Pilgrims' Mass With the Newly Ordained Priest Klemens Werth

Wallfahrtsmesse mit Neupriester Klemens Werth

"Pilgrims’ Mass With the Newly Ordained Priest Klemens Werth." Volk auf dem Weg, December 2002, 29.

Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

Newly ordained priest Klemens Werth gives his first blessing

Klemens was born in 1969 in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. His father originally lived in Schoenchen on the Volga River and his mother in Speyer near Odessa. His parents met in Kazakhstan, where they had been deported to during Stalinist times. Klemens still has ten siblings. His elder brother Joseph is the Bishop of Novosibirsk in Siberia, and his sister Rosa is working with Bishop Clemens Pickel in Saratov. She belongs to the Order of "Servants of Jesus in the Eucharist."

Klemens' father was born in Ilbenstadt and is buried there. His mother and several siblings still live there.

Solemn pilgrimage Mass in the "Ave Maria" Church in Deggingen, with the Primiziant (*) [the newly ordained priest, see asterisked note at the end of the article] as main celebrant.
After he finished middle school in Karaganda, Klemens worked as an auto mechanic for three years. Through the many contacts with people during that time he realized that, despite the harassment from by godless Soviet System, many people were still searching for God, even though he may often seem remote. In 1991 he joined the Jesuits in Lithuania, two years later he went to Munich to study philosophy, and he concluded his theology studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. He is currently studying at the Weston Jesuit School for Theology in Cambridge in the US. He plans to return to the former Soviet Union, which has its own Society of Jesus, of which he is a member. On August 10, in Novosibirsk, Klemens was ordained to the priesthood by his own brother Joseph, and on August 25 he celebrated his first Mass in Ilbenstadt, and on October 6 a pilgrimage Mass for Germans from Russia at "Ave Maria" Church in Deggingen. In his remarks he made the point that he is happy to return to Russia, despite all the problems and difficulties that are left over from the atheistic system there. During the course of time, his original motivation toward becoming a priest, namely, a desire to help people in their search for God in a world that the Communists left to them as a religious wasteland, has only been strengthened.

[The following parenthetical paragraph is in Italics in the original:]
* Primiziant [a German word with Latin roots] stands for a newly ordained Catholic priest, his first Mass is called Primizmesse, and his first blessing [=segen], highly respected in churchly tradition, is called the Primizsegen.

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