Showing posts with label Cistercians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cistercians. Show all posts

Monday, October 16, 2017

900 Year Old Cistercian Abbey Closes in Trier

The only remaining six monks will move to another monastery of their choice.

Trier ( After almost 900 years the Cistercian abbey Himmerod is dissolved. The decision to dissolve came from the Mehrerauer Congregation to which the abbey belonged. The only remaining six monks will move to another monastery of their choice. The abbey property will be passed on to the Diocese of Trier.

The abbey was founded in 1134 by Bernard of Clairvaux. In secularization, the Abbey was abolished and rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century and in Baroque style. The Abbey church is currently not renovated after a fire under the organ and therefore can not be used at the moment, has reported

The Heiligenkreuz Abbey - a Cistercian Abbey in the Vienna Woods - commented on their Facebook page with this message "very, very sad". The Heiligenkreuz monk continued to write: "We are thinking in prayer of the remaining confreres of Himmerod, whose convent is now being dissolved because there were simply too few new vocations. Please pray with us together for many new spiritual vocations and for a renewal of the faith in us in Europe, so that more monasteries will not have to be closed, but on the contrary, new ones can be founded and revived! May God, through such sad news, move our hearts, so that we may be more energetic and courageous in our faith and in the Church!" 

Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Austrian Cistercians Restore Monastery in Brandenburg

The Cistercian monks entered the Brandenburg monastery on Monday - the celebration of the Latin liturgy of the hours and the daily Mass has begun - VIDEOS

Neuzelle ( The monastery Neuzelle in Brandenburg has been resettled. The first four Cistercian monks from the Heiligenkreuz monastery moved in on Monday. They will live first in the Catholic parsonage on the abbey grounds. Görlitz Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt greeted the religious and said in a speech: "A monk is there to remember God." About 100 people had gathered to greet the new arrivals, children gave flowers to the monks. The four religious men have already begun the regular celebration of the liturgy of the hour. Mass in Latin language.

The Heiligenkreuz Abbot Maximilian Heim had given the four "pioneers" the blessing for the journey and the beginning of the resettlement project. Father Simeon will be prior to the small community, Father Kilian will take care of the economic concerns of the monastery and do pastoral work, Father Philemon will be employed as a teacher in the local schools, and Father Aloysius will provide for the household and sacristy. The Heiligenkreuz penitentiary writes in a press release: "For us, it is difficult to let four confreres move, but at the same time it is a joy and a hopeful sign, which in our time a monastery is re-populated and a spiritual center is revived. If everything goes well, more monks will be sent to Neuzelle in the coming months, and - according to God's will - the "Priory Neuzelle" will be solemnly and officially erected in September 2018."

The monastery was founded by the Cistercians in the 13th century and secularized in 1817 and is now owned by the state of Brandenburg. The monastery complex is considered to be the northernmost example of South German and Bohemian baroque in Europe; it is largely preserved. The former convent church had remained catholic in an environment which had turned to Protestantism. 

Trans: Tancred


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Growth in Cistercian Stift Heiligenkreuz: "That is a Record!"

Theology professor Father Karl Wallner: "As I entered, we were 42, now we are 91 - last when we were so many was 700 years ago." - Also record number of Novices 

Heiligenkreuz ( There is a record number of members in the Convention of the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna: "As I entered, we were 42, now we are 91 - last when we were so many was 700 years ago" This was Father Karl Wallner OCist on Facebook. The theology professor Wallner is Rector of the College of Philosophy and Theology of Benedict XVI. in Heiligenkreuz. Last Friday, 8 young men were vested in our Stift Heiligenkreuz as novices. This is a record," he also wrote. He had been "truly moved" for the vesting of the novices, because he "has long known" all the new friars. In the short term the Heiligenkreuz Cistercian order had even 13 novices (see photo), since the last year's entries, they will be putting their first temporary profession in a few days.

Wallner explained further: "The 1-year novitiate is a trial period, you can also come back, that's okay! Of the 6 vested last year, 5 have remained. Let us pray that the young people mature and grow and serve God and men with all our strength."

The homepage of the monastery of Heiligenkreuz also speaks of a "record vestitures" because although we have many vocations and always a lot of new entrants, but we have never had 8 before..." There was further reported:" In the chapter house, Lord Abbot emphasized during his address that this is a time of testing: The novices examine themselves, they are tested by the Community and they consider themselves the Community ... Then he vested the 8 "newcomers" ("novices") in the white religious habit, which he blessed beforehand. At the end, the 8 novices knelt before the Lord Abbot and received the blessing."

In addition, Brother Konrad Ludwig made his perpetual profession on the Solemnity of the Assumption of which a beautiful video conveys the impressions. The young monk was baptized as a child by the current Heiligenkreuz Abbot Maximilian in the name of "Maximilian". The following remark can be found on the website of the Cistercian abbey: "The ways of the Lord are unfathomable, His former baptizing priest is now his abbot!"

Father Konrad Ludwig im Stift Heiligenkreuz on 15/08/2015 Photo novices Stift Heiligenkreuz © Stift Heiligenkreuz

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cistercian Abbey in Czech Republic Restores Old Rite and Office

(Prague)  The Czech Cistercian Abbey, Vyssi Brod -- Hohenfurth has become an old ritual community.  The Holy Mass will be celebrated for the faithful in the ordinary as well as in the Immemorial Rite of the Mass.  The Cloister community itself has returned to a traditional choir and praying of the Cistercian Liturgy of the Hours and celebrates the "classical" form of the Roman Rite as of 2011 in the Autumn. The restoration of the classical Office was supported by a collaboration with the Trappist Abbey of Mariawald.  The life of the Monastic community begins at 4:15am with rising and ends at 7:15 pm (7:45 in Summer)  with the lecture in the Rule of St. Benedict, the Collations, Compline and Salve Regina.  After that, "strict nightly silence" is maintained.

Parts of the magnificent cloister may be viewed, this is valid for near the Abbey church and above all the impressive library and refectory.  "To participate in the tour, decent clothing appropriate to the place is necessary,"as it says on the internet site of the Cloister.

750 Years of Cistercian Ora et Labora in the South Bohemian Hohenfurt

The Cistercian Abbey of Hohenfurth was founded in 1259 in what was then German-settled southern Bohemia by Wok von Rosenburg and settled with monks from the Abbey of Wilhering near Linz.  The  hub of the Cloister community formed the market town of Hohenfurt with about 100 households in the surrounding area. During the Hussite Wars and the 30 Years War it was drawn by sympathy to undertake the renewal of pastoral care in the wake of the Protestant Revolt in numerous parishes.  Its involvement in the education system even allowed the Cloister to escape the destructive reforms of Josephismus.

After the First World War the area of Hohenfurt with its 1459 German and five Czech inhabitants, complete with the Cloister became part of the new Czech Republic.  The new State adopted a "hostile disposition" toward it, which was as ideological as it was also ethnically motivated and in the land reform which allowed up to 250 hectares almost all of the  Cloister property of more than 5,500 hectares of wood and farmland was confiscated.

The election of the 43rd and presently the last Abbot formed himself with difficulty in 1925.  The Czech authorities conveyed a not very pleasant talking "to" not to recognize the German candidates.  Although the ethnic question had never played a role in the Cloister, Hohenfurth operated like a German Cloister.   So it was a concern to find a virtuous candidate who the authorities were not "negatively inclined" to.  The election fell upon Father Tezelin Jaksch from Hackelhof born in Budweis,  who was then the pastor of Payerschau, "because of his refined bearing and his complete mastery of the Czech language."  Abbot Tezelin attempted to reclaim three quarters of the original Cloister property, which still hadn't been resold by the State.

The Abbey bloomed in 1938, in which the Abbey reached its high water mark with 70 monks, with the    Suddetenland of the Third Reich.  The Czech monks had to leave the monastery, Abbot Tezelin was imprisoned as a pretext and deported to the protectorate of Bohemia and Maehren. The convent then elected an Abbot Coadjutor with Father Dominik Kaindl.   After that the Cloister was repealed by the National Socialists after almost 700 years of unbroken existence.  Father Engelbert Blochl died in KZ Dachau, 21 monks were drawn to serve in the war in the Wehrmach, of whom 10 did not return,  while another died as a prisoner of war.  During the war, the Wehrmacht established a hospital in the Cloister and by the end of the war, American troops, who were sent to south Bohemia, made a military camp out of it.

After the Second World War Abbot Tezlin Jaksch (1885-1954) struggled for the re-establishment of the Cloister, which indeed succeeded statutorily, was in any case reduced ad absurdam, there where the German monks, and with them almost the entire convent, were driven out in the course of Czech directed ethnic cleansing with the rest of the German population.  The Czech authorities confiscated the entire property and declared that "the Cistercians of Hohenfurth are traitors and enemies of the Czech Republic".  Only a few Czech monks were allowed to return to the Abbey with great difficulty.

The Communist power transfer of 1948 almost seamlessly took up the National Socialist persecution.  Abbot Jaksch had to leave Cloister Hohenfurth in the same year and go to Austria.  The Cloister was closed by the Communists in 1950.  The last two still remaining Czech monks were interned and the Cloister was transformed into a military concern.  The exiled monks of Hohenfurth found refuge in Austrian and Bavarian Cisterician Cloisters above all in Stift Rein in Steyria, which has since 1959 in the event of the 700th foundation anniversary of Hohenfurth, took up the name Rein-Hohenfurth.

After the break up of the Communist dictatorship in 1990, the two Cistercians still living at Hohenfurth travelled back to Bohemia and began the new settlement of the Cloister.  In all there are still six Hohenfurth monks in various Cloisters of Austria and Bavaria, yet the other four are too old and fragile for a journey.

The restoration took place with great difficulty, since the Czechoslovakian State till 1994, and the Czech since 1994, shows no interest in the rebuilding of the Catholic orders. The return of the Cloister properties stolen from the State proved to be difficult and lengthy.  For the new beginning there was economic help also from the Cistercian Cloister of Heiligenkreuz.  In 1992 four novices were accepted into the Cloister.  Since then the Priory of Hohenfurth -- Vyssi Brod, which has been led since 2007 by Justinus Berka, is struggling for the restoration of the life of the Cloister and after the atheistic deforestation, for the evangelization of Bohemia.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Kloster Vyssi Brod (Hohenfurth)

Link to original katholisches....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Storming Heiligenkreuz: Austrian Monastery's Vocations Explode

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 ( 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.