы дадому…але не без швенданьня за апошныя прываблівыя ўкусы травы.  Альшаны 2014 г.

Rain cloud on the horizon, Ramjel’-Machul’ road.  Дождж на гарызонце, дарога Рамель-Мачуль 2014.

Photo of the Day for September 20, 2014

River Haryn’ on an August evening.  Davyd-Haradok 2014.  Жнівеньскі вечар на рацэ Гарынь.  Давыд-Гарадок 2014 г.

Photo of the Day for September 19, 2014

A question of preserving patrimony, Al’shany 2014.  Пытаньне аховы спадчыны, Альшаны 2014 г.

In contrast to the humorous, inventive sculptures in Ramjel’ (see photo of the day for September 18), mutant forms have invaded Al’shany, three kilometers away.  In Al’shany the Orthodox church of Paraskjeva Pjatnitsa is preparing to replace its graceful cupolas, built in accord with profound Polesian traditions of church architecture and in the spirit of Christian modesty embodied in the patron saint after whom the church is named, with garish structures.  One can only wonder how anyone could look at these alien onion domes — or at any of the other, all-too-numerous replacements of traditional Belarusian dome forms with pseudo-Russian gold onion domes — and not worry about the fate of our faith.

У адрозьненьні ад дасціпных і вынаходлівых скульптураў у в. Рамель (гл. фота дня з 18 верасьня), мутанты ўварваліся ў суседнія Альшаны.  У Альшаны царква Параскевы Пятніцы падрыхтуецца да замены хупавых бунькаў, пабудаваных паводле глыбокай палескай традыцыі царкоўнага дойлідства й у духу хрысьціянскай сьціпласьці самай Параскевы Пятніцы, аляпаватымі цыбулінамі.  Як гэта магчыма глядзець на гэтыя формы — ды на любую замену традыцыйнай беларускай бунькі блыскучай псэўда-расейскай цыбулінай — й не запітацца, з якім лёсам сутыкнецца наша хрысьціянская вера?

Photo of the Day for September 18, 2014

Sculptural whimsy, Ramjel’ 2014.  Скулптурная фантазія, Рамель 2014 г.

It is exceptionally rare to see private initiatives, let alone humorous and whimsical sculptures, in public places in Belarus.  It is rarer still to find such expressions of public creativity in villages, where people are (naturally) preoccupied with practical and insistent matters of farming.  Thus it was refreshing to come upon this set of imaginative monuments to Soviet cars and motorcycles.

Надзелены ўяўленьнем помнік савецкім транспартным сродкам.

Photo of the Day for September 17, 2014

The year 2014 marks seventy-five years since the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union which gave both the room to carve up the nations in between.  The pact allowed Hitler to start World War II by invading Poland from the west on September 1, 1939 and, in concert, the Soviet Union to invade from the east, on September 17; Nazi and Soviet forces held a joint victory parade in the Belarusian city of Bjares’tsje (Brest) on September 22 as both conquering powers began brutally to repress the lands and nations they had occupied and annexed.

According to the official Soviet version of events, a version which continues to be propagated by Belarusian authorities, September 17, 1939 marked the Soviet liberation of western Belarusian lands from a repressive Polish administration.  This Soviet assertion of liberation is a version of history long-ago rejected by reputable historians throughout the world, although Western governments accepted the Soviet annexation of these lands as a fait accompli.

Fighting valorously, though unaided, against both aggressors, the Polish army and civilians, including many Belarusian citizens of Poland, faced their Thermopylaes with the same courage displayed by the 300 at the original Thermopylae — a stand which anchored Western civilization.  In this seventy-fifth year after Molotov-Ribbentrop, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland, and in the face of the unmanly reaction of the U.S., EU and Western European leadership to Russia’s Anschluss of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine and the West’s miserly aid to the Ukrainians fighting for their freedom and ours, let us remember the valor of the citizens of Poland who fought, died on the battlefield, or were murdered by — or with the complicity of — the Soviet occupiers.

Grave of an unknown citizen of Poland, one of scores of soldiers and civilians murdered after September 17, 1939 by marauders under Soviet authority in the village of  Padzjamjen’nje (Падзяменьне, Podziemienie) in today’s Kobryn District of southwestern Belarus.  The grave forms part of a memorial to citizens of Poland who fell in battle or were murdered by Soviet authorities in September-October 1939, and who, in a joint Belarusian-Polish operation in 2008, were exhumed and reburied with honor in the churchyard of the Roman Catholic church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kobryn.  Kobryn 2013.

Магіла невядомага грамядзяніна міжваеннай РП, забытага пасьля 17 верасьня 1939 г. у в. Падзяменьне марадзёрскай бандай пад эгідай савечкіх улалаў, могілкі й помнік грамядзянінам РП, палеглым у супраціве савецкаму ўварваньню ці забытым савецкамі ўладамі на Кобрыншчыне, ля касьцёла Ўнебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі, Кобрын.  Кобрын 2013 г.

Photo of the Day for September 16, 2014

Evening prayer during June, the month in the Roman Catholic calendar dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rymdzjuny 2014.

Вячэрныя малітвы ў чэрвень – месяц, прысьвечаны набажэнству да Найсьвяцейшага Сэрца Ісуса, Рымдзюны 2014 г.

After attending the celebratory Mass for Holy Trinity in Hjervjaty, I passed through the nearby village of Rymdzjuny, where I came across these 12 ladies as they prayed quietly in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Rymdzjuny, a Baltic place name, has a large Lithuanian population, reflected in the ladies’ language of prayer.

Photos of the Day for September 15, 2014

End of the procession, feast of Holy Trinity, church of the Holy Trinity, Hjervjaty 2014.  На прыканцы працэсіі, сьвята Сьвятой Тройцы, касьцёл Сьвятой Тройцы, Гервяты 2014  г.


Photos of the Day for September 14, 2014

Awaiting Communion, feast of Holy Trinity, church of the Holy Trinity, Hjervjaty 2014.  У чаканьні Сьвятой Камуніі, сьвята Сьвятой Тройцы, касьцёл Сьвятой Тройцы, Гервяты 2014 г.