German Russian Conference for the
150th Year of Remembrance of the Diocese of Tiraspol
March 7, 1998
With Bishop Dr. Walter Mixa, Eichstätt, Germany
and Bishop Josef Werth, Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia
Ladies and gentlemen, dear German-Russians!
The Bishop of Eichstätt and we, the organizers
of the Referat Weltkirche, want to extend a warm welcome and
wish you all the best for the new year.
We relay special greetings from the Apostolic
Administrator in Novosibirsk, Joseph Werth. It is of great importance
to him to remember the founding of the Diocese Tiraspol 150
years ago. He wants to do this at the grave site of the two
former bishops of the Tiraspol diocese, Franz Xaver Zottmann
and Josef Alois Keßler, who are both buried in the Franconian
city of Ornbau. He wants to invite you all to these festivities.
The Diocese of Eichstätt welcomes his desire
because it is the home diocese of Bishop Franz Xaver Zottmann.
Preparations and organization for this day of remembrance were
made by the Referat Weltkirche of the diocese of Eichstätt in
close collaboration with the town and the pastoral office in
All inquiries, registrations and information
are to be directed to: Referat Weltkirche, Luitpoldstraße 2,
85072 Eichstätt, tel.: 011-49-8421-50678, fax: 011-49-8421-50609.
As we unfortunately have only limited knowledge
of locations of present German-Russian residents, we ask you
to support us and extend this invitation to Catholic German-Russian
brothers and sisters. If it is possible for you, publish this
invitation in the proper newspapers and point out the registration
deadline. Thank you for your support.
We hope that this German Russian conference will
be a memorable event.
We are already now looking forward to meet Bishop
Joseph Werth and all of you at the grave site of the two Bishops
from the Volga, Franz Xaver Zottmann and Joseph Alois Keßler.
Father Joseph Schmidpeter
Referent für Weltkirche
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Mayer
Diözesebeauftragter für Weltkirche
Dear countrymen and friends,
The history of the Tiraspol diocese is closely
tied to the history and the fate of the Germans from Russia.
In 1848, it was established for Catholic settlers as the Diocese
Cherson by the Dnjepr River and transferred to Tiraspol in 1852.
The first bishop, Ferdinand Helanus Kahn, chose
Saratov on the Volga where his successors lived until 1917,
as residence. In 1914, the diocese comprised 350,000 Roman Catholics
of whom 90% were Germans with 100 pastoral offices and 179 priests.
The pressure of the Russian government in WWI against the Germans,
the hardships, famine and then the persecution of Catholics
in the Soviet Union led to the disintegration of the diocese.
We want to remember this short yet turbulent
time in the history of the church and to invite you because
many gave their lives as witnesses of their faith and for being
German. The last bishop, Joseph Aloisius Keßler, died in exile
"cast out from the pastorate and the homeland" because of Bolshevism.
Looking forward to meeting you in Ornbau,
Fr Eugen Reinhard
Beauftragter der deutschen Bischofskonferenz für die Seelsorge
an katholischen Rußlanddeutschen
Father Joseph Schmidpeter
85072 Eichstätt, Germany
German Russian Conference
in Ornbau, Germany
on March 7, 1998
9:15 am "Bishop Zottmann: his life, his work"
- Lecture by Prof. Dr. Ernst Reiter, Eichstätt, Germany
- Where: Pfarrkirche
10:00 am Special service with
Bishop Dr. Walter Mixa, Eichstätt, Germany
Bishop Josef Werth, Novosibirsk, Siberia,
11:30 am Procession to the cemetery in remembrance
Bishop Franz Xaver Zottmann and
Bishop Josef Alois Keßler
2:00 pm Opening words
"150 Years Diocese Tiraspol"
Lecture by Pastor Peter Macht
3:45 pm "The Diocese of Novosibirsk Today"
Slide program by Bishop Joseph Werth
5:00 pm Festivities conclude
Our thanks to Father Eugen Reinhardt,
SVD, Sekretariat der Seelsorge für die Katholischen Rußlandduetshen,
Postfach 1303, Bishof-Kindermann-Straße 3, 61463 Königstein,
Germany, for sharing the information about this historic
event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Diocese