88 Monks, average age 47: "It is above all the Liturgy and the Gregorian Choir as well as our loyalty to the Pope and the Church's teachings", said P Karl Wallner.
Vienna (kath.net/Cross Press) IN the Cistercian Monastery of Heiligenkreuz in the Vienna Wood, the number of Monks has risen to 88, which means a doubling in the last year, and the highest manpower in its almost 900 year history. The average age of the Monks is 47 years.
"Such a wave of young people who want to participate in our life hasn't happened since the Middle Ages,' exclaimed P. Karl Wallner, Professor of Dogmatics at the Order's Academy and Youth Pastor.
As to the secret of how there are so many admissions, he says: "It is above all the Liturgy in the Gregorian Chorale according to the norms of Vatican II as well as our loyalty to the Pope and Church teaching."
In the last week, Abbot Henckel Donnersmark clothed seven young men in the Novitiate, six novices have taken temporary vows, while five novices are working for that, seven Monks have decided to take "solemn vows" and four Monks were elevated by Auxiliary Bishop Lackner to the Diaconate.
A "divesture" is required for the members of Heilgenkreuz in any case, to sell everything: their previous Prior, Christian Feuerstein, was elevated to Abbot of Monastery Rein in Steryia where he took up his office on the 21st of August.
"It is interesting, that all entrants have made their first contact with us through the Internet. Some have visited the website of the Cloister repeatedly till they found the courage just to visit the Cloister for the first time in their lives."
"Usque ad mortem"
Upon the Feast of the Assumption, the Patronal Feast of Heilgenkreuz, seven young Monks, who had already taken temporary vows, now take their celebratory Profession, that is an eternal vow "usque ad mortem", to the death"
P Joahnnes Paul Chavanne and P Mag. Tobias Westerthaler are both Vienese, P Bacc.phil. Edmund Waldstein is from Lower Austria, P. Mag. Damian Lienhart and P.Dipl.Ing. Emmanuel Heissenberger are Steyrians and P.Dipl.Kfm. Dr. oec. Lic theol. Justinus Pech as well as P.Mag. Placidus Beilicke come from Germany.
They come from various professional backgrounds, and are, however, just over 20. One is a microbiologist, another in International Business Relations and Economics and a Hydrological Engineer. Most of them have at least gleaned the book "Chant -- Life for Paradise". At their profession there were 120 Priests and Religious as well as over 700 faithful and family members, who filled the monastic environs for the accompanying Agape feast.