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Our Church

Village Coordinators - 

Denise Grau

Kevin Rupp

Colony Movement
Population of the Village

The Deaconate of Mariental

After World War I, after being removed from Katharinenstadt in 1918/1919, Mariental was elevated to its own independent deaconate. The following parishes were part of it: Mariental (Tonkoshurovka), Louis (Ortrogovka), Rohleder (Raskaty), Herzog (Susky), Liebental and Urbach, Beideck (Chomaya Padina), and Marienburg.

The first deacon in M. was Nikolaus Kraft (1918/1919 – 1921), and in 1928 Emanuel Bader had that post.

            Parishes of the Deaconate [and their pastors] as of 1928:

            Louis                            Pastor and Deacon, Curate Emanuel Bader

            Urbach                         Administrator Michael Still

            Neu-Obermonjou      Pastor Peter Bach

            Herzog                         Pastor Alois Oks

            Rohleder                      Administrator Alexander

            Dornhof                        [none given]

Following an administrative reorganization in 1926, the Mariental Deaconate included the following parishes: Mariental, Louis, Urbach, Neu-Obermonjour [sic], Herzog, and Rohleder. [Some of this information appears confusing and/or repetitive – Tr.]

The Mariental Parish (Pfannenstiel, Tonkoshurovka, Dubovoy)  


Founding of the parish: ?  Members: 8,000 in 1919? (31).

Chronological order of clergy [with some time gaps]: P. Aloisius Moritz, SJ, March 10, 1803 – Jan. 24, 1805; P. Aloisius Averdonek, SJ, Feb. 8, 1905 – June 21, 1808; P. Franziskus Cornet, SJ, June 22, 1808 – Aug. 8, 1808; P. Raphael Zubovich, SJ, Aug. 9, 1808 – Feb. 28, 1809; P. Josef Sreidle, SJ, March 1, 1809 – Sep. 15, 1820; Johannes Burgardt, 1877 – 1879; Jos. Loran, 1884/1885 – 1886; Joseph Graf, Parish Administrator , 1892 – 1997; Johannes Bach, 1897 – 1899?; Johannes Köberlein, Vicar, 1897 – 1904?; Jakob Scherr, 4 months a vicar, 1888; Michael Brungardt, 1898 – 1901; Jakob Dobrovolsky, 1899 – 1901; Johannes Albert, 1901 – 1905; Andreas Zimmermann, 1903 – 1904; Raphael Ehrhardt, 1904 – 1905; Joseph Gütlein, 1905 - ?; Karl Hopfauf, Vicar, 1905 - ?; Nikodemus Ihly, a few months in 1910; Nikolaus Kraft, 1910 – 1921; Peter Weigel, 1921 – 1928 (and later as well).


The first temporary church building soon became too small for the rapidly growing village. It was decided very soon to build a large church. That project began in 1842, but was not finished until years later. The church was 51 meters [ca. 160 feet] long, 20 meters [ca. 65 feet] wide, 15 meters at its highest point [ca. 48 feet]. The walls were massive and supported handsome barrel vaulting. The building, however, suffered a great lack: no sacristy had been included in the plans. For that reason the entire apse had to serve as sacristy, and the altar was placed into the front part of the nave. The exterior of the church, built in the neoclassical style, was also disproportionate, since the steeple, added much later after a different plan, was much too small, all too simple, and reminiscent of towers used on older wooden churches. The contractor, after the walls had been finished up to the roof, had disappeared for financial reasons and had absconded with the plans.

 In 1860 a small sacristy addition was built. That made it possible to move the altar into the apse. At the same time, an artistically valuable picture wall (“Ikonostase”) was put up: A wood frame, finely carved to display small pillars and pyramids, enclosed many beautiful images, and the woodwork was gilded. This altar was unique in the entire Tiraspol diocese. Still, it had been there for a mere twenty years when a particular pastor removed the wall artwork and replaced it with a new picture wall, enclosed with a thin gilded frame, that had been made by an “itinerant altar butcher.” For reasons difficult to understand, another pastor tore down the porch-like additions to the side entrances at the bell tower, which led to the choir loft. The choir loft had been too small from the very beginning. To remedy the situation, two side lofts were added, but they did not really fit into the interior and were impractical as well, because one could not see anything from them and barely hear the preacher (Source: ”Clemens-Blatt,” 1824).

 All the while, however, none of these tribulations were enough to shake the Marientalers in their own estimation of their “Kerch” [dialect for “Kirche,” or church]., even though in the course of time more beautiful and significantly larger churches were built in the diocese.

            The Mariental cemetery contained a small chapel.   


            Küster and teacher of religion (1914): J. Obholz (51).

 From the book, "Die Kirchen und das Religiose Leben der Russlanddeutschen" Katholischer Teil by Joseph Schnurr; Translated by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado

The Catholic Church in Mariental

The Catholic Church in Mariental was prominent on the village skyline. It stood on Mariental's main street and towered above the other buildings in the village. It was dedicated to Mary and was called the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, or die Kirche der unbefleckten Empfaengnis Mariens. Unlike in many other villages, the communists did not completely destroy the church after the deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941. Instead, they converted it to a recreation center, and it served that purpose at least until 1993 when Elmer and Evelyn Dreher of Hays, Kansas visited a Mrs Ella Dinkel in Mariental. Mrs. Dinkel was the daughter of Peter Hermann, a co-author of "Mariental-Sowjetskoje: Pages from History," or Mariental-Sowjetskoje: Seiten aus der Geschichte (Kasachstan 1987). Seeing very few Volga German names in the cemetery, Mrs. Dinkel told Elmer and Evelyn the communists destroyed the Volga German section of the Mariental cemetery and Orthodox people were being buried in shallow graves above the Volga German people.

(Information provided by Jerry Schmidt - Lenexa, Kansas).

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