The Hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archbishop Daniel (Zelinsky) of the UOC of the USA visited the Ukrainian Orthodox Diocese in Western Europe and prayed with the clergy and parishioners in the city of Ingolstadt, Bavaria (Germany).
Archbishop Daniel published photos from the service on his Facebook page.
“Honored to VISIT and PRAY with the Clergy and Faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Western Europe at the Protection of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Ingolstadt, Bavaria (Germany) – Fr. Alexander Smoktunowicz – pastor,” he wrote in a caption to the photos.
The history of the parish in Ingolstadt dates back to 1945 when refugees from Ukraine who were forced to flee their homeland during the Second World War or were brought to Germany as captured workers ended up in the camp for displaced persons in Ingolstadt. In 1945, the military administration provided a building for the Church in the very center of the town, a former powder warehouse. The first service was held on October 14, 1945, on the feast of the Intercession of the Mother of God, patroness of the Ukrainian Cossacks. The name of the Church is not accidental: a camp was located some 300 m from it, in which more than 5,000 Ukrainians were located, among whom there were many former soldiers with the Ukrainian People’s Republic and UPA. The church offered spiritual comfort and joy for the tormented Ukrainians who had gone through the hardships of war and uncertainty. It is known that the first Abbot of the Parish was Archpriest Serhiy Kindzeraviy-Pastukhiv.
Since the first days of its existence, the Holy Intercession Church has been and remains the center of the religious and cultural national life of Ukrainians, a venue for meetings, advice and communication. It was and is a kind of fragment of homeland, a native home for Ukrainians who ended up in Germany due to various circumstances.
Two Ukrainian parishes have been founded in Germany, being cared for by Father Alexander Smoktunowicz.