“WE ARE UNITED BY CHRIST IN HIS CHURCH, NOT BY OUR ORIGIN, CULTURE OR LANGUAGE”
A talk with Priest Dimitry Ostanin from Ukraine, who with the blessing of the future Patriarch Kirill was sent to serve as rector of the Holy Theophany parish in Bergen (Norway) in 2008.
Fr. Dimitry Ostanin talks about how he and his found themselves in Bergen, Norway, the solicitude of Norwegian Catholic nuns, multi-lingual parish life, and the search for a tunnel.
—Fr. Dimitry, how did you end up in Norway?
—I first came here by chance. A spiritual daughter of my father-confessor told him that Oslo needed a temporary replacement for the choir director. I wrote to the rector of St. Olga’s parish in Oslo, Hieromonk (now Archimandrite) Clement (Huhtamäki) and said that I would like to come as a choir director and have some practice. Fr. Clement liked the idea, and I spent three months in Norway.
—When was that?
—In the spring of 2006.
—Was that your first trip abroad?
—Yes, it was.
—What are your feelings after thirteen years in Norway?
—The most important lesson from my life in Norway is that we must learn to be happy. This is not built into us, we have to cultivate it…