Tuesday, May 24, 2005
To Cardinal Sterzinsky (The All Saints Catholic Community)
Kardinal Georg Sterzinsky
Berlin, April 14, 2005
Erzbischöfliches Ordinariat, Postfach 040856, 10064 Berlin
His Eminence Cardinal Sterzinsky,
We are deeply saddened by your decision to close down All Saints on June 23, 2005 and to deconsecrate the Catholic Chapel, which seems to us to be incomprehensible and unjust.
Under the leadership of the Jesuit fathers Klaus Mertes and Ralf Klein we have become a viable, lively and growing Catholic Community with members of all ages from Europe, America, Africa and Asia who have found their spiritual home in All Saints and feel welcome and accepted here. Approximately 150 people attend Sunday mass regularly, and prior to mass a small group gathers in the Chapel to pray the Rosary. All tasks for lay people that have to do with the preparation and celebration of Holy Mass are done voluntarily by members of the community, for example, musicians, greeters etc. The Friends of All Saints Association, which is supported by the members of the Catholic Community, also has been able to provide for all costs for All Saints and the community center for more than one year now. Moreover, the All Saints Community has continued to transfer the designated collections to the Archdiocese. At the same time we have even been able to increase our financial reserves.
In a time in which the Catholic Church has been facing a significant decrease in its membership and many churches have been compelled to close down for personal and financial reasons, we believe that our community could serve as a future oriented, sound, workable model for other communities.In light of the above, we hereby ask for permission to continue to celebrate Holy Mass at Hüttenweg 46. We would also ask permission to have the sacraments of baptism, first communion, confirmation and marriage administered at All Saints, because a growing number of community members have asked for it.
Please open your heart and strengthen our lively community in faith which has grown here and is rooted at All Saints!
The All Saints Catholic Community