Germany’s Catholic Church has had trouble finding new clergy for years now. Again and again, priests from other countries have taken over German parishes. It’s not always easy for them to get on their feet in Germany.
Father Shitjo was sent from a Catholic parish in Kerala, southern India to southern Germany by his bishop as emergency assistance amid Germany’s chronic shortage of priests. German churches are losing members en masse and are also finding it increasingly difficult to recruit young pastors. After an online German course in India, Shijo arrived in his new parish in the Trier diocese and immediately found himself in the thick of it: He had to preach sermons, give spiritual guidance and prepare children for their First Communion. And then there were the typical German customs like waste separation – and the unaccustomed hearty food. A report by Almut Röhrl.
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