Friday, June 03, 2005

To Cardinal Sterzinsky (The Mc Greal Family)

Edward Mc Greal & Family
Garystrasse 94,
14195 Berlin May 22, 2005

Dear Cardinal Sterzinsky,

We were very disappointed to hear of the decision to close the All Saints Catholic Church in Hüttenweg. We have attended this church regularly for the last six years even though St. Bernard’s is our official parish church because our family has found our spiritual home there.
We have been informed that the reason why All Saints is being closed is to strengthen the Catholic English Speaking Community. In reality the closure of All Saints will have the direct opposite effect. The vast majority of current worshipers will not attend mass in St. Bernard’s as most people feel the mass offered there is a German mass translated into English. Some may switch to attending the mass celebrated by Fr. Penta, in Mitte while others will attend their local German church. We did attend St. Bernard’s during 2003-2004 while our son Jan was preparing for his first holy communion so we feel we know both churches quite well. At St. Bernard’s there is an English mass service but not an English Speaking Catholic Community like at All Saints.
The All Saint’s catholic community has a very definite identity; the music and hymns, the involvement of the laity, the participation of children (both boys and girls) in the mass are what make up this identity. The community is made up of people from all over the world and it is steadily growing despite not being able to offer the sacraments of Baptism, First Hoy Communion and Marriage. We feel if All Saint’s position were to be changed to offer these sacraments then it would grow even stronger and perhaps some people who switched to St. Bernard’s because of the lack of these sacraments would return.
Having spoken to many members of the All Saint’s community we can safely say that most of us find the closure of our community as being unjust and the stated reason of strengthening the English Speaking Catholic Community to be spurious. Our understanding is that All Saints is being sacrificed in order to keep St Bernard’s open. We don’t see any other plausible reason, as All Saints is a financially independent community, growing in strength and serving the needs of a large portion of the Berlin English Speaking Catholic Community.
We would therefore ask you to reconsider the decision to close the All Saints Catholic Church at Hüttenweg.

Very sincerely
The Mc Greal Family
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