Monday, May 23, 2005

To Cardinal Sterzinsky (Dr. Konrad Giersdorf)

Dear Cardinal Sterzinsky,

This letter expresses deep sadness and confusion at the decision to dismantle and extinguish the All Saints Catholic Community. Since 1957 the Catholic Community on Hüttenweg has served thousands of people, developing international relationships every step of the way. The relationships that developed during World War II when American care packages were sent to the East did not cease to exist after the war. They did not cease to exist when the wall came down and most of the Americans left in 1994. They continue, bound together by our faith, though many are separated by distance. The thousands who have preceded All Saints as it lives today are represented by the 300 community members, most notably the average 150 who attend Mass every Sunday… and this number is increasing! Destroying this community as it is today also destroys the larger community of thousands who have worshipped here.All Saints does not request special treatment – only those activities and Sacraments that are available to any Catholic Community. The following are our regular activities:

- Sunday Mass
- Traditional Outreach Programs
- Collection for the Sisters of Charity, Kreuzberg
- Family Group – following the Schoenstatt Family Model
- Rosary
- Family Support Group – a hands-on, volunteer group who supports our community by visiting the sick, collecting food for the needy, and reaching out to Catholics who have fallen away.

Your Eminence, we must humbly beg that you reconsider your decision to close down the All Saints Catholic Community. This community is a reflection of what a real Christian Community should be. The members – German, American, Indian, Australian, African, Philippine, Indonesian, British, and more – care deeply for each other. The co-location of Catholic, Jewish and Protestant faith groups in a single facility mirrors the world as it should be… cooperation and coming together of faith groups in peace.With great hope, we must ask for your help in continuing our community… to celebrate Mass, as well as the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, and Marriage. As you have seen, All Saints is self-sufficient, and even supports the Archdiocese financially. We do not want to burden the Archdiocese in any way.We are saddened and near despair as the possible date of the tearing apart of our Catholic Community comes ever nearer. It is disheartening that so much sadness and despair will come about from a mere administrative decision.We have done so much to be able to follow Christ. We are a Catholic Christian Community…a family. Please do not let this family be torn apart. Once we beg most humbly for your mercy and consideration in this matter.We continue to pray for you always. You have been, and always will be, part of this family that we love.


Dr. Konrad Giersdorf

P.S A copy of this letter will be sent to former members and friends of our now worldwide existing Christian community.
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