On November 1st, 2009, the first 25 trees in the Luthergarten were adopted. General Vicar Raimund Sternal of Magdeburg (right, next to the Director of the LWF Center Wittenberg, Pastor Hans W. Kasch) planted a whitebeam tree on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Magdeburg, Germany.
The partner tree for the Catholic Diocese of Magdeburg, Germany, was planted by Bishop Gerhard Feige (right, with spade, next to the tree) together with the bishop of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, Ilse Junkermann (left, next to Feige). The apple tree was planted in the garden of the Catholic convent Helfta in Lutherstadt Eisleben, the town where Martin Luther was born and died. The two bishops prayed together for the tree to flourish. Bishop Feige emphasized the meaning of Martin Luther for the Catholic church as well, saying that the reformer is a “spiritual and theological challenge,” a witness to the Gospel, a teacher in faith, and a caller to spiritual renewal. The tree should grow to be a sign of ecumenical unity between the churches.