Abbatial Blessing - St. Ottilien

THIRTY-THREE. For most Christians this number reminds us of the earthly age of our Lord. For the monks of St. Ottilien, today, this number refers to the number of days since the new Archabbot Wolfgang Öxler was elected on 17th December last year. Today, exactly 33 days later, Wolfgang Erwin Öxler – the former prior of Jakobsberg ceremoniously received the abbatial blessing from Dr. Conrad Zdarsa the Bishop of Augsburg. St. Ottilien is known for its relatively small church. Surprisingly all of the hundreds of people who flocked to the Sacred Heart Monastery Church got a place to seat, stand or at least a wall to lean on; be it in the main church or in the “Under-Church” where they could follow the Holy Mass live on giant screens. It was an impressive occasion to experience how much St. Ottilien is known outside its walls. Apart from 2 bishops who graced the occasion were also 21 Abbots, 2 Abbesses , several priors and prioresses, about 35 priests, deacons, religious, Orthodox church leaders and a good number of Superiors of different religious communities. The political community was represented by a number of politicians from Bavaria and Ockenheim, not to mention the press people, friends, family members and Christians at large. So, 33 days after his election the new “Father, Abba” of the Mother-Monastery of the Missionary Benedictines received from the hands of the bishop a copy of the Holy Rule, a ring, a mitre and a staff. For him and for all those who took part in the Eucharist it is clear that a new way has began both for the new Archabbot and to the community of St. Ottilien. This new way, as it is mostly the case, is both a blessing and a challenge. While the ring will remind of his faithfulness, he can as well take refuge to the staff given to him to support him on the way and the word of the Rule to inspire his decisions. The best support, however, he will find in his immediate community as well as in the Congregation family - a noble reason to keep him and his community in our prayers.

- Christian OSB