Seeking out Parishes

Pfarreien Gesucht

"Seeking out Parishes." Volk auf dem Weg, December 2006, 30.

Translation from the original German-language text to American English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

NOTE: This is the part 3 of a series of installments of this article, continued from the November '06 issue of VadW.

Bishop Joseph Werth
The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese "Transfiguration of the Lord" (Novosibirsk) and Ordinary for the Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Russia, Joseph Werth, uses various letters to appeal to friends and benefactors of the Church in Siberia. By means of the following letter he intends to seek parishes in other countries that might be willing to support a parish in his diocese.

Year in, year out we receive money and support from the two great assistance organizations Renovabis and Church in Need that help to finance the work of our diocese. Without these two organizations, and without their assistance, dear benefactors, it would be nearly impossible for us to support any parish in our diocese effectively. In contrast with Germany, for example, we the
Catholic Church receive not a single ruble from the State. However, our communities are generally very poor, and their faithful are not rich. But they give what they can. During their village visits, our priests and nuns regularly receive donations of eggs, bread, and milk -- all of these gifts being real sacrifices of the faithful, which they gladly give to the Church.

However, these kinds of gifts do not suffice to finance the ongoing costs of the parishes, e.g, heating expenses for the church building -- an expense that especially in Siberia can be rather high. Or the steep prices for gasoline that is needed for our priests' frequent car trips to the various villages. Renovabis and Church in Need do help our parishes as much as they can, but by far not sufficiently to cover all the costs of our work.

This gave me the idea, along with a huge request, that we might seek parishes in other countries that might be able to support our diocese financially. My thought is of minor acts of sponsorship that might culminate in real partnerships. So we would like to seek out parishes in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy that might be willing and have the means to support ours (one
example, through the earnings of, say, an Advent bazaar). Here in Russia, a thousand euros would constitute a big help that might, for example, pay for electricity.

So I turn to you, my honored benefactors, with this request: should you have contact with a parish that might be willing to support one of our parishes, please help us by interceding for us and making the necessary contacts. Should you wish to do this via e-mail, please use the following address; ( .

The parishes in our diocese with which partnerships might be established would, of course, offer regular information and attempt to maintain contacts to make sure that real partnerships might exist across the borders.

I thank you all warmly for your support, and I continue to pray for God's blessings for you and your families.

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller