Who's Who in Our Parish
Father Christian Enke, Parish Priest
Father Christian Enke has been leading the parish since May 1, 2020. He's a native of Frankfurt and did his religious studies here, at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy & Theology, which included a year abroad in Birmingham, England. He was ordained as a priest in 1994 and has served in a number of parishes in the Diocese of Limburg, including at St. Margareta in Frankfurt's Höchst district immediately before coming to the International English-Speaking Parish. He started a ministry to the deaf and hearing-impaired in 1996 and was appointed head of the diocese's mission to that community in 2007 -- a position he will continue to hold until March 2022, when he shifts to the chaplaincy at Lahn-Dill-Kliniken hospital in the city of Wetzlar.
Lori Bemb, Pastoral Associate
Lori Bemb, originally from the USA, has lived in Germany since 1989. She attended Montclair State University in New Jersey, as well as Karl-Franzens University in Graz, Austria. From 2006-2009 she studied theology at the Katholische Domschule (Würzburg) and in August 2010 became pastoral assistant to the then-separate English-language parishes of St. Leonhard's and St. Mary’s. She was appointed full-time pastoral associate in August 2017.
Angela Fischer, Secretary
Angela Fischer, originally from Kansas City, Missouri, USA, joined the International English-Speaking Parish staff in January 2021. She holds a political science degree from the University of Missouri and has lived in the Frankfurt area for about three decades after marrying a native of the city, and they have two sons. Formerly a secretary at an international photo agency, she has worked for several years with Father Enke, initially as a member of St. Dionysius parish in the Frankfurt district of Sindlingen, where he was a cooperating priest, and since 2018 as secretary of that district's newly merged local parish of St. Margareta.
Dr. Cornelia Horne, a Frankfurt native, started learning guitar at age 10 and began voice training at 25 at Dr. Hoch's Conservatory. Her ties to the parish go back to its predecessor, St. Sebastian's at the U.S. military base in the city, where she joined the Saturday evening Vigil Mass folk-music group in 1976, eventually becoming its leader as one of the community's few permanent residents. She directs the International English-Speaking Parish's guitar-based choir at both St. Leonhard's and Holy Cross, at their regular weekend services as well as at special annual Masses for the parish's various nationalities that include hymns in a range of languages. In addition to being a church musician, Connie is manager of Lukas 14, an integration program and social club for handicapped persons. She holds a doctorate in pharmacology from Frankfurt's Goethe University.
Benedikt Milenković, born and raised in Frankfurt, took his first musical steps in the children's choir and flute ensemble of St. Elisabeth parish in the city's Bockenheim district. Piano and organ lessons with Roberto Confucio followed, as did membership in the Ensemble der freien Künste (including courses for holistic singing, speaking, instrumental and ensemble training). He received further organ lessons from Peter Reulein and Manuel Bleuel, both of Frankfurt, and Dominik Susteck of Cologne, as well as vocal training at Dr. Hoch's Conservatory in Frankfurt with Edmund Brownless. Playing the organ, Benedikt leads changing choir formations and instrumentalists at St. Leonhard's and Holy Cross. In addition to his work at our parish, Benedikt is a salaried organist at the Capuchin monastery chuch of Liebfrauen in central Frankfurt and is a teacher at a day-care center for children in the cathedral parish of St. Bartholomew.
Music for Masses at St. Mary's is led by community members on a volunteer basis, currently by Parish Council Vice President Damian Gerstner. He's a native of the U.S. state of Kansas, and lives in the Frankfurt area with his wife. An engineer by education, Damian has overseen diverse musical ensembles for more than 25 years and now runs music liturgy at St. Mary's on guitar and as cantor.
New singers in all voice ranges are warmly invited to become involved in music in our parish and, depending on where they regularly attend Mass, should contact Benedikt at b.milenkovic(a)parish-frankfurt.de or phone (069) 2193 65013, Connie at c.horne(a)parish-frankfurt.de or phone (0176) 7801 7622 or Damian via the parish email at international(a)parish-frankfurt.de.
The Parish Council
The Parish Council is an advisory board whose main responsibility is to advise and support the parish priest. The council is elected for a 4-year term by all adult parishioners as their representatives and meets at least once a quarter, with additional sessions called as needed. Almost all meetings are open and parishioners are encouraged to attend if they wish. The most recent election was held in November 2023, and the council held its constitutory meeting in January 2024. Here is the current membership.
- Parish Priest Father Christian Enke
- Pastoral Associate Lori Bemb
- Council President Tom Lavell
- Council Vice Presidents Benjie Dimaunahan and Giancarlo Polvara
Members (in alphabetical order)
- Amaliroavaraj Arokiaswamy
- Apollonia Coutinho
- Cindy Dias
- Marina Gillespie
- Niall Lenihan
- Philippe Molitor
Candidates in the 2023 election who didn't rank in the top nine in vote numbers are eligible to become council members in the event of a vacancy. These include, in descending order of vote numbers:
- Daniel Mba
- Diedre Yahootfam
- George Ewusi
- Krystyna Cullinane
- Christopher Cullinane
For information on parishioners with a role in lay ministries, please see the Ministries page.
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Diocese Website Interview With Father Christian (July 2020, in German)
Father Christian's New Additional Role
Alongside his role as the International English-Speaking Parish's pastor since 2020, Father Christian Enke has run the Diocese of Limburg's ministry to the deaf, a post he's held since 2007 following his service to that community in the Limburg region that began in 1996. He will transfer from that position to the chaplaincy of the Land-Dill-Kliniken hospital in the city of Wetzlar in March 2022, while continuing as parish priest to the diocese's English-speaking worshipers. Below is the diocese announcement on the changeover (in German).