Showing posts with label Trappists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trappists. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Monastic Studies at Mariawald

Readers will remember the heroic decision of the Trappist Abbey of Mariawald to seek the benefit of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum to permit the restoration of the traditional rule and liturgy in the Abbey. Readers will understand the difficulties that would face any community that turned its face back to the venerable traditions abandoned by the rest of their Order.

The Abbey of Mariawald is by no means large, even by modern standards, with a total community of 11 present as of the beginning of 2009. However, if fruits are yet to appear, there are the shoots of growth. It was announced that from the feast of the Purification, 2nd February, the Abbey has commenced a programme of formation for new postulants and novices.

In fact, three postulants, one of them a Priest formerly of the Archdiocese of Hamburg, were received into the Abbey within one year of the application of Summorum Pontificum to the Abbey. One was later received into the Noviciate as Brother M. Dominic and the Priest was received as a novice under the name of Father M. Ignatius. Effectively, almost half the community consists of members in formation, a unique claim among Trappist monasteries.

As the abbot of Maria Wald, Dom Joseph Vollberger OCSO has said, the Abbey has decided to institute a programme of formation within the monastery to train monks, organized and supervised by Dr. Dr. Erich F. Zehle as a delegated principal of studies. It is fundamental for proper formation that the monks remain in the monastic community and operate in the very well-equipped library of the monastery conducting their studies in a reasonable peace.

On the feast of Candlemas, the 2nd February, 2010, the summer semester of the academic year 2010/2011 commenced. Since the Abbey, with papal privilege, returned to the ancient customs of the Trappists after the usage of Monte Cistello of 1964, it has experienced an influx of postulants, some of whom are now novices.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Berger will teach exegesis and the noted philosopher, Prof. Dr. Robert Spaemann has promised to participate in the formation programme. Other subjects will include general canon law and the Constitutions of the Order, the ratio institutionis, the provisions of the General Chapter and the traditions of the Order.

Seminars, lectures, tutorials and revision courses will lead to a solid philosophical, theological, historical and linguistic training for the holy priesthood. If their superiors approve it, monks and clerics of other monasteries and institutes of consecrated life will be admitted to the programme of formation.

Those wishing to stay at the monastery guest house can contact the porter here.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Mariawald moves to Traditional Latin Mass

A reader of What Does the Prayer Really Say? reports:-

You might be interested in the fact that, starting next Monday, the Trappist abbey of Mariawald, Germany, will begin the transition to the usus antiquor. As can be seen here, daily Holy Mass in the "Tridentine Rite" is being announced. I do not know if this includes the Hours, too.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

First Sunday Mass in the Usus Antiquior at Mariawald

Via NLM friend Martin Bürger of comes the following, very encouraging report about the first Sunday conventual Mass in the usus antiquior of the Trappists at Mariawald Abbey from the Aachener Zeitung, a local German newspaper (NLM translation; if you have missed the previous articles about Mariawald, click on the respective label below):

First Tridentine Mass in Mariawald Monastery
by Christoph Hahn

The change in Mariawald continues. For the first time in a long while a Sunday High Mass in the traditional form commun until 1969 took place again in the church above Heimbach. As already on a week day in December, this service also was celebrated by a guest of the Abbey.

But Abbot Joseph Vollberg, since 2005 the superior of the only Trappist Abbey in Germany, is confident of being able to take over this task in future. However, the 45-year-old religious said in an interview with the Dürener Zeitung: "I am still learning."

The overwhelming rush on Sunday, however, also testifies that the return [to the traditional liturgy and observances] of the monastery on the ridge of the Kermeter announced at the end of November 2008 has found grateful acceptance and support with many Catholics in the region.

A walk across the car park of Mariawald Abbey documented: Many faithful had set out already in the early morning from Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), Cologne, Bonn and other cities and villages, in order to to be there in time for the start of the service by 10 clock.

The popularity with participants was surprisingly great even for the Trappists - so great that, in addition to the pews in the nave, the gallery, otherwise sealed to visitors, was opened.

With visible emotion the attendees followed the service in which abbot Josef Vollberg gave the sermon. The celebration of Mass in the traditional form he described as "wonderful reflection of our Catholic Faith."

Even if Latin were initially unintellegible to many faithful, the preacher advised his listeners to engage with it and thus develop a sense for the message behind the words.

Moreover, there were many forms and gestures which open up to the faithful an access to the meaning of the Eucharist according to the old rite which is not bound to language. Patience would be needed, the superior of Mariawald admitted - but the reward would be much greater than any trouble.

Then the abbot called the attention of his audience on a special feature of the Tridentine rite: The Communion is, in this form of Holy Mass, only received kneeling vy the faithful. But that was as good as natural for the attendees, among whom many young people and families with children. Even more: what still encounters much criticism, has long since found grateful and loving acceptance among the friends of Mariawald.
The author of the article, Christoph Hahn, has written in to tell us that a slightly expanded version of it has also been published in another newspaper (the Kölnische Rundschau). This article was accompanied by the following picture (click to enlarge). You can see the people crwoding the loft. In the picture to the bottom right is Abbot Vollberg giving the sermon.

(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Friday, 26 December 2008

First Conventual Mass in the Usus Antiquior at Mariawald

by Gregor Kollmorgen

A month ago, the German Trappist Abbey of Mariawald was granted the privilege to return to the Liturgy and the Observance in use in the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) until 1963/64 (cf. NLM articles here and here). Now the Abbey reports that on 18 December, for the first time since the reforms, the conventual Mass was sung according to the usus antiquior in the Abbey church. The Mass was sung by Rev. Fr. Jehan de Belleville OSB of the Benedictines of the Immaculate in Villatalla, Italy (formerly of Le Barroux, France), who had been a guest of the convent for a few days - and, it may be assumed, instructed them about traditional monastic life. As the Trappists announce,
The next conventual Mass according to the Missal of our Sacred Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance will be celebrated in January.
(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

German Trappists Return to Usus Antiquior

by Gregor Kollmorgen

From the website of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei comes a very important announcement (NLM translation):

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has, on November 21st, 2008, communicated to the Most Reverend Abbot Fr Josef Vollberg O.C.S.O. of the Abbey of Mariawald in Germany (diocese of Aachen) the privilege conceded by the Holy Father of a complete return to the Liturgy and the Observance in use in the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) until 1963/64.

Fr Abbot Josef Vollberg himself had in fact presented to the Holy Father a plea to be allowed to return to the Liturgy and the Observance according to the "usus" of Monte Cistello (Rome 1964), approved by the Holy See.
This is quite momentous. As far as I am aware, this is the first such instance of a monastic community returning wholesale to the usus antiquior. Not only is this significant in and of itself - after all, they have 14 monks, almost as many as, for instance, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (the former Transalpine Redemptorists) , but also in terms of a possible inspiration for other monastic communities/orders to take this step, which is, it bears reminding, expressly foreseen in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (Art. 3). Lastly, it is excellent that they revive their own rite, which is, if I'm not mistaken, essentially the Cistercian Rite.

To the left you can see the abbey church of Mariawald, to the right Abbot Vollberg with the Holy Father in June this year. The Abbey of Mariawald is the only Trappist monastery in Germany.

(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

[See Rorate Cæli for another report from]