MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE FRIARY
Pastoral work in the Catholic community in Iskenderun (Alexandretta) was initiated by Discalced Carmelites who in 1858 began the construction of the church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A school run by the Fathers and Sisters, a printing press, a dispensary and a sports field were later constructed next to the church. With the decline of the Catholic population the parish’s activities were reduced. In 1984 the Carmelites left the church to Capuchin Friars and in 1999 they ceded the administration of the scholastic complex. Restored and enlarged, this structure became the residence of the Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia who transferred there from Mersin in 2000.
In 2003 the pastoral care of the parish was entrusted to Conventual Friars who resided there as a filial house of the Saint Anthony Friary in Istanbul. After the founding of the Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land in 2010, the fraternity in Iskenderun was canonically erected as a parish dedicated to St. Maximilian Kolbe.