Monday, May 23, 2005

To Cardinal Sterzinsky (Robert J. Bentel)

Dear Cardinal Sterzinsky;

Berlin, May 3, 2005

At age 62 I find myself an expatriate from the United States in Berlin. You have no idea how delighted I was to be welcomed by the community of All Saints after having searched for a church home at some length. I come from a large family with Catholic roots as far back as we can trace. I attended Catholic schools through the Master’s Degree level of education. I was attending Loyola University in New Orleans during Vatican II. I have a clear perception of the church before and after this historic event. One thing is that is very clear is the post Council emphasis on Eucharist, community and praying and working together as opposed to attendance due to obligation. I am a charter member of the first adult generation to raise children under Vatican II guidelines. What a privilege. I now see the young families at All Saints with this same zeal and commitment, bound by love and language, oblivious to race, color, or affluence. There is real, obvious Christian Community here. We are happy and have great appreciation for our Jesuit volunteers and we grow and strengthen each month. I have no experience in church governance, but I do have 40 years experience in business and at least 25 as a senior executive. I have come to learn that my best decisions have not ever been ones of appeasement but quite often ones that were proposed and suggested by subordinates who were committed and had demonstrated a history of commitment. We only ask that you consider our request as a holy and viable alternative, for the Holy Spirit will be with us and you either way. This community is a seed planted long ago and firmly rooted in faith and love. Nurture us my Dear Cardinal, and continue to watch us grow. We will make you proud and serve as example to our fellow Germans and the Christian Community at Large. To close this community will indicate failure. We have not failed but have thrived for no other reason than we bond and work and pray (and play) together in union with Our Lord Jesus. Will you help us?

Sincerely in the Lord,
Robert J. Bentel
Charlottenstrasse 81, 10969, Berlin
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