Author Topic: Orthodox and Alone in Germany  (Read 7370 times)

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Offline ATX

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Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« on: February 02, 2011, 04:56:27 PM »
Hi everyone,

I recently moved to live and work in Heidelberg, Germany.  I don't speak German (yet) and found out the nearest parish is Greek Orthodox and in Mannheim, about 30 km away.  Does anyone have any experience with Orthodox parishes in this area?  What would you suggest for a catechumen far from home, whose family is Mormon, will soon move here, and expects me to get them set up with the local LDS community?  I fully intend on doing that, by the way.  I want them to be happy moving here, as this was my idea after a fantastic opportunity to work with the Dept. of Defense in this area came my way.  I do want to continue my journey into Orthodoxy and any suggestions are welcome.  Thank you!

God bless,

Offline Shiranui117

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 09:18:34 PM »
Is there anyone from the Orthodox church who knows any English, if the priest doesn't know it? Anyone who can explain the Divine Liturgy to you, if need be, or anyone who can serve as an interpreter between you and the priest? Definitely less than ideal, but we shouldn't let language be a barrier here! :) From what I can tell, having a parish only 30 km away is a real blessing, for being in Germany! :D

Good luck and go with God!

Offline ag_vn

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 05:33:49 AM »
I don't know how current the information is, but there is a Romanian Orthodox parish in Heidelberg, with Liturgy every second Sunday of the month served by the Romanian priest in Mannheim:
Rumänische Orthodoxe Pfarrei "Heilige Dreieinigkeit" Heidelberg
Kirche: Hl. Anna, Plöck 4, 69115 Heidelberg

Preot Drd. Ioan Popescu
Tel/Fax: {+49}(0)6203-95747 21
Mobil: {+49}(0)160-91 02 14 61

In addition the Greek priest in Mannheim visits Heidelberg every second Saturday of the month and serves a Liturgy at 10.00:
Heidelberg: Erlöserkirche
Plöck 44, 69117 Heidelberg
Göttliche Liturgie: jeden zweiten Samstag im Monat, 10.00

As for Mannheim there are several other Orthodox parishes besides the Greek one. Most Orthodox in the region seem to be there. I don't know what are their service schedules:

- Bulgarian:
Bulgarische orthodoxe Kirchengemeinde "Hl. Petka Tarnovska" e.V. – Mannheim
Römerstraße 11
68259 Mannheim
Vertreten durch:
Erzpriester Nedialko Kalinov
Herr Dobrin Panayotov

Telefon: +49-176-6167-8244

- Antiochian
Gemeinde "Hl. Petrus"
Spiegelstr. 2
68305 Mannheim

Priester Abdallah Dis
Spechaasstr. 57
76297 Stutensee
Tel.: 07249-954826
Mob.: 0163-6505536

- Russian (ROCOR):
Russische Orthodoxe Kirche des Heiligen Alexander von Neva
Gärtnerstr. 10 / Neckarstadt Ost
68169 Mannheim
+49 (0) 621 3189821

- Serbian:
Priester Aleksa Milinković,
Mobil 0172/ 137 87 90
Kirche: Deidesheimer Strasse 21 - 68309 Mannheim-Käfertal
Tel. 0621/ 724 73 72   Fax 0621/ 724 74 01     eMail:

- Romanian:
Rumänische Orthodoxe Pfarrei "Auferstehung des Herrn" Mannheim
Biserica: Alter Postweg 12-14
68309 Mannheim

Preot Drd. Ioan Popescu
Tel/Fax: {+49}(0)6203-95747 21
Mobil: {+49}(0)160-91 02 14 61

This is the information from the websites. As for the language, I think learning German is important for living in Germany. Although German-speaking Orthodox parishes are very few I guess.

Offline ATX

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 06:29:23 AM »
Thank you for the information!  This list is very helpful.   I found some of what you provided online, but as I don't speak German it's difficult to sort through the available info.  I do plan to learn German asap.

Thanks again for the help.


Offline orthonorm

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 06:39:27 AM »
Unsolicited advice:

If you want to learn German and you are an English speaker, especially American, my tip:

Never speak English to them. Never.

American English is the Neu-Neuhochdeutch. It is like, aber superhammerf***inggeil!

You will get to learn humility by shedding a lot of your personality by learning to communicate in way in which much of your personality will go to the wayside.

Get a decent grammar; you Mormons are known for your language dominance, so I bet this could be helpful:

Start with a good English to German dictionary for a while:

Then as soon as possible get a German dictionary for non-native speakers:

EDIT: (I prefer this to the Duden):

These are my recommendations.

Watch every crummy American TV show dubbed that you can. The obvious and familiar nature of the shows will let you soak up the German, don't watch it with dictionary. Just let it sink in.

Every German University offers for nil German for foreign speakers classes from "nur Bahnhof" to Ueber-Oberstufe. Make use of them.

Never speak English with Germans. They will try to constantly do it, because they want to practice their English language skills especially the American vernacular.

Don't let yourself end up in an "English speaking ghetto".

And as soon as you start getting your head around German, start using:

For your wiki stuff, then read the English articles. It will broaden your language skills and knowledge as well. The articles in German will often have infos the English articles do not.

I spent time in the German-Speaking world. For the first six months, I did not read, write, speak, or intentionally hear a word of English. I then was able to enroll in University and got by very well.

And on how to use a dictionary: sparingly. Read, listen, absorb. Go to the dictionary only to make sense of what you cannot possibly understand.

Hammer's Grammer will help enormously to increase your vocabulary by its thorough treatment of verbal prefixes.

viel Glueck!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 06:50:50 AM by orthonorm »

Offline mike

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 07:50:59 AM »                          - German 'SCOBA'                  - EP                         - MP           - MP        - Serbians                - Romanians                        - Bulgarians               - Antiochians
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 12:58:52 PM »
Dear to Christ Andrew,

You are going to be working for the U.S. in Heidelburg, as such you also have contact with the military chaplains who will be able to get you in contact with both [1]the Orthodoxy clergy who are available to serve the English speaking community [this includes both the American military and the American  civil servants in Germany] as well as [2] the LDS Servicemen's Stake and the Heidelburg Servicemans Ward that is well organized to serve your family in English as they are used to with all their usual programs.

Remember to monitor the Orthodox Retreat weeks in Bertesgarten Armed Forces Recreational Center---prominent theologians and clergy from the U.S. Orthodox churches and the opportunity for confession and spiritual direction.

Your brother in Christ ,

Offline ATX

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Re: Orthodox and Alone in Germany
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 03:04:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice and tips everyone.  I have some good info now on locating an Orthodox parish to join.  I'm also glad for the suggestions on learning German.  Thanks so much!

Hi Subdeacon Thomas!  It's so great to hear from you.  I hope everyone in the parish is doing well.  Take care.

Your brother in Christ,