About our parish

150 yars of our church

Markus Mueller:

The majority of Christians in Russia, and in St. Petersburg too, belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church. The relation of the Catholic parish “Our Lady of the Visitation” population to the other Christian denominations is rather friendly, in contrary to some speculations. Orthodox or Protestant clergy may participate in some events organized by Catholics, maintaining respectful dialogue and appreciating one another across denominational boundaries. The Churches in Russia are- in a wider public opinion- often tied to nationalities. According to this scheme the “Germans” belong to the Evangelical Lutheran church, the Poles to the Catholic church, and the Russians- to the Russian Orthodox church. The division conceived that way is of course connected with the history of St. Petersburg, but doesn’t correspond to the real conditions.

In our community, many nationalities do feel at home.

Our pastor Fr. Stark, of German origin, had worked for 28 years as a missionary- member of the Divine Word Missionaries [Societas Verbi Divini] in the heart of the Congo and was later sent by his order to St. Petersburg, 10 years ago. He says Mass in French every Sunday at St. Catherine Church on Nevsky prospect while also many French-speaking brothers join him in the church of „Our Lady of Visitation. His assistant priest, Fr. Miroslav Foris, comes from Slovakia. We maintain an intensive and brotherly cooperation with the Unite Greek-Catholic community, which also uses „Our Lady of the Visitaion“ church for their services. Some of the community members come from Baltic states, some others are of Western European, Ukrainian, Indian, French-African or Russian origin, and there is also a small group of German Catholics who have found their home here. Normally the Mass is held in Russian, but every 1st Sunday of the month in both German and Russian languages.

Such an heterogeneous, multicultural, Catholic life as in our church is rare, especially in Russia. In this meeting place many cultures and people may careless live beyond all external circumstances and be happily together – in order to build the Church again – in a practical and spiritual sense.