One of the most important churches to the citizens of Munich, Saint Margaret is located in the worker’s quarter of Sendling and serves the Catholic believers throughout the year. But for a few days each year it’s a place where people from the Orthodox Macedonian community pray and gather to listen to their liturgy.
One of those days is the feast day of the Assumption of Mary when the believers gather together with their priest Mile Veljanovski inside the historical Catholic church. Fifteen minutes are all it takes for the Catholic church to be rearranged as an Orthodox sanctuary. This church is a place where religion does not separate but rather unites. Just a few people outside the Orthodox community in Munich know that believers other than the Catholics respect this church as much as they do.
Father Veljanovski has been a priest since 2006. He is responsible for the Macedonian Orthodox community in the whole region of South Germany, and he serves liturgy in different cities. Veljanovski says that it’s his duty to serve God and the believers. The Macedonian Church pays no fee to the Catholic Church and the Munich parish for using the church as an Orthodox sanctuary. The priest explains that this is an example of goodwill and that it says a lot about how good the relations between the two churches are.
“There is no problem with the Catholic believers, either. During our Orthodox ceremonies, often Catholic believers enter the church. Many of them are curious to see what is happening and they stay,” says father Veljanovski.
A German Catholic enters the church while we are talking to the priest. When he hears that the Macedonians have religious service here, he just smiles and says that in the hospital where he works, there are a lot of Macedonians and they are very friendly people.
Video: Milena.A.Manasieva & Victor Cozmei
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