Friday, June 03, 2005

To Cardinal Sterzinsky (Nancy Dravis)


May 17, 2005

His Eminence Georg Cardinal Sterzinsky

Your Eminence,

Recently I have learned of your decision to close and deconsecrate the Catholic Chapel in Hüttenweg. I became acquainted with this parish through my friendship with some of the communicants there. As a Roman Catholic who frequently traveled from home for extended periods of time it was most comforting to find a church in which to worship and where a stranger was welcomed.
The history of this parish is most extraordinary, spanning the years when Berlin was an occupied and divided city. The transition in the 1990s and the devotion of its members has been an inspiration to us all. Everyone is accepted; no small thing when one is far from home. The strong relationships, which the parishioners have forged among themselves, are heartwarming. The support and love which these people extend to one another is inspiring especially given the self-absorption so evident in today’s secular society.
As you can see from my address I live in a state, Massachusetts, where the church is in upheaval. More than 100 parishes have been closed causing much heartache to its members. “Sit-ins” are being conducted in many churches and, while I do not believe it will result in a reversal of the archdiocesan decision, it illustrates the strong feelings which the parishioners have when they are willing to keep vigil 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
I do not know the reasons for your decision since All Saints is a vibrant and active community, self-supporting and contributing to the archdiocese as well.
Europe has moved inexorably toward globalization. What is already in place at All Saints is a microcosm of the Church’s faithful. The members of All Saints will no doubt remain staunch in their faith no matter what you decide. They have reached out to many of us who have experienced the generosity to all who attend services. You have received many letters such as mine, some more eloquent but none more sincere. Our Church needs the diversity that All Saints offers. Everyone is accepted regardless of race or nationality. Do not disenfranchise these devoted people but rather permit them to continue their good work in Berlin.
I request a response to this letter at your earliest convenience. My prayers for you and all those at All Saints.


Nancy Dravis
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