Head of new UOC community in Padeborn: We are all awaiting peace in Ukraine here
Archpriest Roman Romanenko spoke about how the UOC community was formed in Padeborn, Germany, and how the life of the parish continues to develop.
On October 20, 2022, a parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was opened in Padeborn, Germany (federal land of North Rhine-Westphalia) with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine. As Archpriest Roman Romanenko, head of the parish, told the UOJ, His Beatitude's decision was a response to the request of Orthodox Ukrainians who escaped the war and found shelter in Padeborn, an ancient city that was the capital of the Catholic principality-bishopric for several centuries.
The rector of the church in honor of St. Francis Xavier gave the church to the Ukrainian Orthodox community for construction.
"The parish services are held in the old Catholic university church in the center of Padeborn. But it is not so much the walls that are important, but the fact that the bread is broken, the Eucharist is celebrated, which is the main thing. Ukrainians from other cities came to us for the first Divine Liturgy," Father Roman said.
The community continues to look for additional premises in order to serve akathists, gathers together after the service for discussions and engages with young parishioners, as the university church holds events according to its own busy schedule.
"Compatriots learned about the opening of the Padeborn community of the UOC mainly from the Telegram chat of Ukrainians in Padeborn. The parishes of the UGCC, the ROC, and the ROCOR were indicated here. After the announcement, we received a lot of feedback from the people, who were happy about the possibility to visit the parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Now one can get information about the life of the community on our Facebook page," noted Father Roman.
There are many women with children in the Ukrainian community. Fr. Roman himself is the educator of a family-type children's home and came to Padeborn from the Kamyanske diocese with a large family in which 9 children are growing up. They help the priest during the service: matushka Olga and her eldest daughter sing in the choir, the eldest sons serve in the altar.
The men of the community, who also brought their large families to Germany, help prepare the room for worship, place icons on special tripods because there is no iconostasis. Father Roman brought the icons with him from his native Ukraine.
"When I serve, I understand that behind me are not only the parishioners in the church, but also their relatives and friends, about whom they wrote in the notes. A lot of names for commemoration are passed on in social networks from different cities of Ukraine, including from Kamyanske, where I served as a rector," he said.
"From here, from Padeborn, we can help Ukraine through prayer. We are all awaiting peace in Ukraine, only with peace can we return home," Archpriest Roman Romanenko added.
Speaking about how the community will develop in six months or year, Fr. Roman quoted the words from the Gospel: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34).
"Today the Lord gave us this time to endure and pray – for one’s relatives, for soldiers, so that the Lord will protect them and return them alive to their families. He gave us this time to love our neighbors, without this love we will not open our hearts to God, and He will not open His without it," concluded the head of the community.
We remind you that on November 13, 2022, the first Divine Liturgy was held for the new UOC community in Padeborn.
Divine services at the UOC parish in Padeborn are held at the address:
Kamp 2, 33098, Paderborn, Germany.
Superior Archpriest Roman Romanenko: +38 067 645 47 55.
As the UOJ reported, the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church began to operate in Paris.