Theresa Kimmel was enthusiastic. “For me it was a great honor and a unique experience. It was very nice to be so close to the Pope. The Holy Father asked us to take greetings home with us”, said the 14-year-old from the parish of Machtilshausen on New Year’s Day in Rome.
Bread and wine brought
Together with Fabian Martin (15) from Westheim and Sarah Volkl (14) from Elfershausen, Theresa was even allowed to take part in the offertory procession. Dressed in their carol singing costumes, the three young people brought bread and wine to the altar and presented the Holy Father with the New Year’s greetings of the children’s missionary organization “Die Sternsinger”.
“It was also a great honor for me to be present in St. Peter’s Basilica on behalf of the many carol singers. I was not so excited after the many rehearsals”, Fabian reported on the great experience. And Sarah joined in: “I wasn’t that excited, but when we walked up the stairs to the altar, it was a very great experience to be so close to the Holy Father. The Pope thanked us for the gifts and then asked us from which place in the diocese of Wurzburg we come.”
Prelate Klaus Kramer, president of the Children’s Missionary Society, who accompanied the group to the service, made it clear: “The theme of this year’s World Day of Peace is ‘educating youth for peace and justice.”
The carol singers have been making an important contribution to this for many years. “They work for peace and justice all over the world, this year especially for the rights of children”, said Kramer.
In his address at the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father expressly mentioned the group: “I especially greet the carol singers from the diocese of Wurzburg and all those who are proclaiming the Christmas message as carol singers during these days.”
The little and big kings from the parish community of Saalekreuz were in Rome around the turn of the year. For the eighth time since 2001, carol singers brought the gifts for the Eucharist to the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica on New Year’s Day.
The sponsors of the Epiphany campaign are the children’s missionary organization “Die Sternsinger” and the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ). Since its start in 1959, the campaign has developed into the world’s largest solidarity campaign by children for children. Almost 772 million euros have been collected since then.
More than 60,800 projects for disadvantaged children in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Eastern Europe were supported.
At the 53. campaign at the beginning of 2011, the girls and boys from 11,622 parishes, schools and kindergartens had collected around 41.8 million euros.
In the diocese of Wurzburg, 1,262,657.21 euros were collected in 720 parishes of the diocese. With the funds raised, the “Aktion Dreikonigssingen” supports projects worldwide in the areas of education, health, pastoral care, nutrition, social integration and rehabilitation as well as emergency aid.