29. November 2014 jer

Monasteries Receive Refugees

As countless refugees from the Middle East and other trouble spots knock at the gates of Europe, our monasteries have decided to open their doors. Abbot Michael Reepen of Münsterschwarzach refers to a “a genuine monastery task” as his community prepares to receive 22 refugees in a converted former boarding house of the abbey. St. Ottilien Abbey plans to have space for a similar number ready in February of next year. St. Georgenberg-Fiecht in Austria has been sharing the abbey building for several years with a growing group of “unaccompanied minors” – young people who have reached Europe without their parents and whose care is entrusted to Caritas Austria. In this way the monks also fufill a request of Pope Francis who shortly after taking office had admonished the church to make surplus buildings available for those who have lost their homes.