In Ostdeutschland begann der junge Michael Arndt in der Schule Russisch zu lernen. Nach dem Aufstand von 1953 floh die Familie Arndt – Eltern und drei Kinder – aus der Sowjetzone. In Frankfurt am Main beschloss der Gymnasiast Michael Arndt sein Russisch weiter zu entwickeln. Das bestimmte sein weiteres Leben: Er lernte die Jugendlichen der russischen Emigrantenkreise und die Orthodoxie kennen, studierte Slavistik in Frankfurt und Heidelberg. In Mannheim konvertierte er zur Orthodoxie, wurde zum Leser in der Kirche, besuchte den Heiligen Berg Athos...
Biographie: S. E. MARK, Erzbischof von Berlin und Deutschland (von Wikipedia)
Michael Arndt studierte u. a. Slawistik in Heidelberg und konvertierte noch während seines Studiums 1964 zum russisch-orthodoxen Glauben. Nach dem Magisterexamen wurde Arndt mit einer Arbeit über die Literatur des russischen Fürstentums Twer zum Dr. phil. promoviert.
Arndt studierte an der Universität Belgrad orthodoxe Theologie und erwarb 1979 das theologische Diplom. 1975 wurde er zum Priestermönch und 1980 zum Bischof der russisch-orthodoxen Auslandskirche (ROKA) geweiht. Zugleich führt er als Abt jahrzehntelang die Mönchsgemeinschaft des Klosters zum Hl. Hiob von Počaev in München.
Ab 1980 war Mark Arndt Bischof von Stuttgart und Süddeutschland, 1982 erfolgte die Ernennung zum Bischof von Berlin und Deutschland. 1990 wurde er in den Rang eines Erzbischofs erhoben.
Er leitet die zur russisch-orthodoxen Auslandskirche gehörende Russische Orthodoxe Diözese des orthodoxen Bischofs von Berlin und Deutschland - so der offizielle Titel. In seine Zuständigkeit als Bischof in Deutschland fällt auch die Eparchie Großbritannien, die Gemeinde in Kopenhagen und die „Russische geistliche Mission“ in Jerusalem.
Nach den politischen Veränderungen in den ehemaligen Ostblockstaaten setzte sich Erzbischof Mark intensiv dafür ein, dass sich die Russisch-Orthodoxe Auslandskirche mit der Russisch-Orthodoxen Kirche – Moskauer Patriarchat vereinigt. Mark war der wichtigste Verhandlungspartner auf Seiten der Auslandskirche. In der ganzen Orthodoxie wurde er spätestens durch seine Ansprache auf dem IV. Gesamtkonzil der Russischen Auslandskirche in San Francisco bekannt, in der er sich vehement für einen Zusammenschluss beider Kirchen aussprach und auch die Fehler der eigenen Kirche eingestand. Erzbischof Mark bewies mit seinen Bemühungen diplomatisches Geschick und verfügte zudem über den Vorteil als gebürtiger Deutscher für alle Beteiligten sehr glaubwürdig für die gemeinsame Sache der russischen Orthodoxie einzutreten und überzeugte mit seiner Sachlichkeit.
Erzbischof Mark lebt im Kloster zum Hl. Hiob von Počaev in München und betreut die Gläubigen der bis auf weiteres bestehenden Diözese von Berlin und Deutschland der Auslandskirche. Sein publizistisches Organ ist die Zeitschrift "Der Bote der deutschen Diözese der Russisch Orthodoxen Kirche im Ausland".
Das orthodoxe Mönchskloster in München-Obermenzing besteht seit 1945. Es liegt versteckt in unmittelbarer Nähe der Blutenburg in Obermenzing.
Ursprünglich war dieses Kloster von Mönchen, die nach der Oktoberrevolution aus Russland geflohen waren, 1926 in der Ostslowakei gegründet worden. Zur Bruderschaft gehörten bei Kriegsende mehr als 40 Mönche, die dann erneut vor der Roten Armee nach Westen flohen und Ende 1945 ihr Kloster in München neu gründeten. Über Jahrzehnte lebten nur noch wenige betagte Mönche im Kloster.
1980 übersiedelte der damalige Bischof und heutige Erzbischof Mark, das derzeitige Oberhaupt der deutschen Diözese, in das Kloster, worauf die Gemeinschaft, der derzeit 10 Mönche angehören, wieder anzuwachsen begann.
Die Bedeutung des Klosters für die Diözese besteht darin, dass mögliche Anwärter für das Priesteramt im Kloster leben können und hier ihre theologische und praktische Ausbildung erhalten. Seit 1980 konnten mehrere Kandidaten auf das Priesteramt vorbereitet werden. Oft nutzen die Priesteramtskandidaten die Möglichkeit eines Fernstudiums am Geistlichen Seminar des Moskauer Sretenski-Klosters.
Als geistliches Zentrum spielt das Kloster nicht nur für die deutsche Diözese eine große Rolle, sondern darüber hinaus für die europäischen Nachbarländer. Seit dem Zusammenbruch des Kommunismus in den osteuropäischen Staaten kommen sehr oft Besucher und Pilger aus diesen Ländern. Viele der Pilger bleiben einige Tage, andere auch Wochen als Gäste im Kloster und nehmen am monastischen Leben teil.
Am 28. Oktober bzw. 10. November begeht das Kloster das Patronatsfest, das Fest des Heiligen Hiob von Potschajew.
Das Kloster betreibt eine Kerzengießerei, von der die Gemeinden der ROKA ihre Kerzen beziehen. Mitte der 1980er Jahre wurde die Klosterdruckerei modernisiert und seitdem wird orthodoxes Schrifttum in deutscher und russischer Sprache herausgegeben. Das Kloster hat einen kleinen Verlag und gibt die Buchreihe "Begegnung mit der Orthodoxie" heraus, daneben liturgisches Schrifttum, Gebetbücher, Kirchenkalender und ähnliches.
Formal wird das Kloster von der Russische Orthodoxe Kirchenstiftung für Wissenschaft, Denkmalpflege und Mildtätigkeit mit Sitz in Bad Honnef getragen.
Im Kloster wird als einziges Periodikum die zweimonatlich erscheinende Diözesanzeitschrift (Vestnik/Bote) gedruckt. "Der Bote der deutschen Diözese der Russisch Orthodoxen Kirche im Ausland" – so der offizielle Titel - wird von der Bruderschaft des Klosters des Heiligen Hiob von Potschajew gedruckt und finanziert.
BIOGRAPHY OF ARCHBISHOP MARK (in english)
Archbishop Mark was born Michael Arndt on January 29, 1941, in Saxony, where the first Russian bishop of German origin was also born, Metropolitan Seraphim (Liade).
After finishing the 13-year school program in Frankfurt am Main in 1960, the future bishop volunteered for military service in Western Germany, where he served for 1 _ years. He was later drafted several times later and reached the rank of lieutenant-senior.
In 1962, he enrolled in the Historical-Philological Department in Frankfurt University, transferring later to Heidelberg University. There he specialized in Slavic and English, including Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Czech and Macedonian languages and literature. His doctoral thesis was entitled: "Biographical Literature of the Tver Duchy in the 14th and 15th Centuries."
The study of Russian drew the young student to the Russian émigré community in Frankfurt. Studying under Professor Dimitri Chizhevsky in Heidelberg, he visited Mannheim's Church of St Alexander Nevsky of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, where he converted to Orthodoxy in 1964, later becoming a reader. Trips to Mt Athos, his friendship with Athonite elders on Karoulia (Hiero-schemamonk Seraphim, a second Hiero-schema-monk Seraphim, Hiero-schema-monk Nikolai, Schema-monk Nikodemos), visits to the Skete of St Elias and St Panteleimon Monastery, where he became acquainted with Hiero-schema-monk Avel (now Archimandrite at St John the Theologian Monastery in Ryazan') spiritually determined the path of this Doctor of Slavic Studies. His further scholarly work concentrated on St Philaret of Moscow.
Starting in the fall of 1973, the future Vladyka began studying theology in Belgrade, where he graduated with a degree in theology in 1979. His personal acquaintance with Archimandrite Justin (Popovic), living then in exile in Celije Monastery, drew him into the tightly-knit group of the Serbian elder's students, then hieromonks, now bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church—Amphilochius, Afanasi, Artemije and Irinej.
Ordained to the rank of deacon in 1975, the future Vladyka Mark soon dropped teaching Church Slavonic and Ancient Russian Language and Literature in Erlangen, and also his scholarly work, in order to be tonsured to the monkhood, performed in the summer of 1975 in Lesna Convent near Paris. Three days later, Fr Mark was ordained hieromonk and appointed as Deputy Rector of the Russian church in Wiesbaden. In the summer of 1976, by decree of the Synod of Bishops, he was elevated to rank of archimandrite. Archbishop Paul (Pavlov, +1995), then Bishop of Stuttgart and South Germany. Archimandrite Mark ministered to three parishes—Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Saarbrukken. He devoted himself to preserving the Czarist-era churches in Germany, renovating and expanding the Russian cemetery near the Wiesbaden church, where he performed the full cycle of monastic services, and where he began teaching the young people he attracted, while at the same time continuing his theological studies, successfully passing examinations in Belgrade.
After the death of Archbishop Theodosius of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, the Synod of Bishops appointed His Grace Bishop Paul, then Vicar of the Diocese of Berlin and Germany. Bishop Paul's see was then given to Archimandrite Mark, who was to assume the title of Bishop of Munich and Southern Germany. His consecration was performed on November 30, 1980, at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York. As is tradition, during the rite of nomination, Archimandrite Mark read a sermon in which one could see a repeating theme, that of how to lead his flock. He had warm words regarding his spiritual closeness to the Serbian theologian and ascetic, Archimandrite Justin (Popovic, +1979) and also to Holy Mount Athos. The consecration was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, +1985), along with Archbishop Vitaly of Montreal and Canada, and Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco and Western America, Bishop Laurus of Holy Trinity and Syracuse, Bishop Paul of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand and Bishop Gregory (Grabbe, +1995) of Manhattan.
After his consecration, Bishop Mark moved to the Monastery of St Job of Pochaev in Munich with a small monastic community. The monastery was reestablished and renovated. From 1981, the periodical Vestnik Germanskoj Eparkhii [Bulletin of the German Diocese] began publication, a printing press was established (publishing works in Russian and German), and the production of candles and incense began. The monastery followed the Athonite rule. In the fall of 1982, Bishop Mark, because of the serious illness of Archbishop Filofei (Narko), accepted the title of Bishop of Berlin and Germany, but continued to reside in the Munich monastery, from where he continues to rule the German Diocese.
In the mid-1980's, Vladyka Mark was appointed Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Great Britain and Rector of St Alexander Nevsky Parish in Copenhagen.
In 1997, he was appointed Overseer of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.
From 1993-1997, he headed the dialog between the two dioceses (of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate) in the united Germany. Since 2000, he has been the President of the Committee on the Unity of the Russian Church, and since 2003, the President of the Commission on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Russian St Panteleimon Monastery on Holy Mt Athos
in the Life of Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany
His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany has a close spiritual connection with the Russian sites of Mt Athos. He first visited the Holy Mountain at the age of 25, having just begun his teaching career. A thrilling account of a visit to Mt Athos by a young man, a member of the group “Orthodox Work,” inspired his trip.
Wishing to see firsthand an entirely different and unknown world within the territory of modern Europe, which is what the monasteries of Mt Athos represent, the future bishop took it upon himself to make a pilgrimage there.
He sensed the prayer-infused life of Mt Athos. This first pilgrimage gradually became an annual event, and the future Vladyka Mark would sometimes go twice a year. He would spend a good deal of time there: two or two-and-a-half months at a time. He would split his time between St Panteleimon Monastery, St Elias Skete and Karoulia. At the time, St Elias Skete was under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and had no contact with St Panteleimon Monastery, which commemorated the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Still, it was at the latter monastery that Vladyka Mark found his first spiritual father, Schema-Archimandrite Avel (Makedonov). There, Vladyka Mark made frequent confession, read on the kliros and actively participated in Russian monastic life.
According to Vladyka Mark, he made his first confession to Fr Avel; with his blessing he began to read on the kliros and later was tonsured a monk. His close filial relationship with his spiritual guide continued even as a priest and later hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. As he admits himself, it was Fr Avel’s influence that imparted his firm decision to help achieve the reestablishment of full brotherly communion within the Russian Orthodox Church.
Noteworthy among Vladyka Mark’s recollections is the fact that during his visits there were still many elders who remember the “old days” when their teachers were the great ascetics, Ieronym, Macarius and Andrei.
Schema-Archimandrite Ilian (Sorokin) was then the abbot of St Panteleimon Monastery. Many noticed the remarkable traits of this monk: he joined the monastery in 1905. In 1958, after the death of Abbot Justin, he was elected abbot and elevated to the rank of archimandrite. This is what the author Anatoly Darov wrote about him:
Archimandrite Ilian’s eyes are very calm, other times they are strict but tender. It is difficult to say how old he is, but asking him would be more difficult. There are such people in the world: it is easy to ask them for something, but hard to ask them something. A soft, delicate prohibition gleamed in his eyes. No, this was not the severe ascetic refusal of this world that one sees in Fr Mikhail [of the Monastery of St Andrey], not the child-like yet wise trust of Fr Nikolai [of St Elias Skete], this is a sorrowful, troubled, yet ingratiating spirituality… Fr Ilian exhausts himself with divine services. When he dies, you won’t find another abbot like this anywhere in the world.
In June of 1962, during the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Mt Athos, he was awarded the Medal of St Vladimir by the Moscow Patriarchate for his service to the Church.
Another wonderful elder whom Vladyka Mark came to know was Hiero-Schemamonk Serafim (Tekza). Fr Serafim, born in the Carpathian Mountains in 1901, arrived to Mt Athos in 1925. According to Vladyka Mark, it was this elder who had the greatest effect on him in how he lived his daily life. This was a venerable hieromonk of the community, earning great respect among the monks for his spirituality and discernment. Fr Serafim headed the monastery’s apothecary, gathering medicinal plants from the woods of Mt Athos. He was always prepared to help his suffering brethren. Although old and feeble himself, he would sit at the bedside of an ailing brother for hours, praying to the Lord for his relief. The monks joked that his love-filled heart brought more benefit to the sick than the herbs he administered. On December 25, 1972, Patriarch Pimen awarded him an ornamented cross during his visit to Mt Athos.
Vladyka Mark spent most of his time at St Elias Skete. At the time, it was headed by Hegumen Archimandrite Nikolai, who arrived in 1900 and never once left it. In 1952, after the death of Abbot John, he was elected the new abbot by the monks. He was forced to lead the skete during a period of its complete collapse, both spiritually and materially. A brief biography was composed by Darov which illustrates his relationship with the Moscow Patriarchate. Despite the resistance of many in the effort to reconcile with the Russian Church, he and other Russian residents of Mt Athos deep down hoped for the speedy restoration of relations with Moscow. “Poor Alexy [Patriarch of Moscow] could not come after all, and I feel sorry for him as a human being, for he was old and, they say, sick. Mt Athos would have helped him so much!” From another passage we see how close Fr Nikolai was with the heads of the other two Russian monastic communities, Fr Ilian and Fr Mikhail (Dmitriev): “Ilian, as well as Miklhail and I. We are all related, but we are all different!” Fr Nikolai died on April 17, 1973. He was the last Russian abbot of St Elias Skete. By the time of his death, there were only three monks remaining, so they did not bother to elect a new abbot.
In Karoulia, which Vladyka Mark often visited, two Russian schema-monks lived, Fr Nikodim and Fr Seraphim, as well as the Serb Fr Stefan. They had been performing their ascetic labors there since 1917. He spent a great deal of time with them and received much spiritual wisdom, especially with regard to the Jesus Prayer.
Vladyka Mark still thanks God for allowing him to befriend these elders and partake of the endless wellspring of Russian spiritual culture. Gradually, the notion grew strength that he should join St Elias Skete. He examined himself for 8 years, fasted like a monastic, arose at night and read the monastic rule.
He measured his capabilities gradually. For him, the hope that he might one day come here for good brought him great joy. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Greece was under a military dictatorship at the time, and the “black colonels” would not allow the Russian monasteries of Mt Athos to grow out of a sense of nationalism. Gradually, the Russian monastic communities began to fade. St Andrew and St Elias Sketes transferred to the Greeks. St Panteleimon Monastery was almost lost, too. The Greeks from neighboring monasteries would visit to “stake out” the possibility of moving there.
Vladyka Mark’s present visit to Mt Athos coincide with the celebration of the “Light-Painted” Icon of the Mother of God, wishing to venerate the miraculous image. Archbishop Mark led the solemn service, all-night vigil and Divine Liturgy. Afterwards, a procession of the cross was held to the very site where, in 1903, the icon of the Mother of God first appeared, where Vladyka Mark performed a meleben with the blessing of the waters at the local wellspring in the chapel of the “Light-Painted” Icon of the Most-Holy Mother of God.
Vladyka also visited other churches of St Panteleimon Monastery and venerated their relics and icons. He entered Protection of the Mother of God Cathedral with special joy, for it was here that the liturgical life of the Russian monks of the 1970’s mostly took place when he visited as a young man.
On Saturday, September 5, 2015, Vladyka Mark celebrated commemorative Divine Liturgy at the Church of SS Peter and Paul in the monastery’s cemetery. He prayed for the reposed monks of the monastery, many of whom he had known personally. Later that day, after giving his blessings, Vladyka Mark left the Holy Mountain.
Arseny Tarasov “Russian Athos”