What are common characteristics of night owls

Christian Schreiber House

in the Christian-Schreiber-Haus Alt-Buchhorst it should go

Give summer the Christian Orientation Year:

Young volunteers are looking for a community shared by faith




looking for spiritual sources for their life. The initiator is Sister Ethel Maria Kollenberg, who works as an education officer in the youth center of the archdiocese.

by Dorothee Wanzek

“Sister Ethel Maria would like to fulfill a dream in the Archdiocese of Berlin,” read the Lord's Day, when the sisters of Our Lady founded a branch in Alt-Buchhorst two and a half years ago. “She would like to pass on what she herself has found in faith and live this with her fellow sisters and selected young people in a kind of spiritual residential community,” it continued.

“I wasn't even aware that I was talking about a 'dream' at the time,” says the nun with a smile. It makes sense that “T-Room” is the name under which the idea from back then is just picking up speed. It is not so much about the dreams of the 47-year-old sister as it is about the life

dreams of up to six young adults who can spend a Christian orientation year in the Christian-Schreiber-Haus from summer onwards. Even more than the volunteers who have supported the Catholic Youth Center in education and housekeeping so far, the future volunteers should find time and space to get to the bottom of their own faith and develop their personality further - in conversations with one another and with the sisters, in the common everyday life with like-minded people and in two special experiences abroad: In autumn there will be the opportunity to experience Israel, the country of origin of Christianity, together. In addition, each “T-scraper” will accompany a woman or a man for four weeks who is committed to another country out of Christian motivation. In contrast to other internships abroad, it is not primarily a matter of actively lending a hand. Instead, the focus is on experiencing a committed person and perceiving the place of work in Africa, Latin America or another region of the world with their eyes.

As a high school teacher in northwest Germany, Sister Ethel Maria has seen many spiritually open-minded students. She would have liked to have accompanied her search more intensively. However, she often found her role as a teacher, especially having to evaluate, as a hindrance.

In the Christian-Schreiber-Haus, one of her most important tasks is the spiritual accompaniment of adolescents and young adults. She is currently taking part in a Germany-wide additional training to accompany young people on their way to their vocation. Ultimately, it was the Corona break that helped the long-cherished idea of ​​a shared apartment for faith to a breakthrough. The limited operation made some things possible that are otherwise often lost in everyday operations - such as working on new concepts. The three young women, who have been doing voluntary service in Alt-Buchhorst since September according to the previous concept, got involved and tried a few things together with Sister Ethel Maria, for example different forms of prayer and methods of dealing with the Bible. “It was a stroke of luck that all three are very interested in issues of faith and their own further development,” says the sister happily. As difficult as it was up to now for them to have to work more at their desks than with children and adolescents, everyone found the intensive discussions on topics that are close to their hearts, the search for their own vocation or identifiers for spiritual abuse, valuable.

The volunteers will not take part directly in the community life of the three sisters, explains Sister Ethel Maria, they also live in another area of ​​the house. But there will definitely be points of contact, for example at lunch in the dining room or at prayer times. Sister Rafaelis Könemann works in an addiction counseling center in Fürstenwalde, while Sister Elisabeth-Maria Weinrich is an accountant in the youth center. The employees of the house noticed very quickly that the sisters could hardly be more different: At Rafaelis, the heart beats for public relations, Elisabeth-Maria, on the other hand, is concerned with data protection, she is an early bird, while Ethel is a night owl ... has already encouraged some to look for common paths in their own environment despite seemingly unbridgeable opposites: "If even you can manage it, it should be possible ...!"

Nightly conversations about God and the world

Some of the experiences that Sister Ethel Maria has been collecting for two years with the “nAcht” project of the Young Churches in the Archdiocese network will also flow into the Christian Orientation Year. The speaker had the idea for this from the Diocese of Osnabrück, where the “nAcht” has proven itself for ten years: on the 8th of each month, the Catholic Church offers an event for young adults at interesting locations at eight o'clock in the evening.

“As a rule, the two and a half hour programs are not particularly pious, but they often result in deep conversations about personal dreams and beliefs,” says Sister Ethel Maria. From the Christian-Schreiber-Haus she was with young adults, among other things, in a bakery, in the Stahnsdorf cemetery, in canoes on the lake behind the education center and in video conferences. “This appointment corresponds to the spontaneity of young people today. You don't have to register, the date is remembered, and even those who have fixed appointments on certain days of the week can sometimes be there. ”Last but not least, the offer is also attractive for people who have not yet had any experience with the church.

More information about the Christian Orientation Year can be found at www. mein-t-raum.de