Monday, May 23, 2005

To Cardinal Sterzinsky (The Hansen-Waliszewski Family)

Dear Cardinal Sterzinsky,
April 24, 2005

We are very saddened by the news that you have decided to close down All Saints in June 2005. We do not understand your decision, particulary at a time when a large number of Catholic churches in Berlin are being closed down due to the decrease of membership and financial reasons. All Saints Catholic Community, on the other hand, is a thriving and growing community! Our membership, under The Friends of All Saints Association, provide for all costs in our community and even transfer designated collections to the Archdiocese! We moved to Germany in 2002. After visiting several Catholic churches in Berlin, we decided to make All Saints Catholic our spiritual home. All Saints is much more than a church, it is a vibrant community representing all colors, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. What brings us together is our Catholic faith and the English language. For many members, including ourselves, the All Saints community has become part of our extended family. We come from all over the world and yet feel at home at All Saints Catholic Community. We cherish our coffee and cake meetings after Mass, and throughout the year, our celebration of festivities such as St. Patrick’s Day and Thanksgiving.What attracted us to All Saints is its family-friendly environment. Children are always welcome. Mass at All Saints is full of families! The glass room in the back is ideal for families with young children, such as our family with three small children. On Sundays, we have a Children’s Mass and our son, Niels, is a regular participant. The boys and girls in our community are also active participants at Mass either as Altar servers or choir singers.Members of All Saints travel from all over Berlin to attend Sunday Mass. Many come with public transportation. We have regular worshipers coming from Spandau, Tegel and Rudow! Our community lives in harmony with the Jewish and Protestant communities who also worship here. We represent what the world needs more of: harmony, peace and understanding. Why destroy the All Saints Community? And at what cost? My mother once told me a wise saying: for every action there is a reaction. If All Saints closes this summer, we will have no choice but to leave the Catholic Church. Closing down All Saints is plain unjust. Other All Saints families will attend local German Parishes. Please don’t read this as a threat, but as a reality. There is no other English-speaking Catholic church in Berlin which caters to families and has such a strong sense of community. There is no alternative. Please Save All Saints Catholic Community!

Most respectfully, Vanessa, Matthias, Niels, Julia, Josephine
The Hansen-Waliszewski Family
Osthofenerweg 28
14129 Berlin
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