As promised, the website of the Institute of St Philip Neri in Berlin and some words about it.
The Institute was founded five years ago by the traditionalist secular priest Father Gerald Goesche. He raised the money to buy a former convent and home for fallen women, founded a hundred years ago in a very poor area of Berlin. (The church is dedicated to St Afra, who was an early martyr and former prostitute) The institute is dedicated to the traditional Mass, teaching, social care, and Catholic culture. Most of the non-liturgical and pastoral work is done by volunteers and there is absolutely NO funding or handouts from the Diocese. All funds come from the faithful. It has no parish, as such, to keep it independent from Novus interference, and depends on private donations (covenants, etc). Nevertheless it is a magnet for traditionalists in Berlin! The church is always full for Sunday Mass and has daily Rosary as well as Benediction, etc.
The church is a fine building but was in a very poor state when it was taken over. Father Goesche and friends had to do a lot of hard physical work! For example, the VII-inspired, misguided wreckers completely destroyed the High Altar (leaving only fragments), painted over the vaulting, and the beautiful stained glass windows are gone. No altar rails, of course! This was a GREAT PITY as the whole original interior had survived the heavy bombing of World War II completely intact!
The next big task is a total replacement of the roof structure, as it is in a very poor condition and only kept up by prayer and braces!
Not only had Father Goesche to find, at very short notice, the whole cost of buying the building (and thereby save it from profanation!), but the state keeps hitting him with various huge tax bills. He has also had to replace the High Altar, vestments, cloths, pictures, side altars, sanctuary carpets........the list is ENDLESS! And all on the donations of the faithful!!!!!!
You have guessed it!
This is also a begging letter!!!
Any tiny amount anybody can give would be very gratefully received!!!
I hope it is OK to do this. This is NOT any sort of scam, but a most needed and sacred resource for the Holy Catholic Church in Berlin.
Also there is absolutely no conflict with the SSPX. Father Goesche was very closely associated with the Society for some time and even helped to build the Society´s new church of St Petrus where I am going in a couple of hours for Confession and Mass!
Unfortunately, the website is still only in German. I was only asked to translate it yesterday. As soon as I have completed it, I will publish it again. Meanwhile, if you don´t understand German, you can look at the many wonderful pictures.
Any questions you have, I will try to answer, or I will find out and get back to you!
Thanks for reading all this!