950 Years of a Living Monastery

950 years of a living monastery

01 / 02

Admont Abbey Holy Mass Birthday Abbot (c) Tanja Brunthaler () www

Dear readers!

I am humbly proud (this contrasting pair of words is exactly fitting, as it indicates that it was and is only possible with the help of God), in other words: I am humbly proud that our house history began with a woman, Hemma of Gurk, without whom we would not even exist. In the male-dominated history of the world, God placed a female founder, St Hemma of Gurk, at the centre of our Admont Abbey. From her great wealth, above all in property - also in Upper Styria - she gave a huge portion of it to the church so that a monastery could be founded. As we know, she did not live to see the foundation of Admont here on earth, but she certainly felt satisfaction in heaven, to put it in very earthly terms, that Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg carried out her will in 1074. 




Abbot Gerhard Hafner OSB

Admont Abbey - Economic Director Franz Pichler © Thomas Sattler

Economic Director Franz Pichler

Ad multos annos!

The office of the person responsible for economic matters can already be found in the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia. In the Rule this person is known as the cellerar. So, although it was written 1500 years ago, the Rule still provides us with important impulses for entrepreneurial management culture today. In the jubilee year 2024, the groundbreaking importance of this rule for the value-oriented management of our company will become even more apparent. The Benedictine Abbey of Admont has been a spiritual, cultural and economic centre for 950 years now. This cannot be taken for granted! There have been good times and bad, even times close to ruin. And we are grateful to be able to say today: Admont Abbey is in good shape. It looks to the future with confidence - even in periods of upheaval and crisis-related challenges.  



1074 - 2024

A Journey Through Time

950 years of Admont Benedictine Abbey - faith, culture & enjoyment

Read book Admont Abbey

The Rule of St Benedict - the heart, hand and brain of a monastery

When the Benedictine Abbey of Admont was founded in 1074, monks and nuns had already been living according to the Rule of St Benedict all over the then known world for over 500 years.

Benedict was born around 480 in what is now Italy as the son of a rich landowner. He was sent to Rome to study, but soon abandoned his studies to live as a hermit in the mountains of Enfide. He soon attracted the attention of the people in the neighbourhood, so that the monastic community of Vicovaro elected him as their abbot.

However, the tension in this community was so great that Benedict left the monastery again after an attempt was made to kill him.




In search of the divine

Long live diversity. This is the slogan of the Admont Abbey Museum and it hits the bull's eye. A museum of contemporary art, a natural history and art history museum, a Gothic exhibition, medieval manuscripts and early prints as well as the world's largest monastery library are all united under one roof. With this wide range of offerings, originality and development work, the Abbey Museum has already been able to assert itself against many well-known institutions and even won the Austrian Museum Prize in 2005. An award for which the "Made for Admont" programme was also a decisive factor. The idea behind it: To show art that is localised in Admont. The Austrian painter Lois Renner kicked things off in 2000.






Open from March 20th to November 3rd, 2024

Convent of Admont Abbey with Pope Francis

Holy Father Pope Francis


Dear Abbot Gerhard, I was delighted to learn of the forthcoming celebrations to mark the 950th anniversary of the Benedictine Abbey of Admont. I thank God for the long and blessed work of your community in Styria and far beyond. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Benedict, St Blasius and St Hemma of Gurk, may the Lord, in his goodness, show you all the way of life and may your work continue to bear abundant fruit for the glorification of God and the salvation of souls. From the bottom of my heart I give you and the monks, as well as all those who are spiritually connected with Admont Abbey, my blessing.

Bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl Photo Christian Jungwirth

Dr Wilhelm Krautwaschl

Diocesan Bishop of Graz-Seckau

It would be interesting to see how Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg and Hemma of Gurk would react today, 950 years on, if they saw the Benedictine Abbey of Admont ... How surprised Hemma would be that the properties she donated secure jobs in the region and far beyond and enable many people to live a good life. And Gebhard would also be delighted with the flourishing pastoral care, art and culture that has grown since the first monks with their motto ora et labora et lege - pray and work and read. Today, Admont is rightly proud to be a religious focal point in the north of Styria and a centre for art, culture, science and education. As bishop of the Graz-Seckau diocese, I am also proud to know that this monastery is part of the diocese. Anyone approaching Admont must be full of admiration, as the abbey with its collegiate church and monastery complex presents itself to those arriving in awe. The low points of the monastery's history, which included the Turkish wars, the Reformation, the monastery fire and the economic crisis, are forgotten. The abbey library is outstanding worldwide and the museum is enriching with its various aspects of natural history and art from the Middle Ages to the present day. Here you can educate, delight and marvel - and in marvelling you receive a gift: a glimpse of the greatness of God. Ora et labora et lege in Admont means that the monastic community gathers regularly several times a day to pray together and the confreres work in pastoral care, teaching, education and business. The aim of this ora et labora et lege is to pray to God, to work on creation and to explore new things - using the possibilities of the time. The Admont monastic community has been doing this in an exemplary manner for 950 years. I would like to ask for God's rich blessing for the future for this consistent attitude of the Admont monastic community, which always responds to the needs and necessities of the times and is there for people - whether residents or visitors. That many people may come to the Benedictine Abbey of Admont, immerse themselves in a "different" world and leave this place touched, strengthened and marvelling at the work of God.


Dr Franz Lackner OFM

Archbishop of Salzburg

Almost a millennium ago, twelve monks sent from Salzburg brought the Rule of St Benedict to Upper Styria. Thanks to the foundation of Hemma von Gurk and the permission of Gebhard, the then Archbishop of Salzburg, a monastic community was founded that quickly showed and realised its potential. Admont became a centre for the transmission of knowledge and faith, where the love of God and the love of wisdom and science could exist side by side and together. Today one would say: a success story - but "success", in religious terms, always also means bringing grace and blessing. Admont Abbey has survived through the most diverse times and challenges. It experienced the turmoil of the Reformation, it fell victim to the flames and yet was rebuilt, it was even able to overcome the terror and robbery of National Socialism. Today, the community, the monastic community, the staff and - more broadly - Styria can look back with pride on this cultural monument, which not only houses ancient knowledge in its library, but also passes on education and faith to pupils in a modern, contemporary form. A look at the history, but especially the resilience of Admont, gives us hope for the future. My heartfelt blessings accompany the work of this place and those who have found a home here.

Superintendency Styria ()

Superintendent Wolfgang Rehner

Protestant Church Styria

950 years of Admont Abbey. Greetings and blessings from the ecumenical world, especially from the Protestant side. Admont Abbey has been in contact and neighbourhood with Protestants for half of its history. Over the years, the organisation of the areas of contact varied considerably. In the visitation of 1581, it is recorded in several minutes of conversations that the person in the service of Admont Abbey was on the Protestant side. For example: "is of the Augsburg Confession"; "is Lutheran"; "is indifferent, has received the sacrament at Admont Abbey (...) in both forms"; "is in favour of religion, but with God's help to conquer"... The confessional ambiguity of the 16th century was followed by centuries of strict ecclesiastical separation and antagonism. After around 900 years of Admont Abbey, the age of ecumenism began to take shape for the abbey and the Protestant brothers and sisters in its neighbourhood. Protestant religious education is well established in the monastery grammar school, Abbot Gerhard has been networked with Protestants in the region in many ways since his years as chaplain in Schladming, and ecumenical hospitality can be experienced in the monastery time and time again. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks for this. The ecumenical endeavours in the direction of Eucharistic hospitality have a good chance of being realised today. I therefore combine these greetings and blessings on the occasion of the 950th anniversary with an expression of hope for the continuation of the fraternity we live in the community to which we are called by the Lord of the Church.

Abbot John

Johannes Perkmann OSB

Abbot President of the Austrian Benedictine Congregation

It is something remarkable to be able to celebrate 950 years of existence, especially in our otherwise short-lived times with all their "momentanisms" and transience. Admont Abbey, founded in 1074 by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg with the estates of St Hemma, has been very fruitful ever since. Many things come together: The blessing from above, the vision of the founder and the energetic work of the monks and all those who have worked here. Archbishop Gebhard invested in difficult times, in the middle of a crisis, and thus believed in the future. This is only possible if you have a viable concept, a clear vision and, above all, a fundamental trust in the one "who proclaims the future from the beginning" (cf. Is 46:10). To be founded in God, to strive for him as the goal, to give the search for God first place is the solid foundation for something to last. And monasteries are not built to solve problems, but to praise God in the midst of problems, as H. Nouwen once wrote. In a Benedictine house, rooms and times are organised in such a way that praise of God, the search for God, really has a place. This is the first and lasting task of monasteries. In addition, St Benedict conveys a very holistic spiritual concept, so that faith is grounded and confronts the world. This results in many tasks that Admont Abbey, like the other monasteries, still fulfil in their own way today. These include a connection with creation and responsibility for land and soil - an ever-present concern, especially when one considers the threat to the climate and nature. Standing up for people and providing them with pastoral care is another cornerstone of the monasteries' global responsibility. St Benedict had a very pastoral approach and for him, pupils and guests were a natural part of the monastery. Benedictine schools therefore endeavour to provide more than just training in skills that are currently in demand. The whole person is taken into consideration in order to awaken spiritual, artistic and creative talents and develop a social sense. The historical development of many monasteries has also made them important places of architecture, art and music. This has opened up spaces for wonder, reflection and inspiration. Admont can look back on a rich history and build on good foundations. What will the future bring? How will it continue? Tomáš Halík, an important theological author of our time, believes that the future of the church urgently needs spiritual centres that are places of worship and contemplation, but also offer a space for encounters and discussions in order to share one's own experience of faith. He is explicitly thinking of the spiritual and cultural significance of the Benedictine monasteries, which need to be built on. May Admont be such a place with a future, so that it can continue to work with vision and trust in God. As President of the Austrian Benedictine Congregation, I would like to thank Admont Abbey for all its contributions to Benedictine life in Austria and for all the solidarity within our congregation, and I sincerely wish it God's blessing on its anniversary!

Photo Archabbot Korbinian small

Dr Korbinian Birnbacher OSB

Archabbot of St Peter's

On 15 June - the feast day of the monastery's founder Gebhard - I am always allowed to give a spiritual word to the brothers of Admont ... during a Eucharistic celebration. I am allowed to do this as abbot of the monastery that sent the first monks to Admont 950 years ago. In addition to attempting to link historical references and monastic relationships with the present, as abbot of the "mother monastery" I am also able to express my gratitude for the many and great good works that have always emanated from this foundation and continue to do so today. The countless economic, social and artistic achievements that emanate from the spirit of faith of this monastery, which can call itself the oldest in Styria, speak for themselves. I have the impression that the seed of the Gospel, which is read out every year on the memorial day of Salzburg Archbishop Gebhard, has sprouted in Admont. The Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5, 1-12a) have always been promises and assurances: ... that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in God's sight ... that those who mourn will be comforted ... that the meek will inherit the earth ... that those who hunger and thirst for justice will be satisfied ... that the merciful will find mercy ... that those who are pure in heart may see God ... that the children of God will be called peacemakers ... that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are persecuted for the sake of justice. Yes, dear Abbot Gerhard and dear confreres of Admont, apart from vituperation, envy and persecution, which are never lacking, you may truly rejoice and be glad in your great jubilee year: for your reward will be great in heaven! On behalf of St Peter's Archabbey, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your life's testimony - throughout the centuries - and for the multifaceted friendship, warm closeness and loyal bond between our two monasteries! Let us continue to remain open and awake in our search for God in the spirit of St Benedict!

Bishop Glettler - Photo excerpt from video message ©Diocese of Innsbruck

Hermann Glettler

Diocesan Bishop of Innsbruck

950 years! Congratulations to Abbot Gerhard and his community and to all the people and organisations that benefit from Admont. I deliberately choose this economic term because a church place that is alive and has set many things in motion has proved to be very favourable for many and has become a blessing. This creative interplay of prayer, work, study and hospitality has been a valued mix in Admont for 950 years.


To the video message

Sr Hanna Jurman(c)DioceseLinzAppenzeller

SR. Dr Hanna Jurmann OSB

Benedictine nuns Steinerkirchen

A small period of the remarkable 950-year history of Admont Abbey is interwoven with the history of the Benedictine Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Steinerkirchen an der Traun (Upper Austria). The commitment of the sisters in Admont and also on the Frauenberg is based on the mission of our community, which is focussed on pastoral and charitable work. Many sisters lived and worked in parishes and church organisations in almost all Austrian dioceses, especially in the Benedictine monasteries. Since 1956, three (temporarily two) sisters were sent to Admont - as sacristan in the collegiate church, as nurses for priests and pupils and as parish nurses for the collegiate parish. Later, instead of nursing, our sisters took on duties in the prelature. In the early days of our presence in Admont, there were several personnel changes, but then Benedictine consistency prevailed: From 1979 onwards, Sr Gertraud Rofner (prelature), Sr Friedburg Stachl (sacristy) and Sr Verena Gstrein (collegiate parish and religious education) formed a small, stable community of sisters, characterised by mutual benevolence and support. When Sr Gertraud returned to the motherhouse in Steinerkirchen in 2017 due to illness, she was able to look back with gratitude on 56 years of service at Admont Abbey. Due to the lack of new recruits in our community, Sr Friedburg remained alone in Admont in the end - with unbroken joy in her service since 1974. The life and work of my co-sisters in the monastery was and is embedded in an atmosphere of welcome, appreciation and good cooperation with the confreres and the population. As a result, Admont has become home to the sisters over the years. They were able to draw valuable spiritual inspiration from the varied, beautiful and carefully organised liturgy in the collegiate church. The church, parish and school opened up spaces for enriching encounters with many people. As prioress of our community, I am grateful that our sisters have found a living space in Admont in which they have been able to develop both personally and spiritually. I am happy about the recognition and appreciation for their existence and service. Last but not least, I am grateful for the warm hospitality that I have been able to experience on my visits here over the years and for the good, benevolent contacts at eye level. Together with Abbot Gerhard and his confreres, I am very happy about the centuries of persistent and fruitful work and wish God's blessing, courage and creativity for the continued commitment of the entire foundation family in pastoral work, schools, culture and business - in the spirit of St Benedict.

DSC Sr M Elisabeth

SR. M. Elisabeth Barlage OSB

Frauenwörth Abbey on Lake Chiemsee

I have been a guest at Admont Benedictine Abbey since 2014 and have been able to recharge my batteries in this spiritual and scenically beautiful atmosphere. The more often I come, the more I feel at home there. I myself am allowed to live as a Benedictine nun in Frauenwörth Abbey on the beautiful little island of Frauenchiemsee. Our former abbess Mother M. Domitilla Veith OSB had close ties to Admont. Several of my older co-sisters also spent holidays there decades ago. It was always important to Mother Domitilla that these relationships were maintained. In the year before her death, she bequeathed me her documents about Admont and the surrounding area. When she died in January 2014, Abbot Bruno presided over the requiem. Before he left us again, he invited the sisters of our convent to come to Admont again. I gladly accepted this invitation. I was born in northern Germany, so I had travelled from the North Sea to Lake Chiemsee. It took several years - until 2014 - before I ventured to Austria for a holiday. In our abbey, I am responsible for construction work, among other things. And the more I walked around on the scaffolding, the more I was drawn to the mountains. And so the mountains around Admont became more and more attractive to me. But it's not just the mountains, it's also the Benedictine confreres. As a Benedictine nun, a Benedictine environment is also a necessity for me on holiday. [I knew Brother Rupert from our abbey. He used to come at least once a year to carry one of the two candlesticks at my side at our Irmengard festival. Years ago, I was given the task of carrying the cross. It is an honourable task for me]. And the more often I come to Admont, the more familiar I become with the confreres. It does me immense good to be there and to enjoy their hospitality. The connections between our monasteries are not just of an individual nature. There is also a historical fact that impresses me very much. It concerns the fate of the monastery founded by St Hemma in Gurk. St Hemma was the founder of a monastery in the Enns Valley. She handed them over to Archbishop Baldwin of Salzburg by contract. Thirty years later, in 1074, Archbishop Gebhard used them to found Admont Abbey. Back to the monastery in Gurk. It was not granted a long life. It was abandoned by Archbishop Gebhard in 1072 and served as the material basis for the first Salzburg diocese. And Archbishop Eberhard II had a similar fate in mind in 1213 when he intended to found a second diocese. He also wanted to dissolve the nunnery on our Chiemsee island in order to endow the new bishopric with its property. However, Pope Innocent III thwarted this plan. Instead, he gave permission at the Lateran Council of 1215 to establish the seat of the bishopric (Chiemsee) on the neighbouring island of Herrenchiemsee. This plan was realised in 1216. And so our monastery, Frauenwörth Abbey, remained in existence. I would like to end with thanks. It is an honour for me to have been asked to contribute to this commemorative publication. I would like to take this opportunity to express my great gratitude for the soothing, generous hospitality that I have received so many times now. May God shower Admont Benedictine Abbey with his blessings so that it is and will be a place where God is sought and witnessed in the distant future - he who is the abundant life that we all long for.

VdB Portrait CMYK dpi Wolfgang Zajc

Dr Alexander Van der Bellen

Federal President of the Republic of Austria

Many things last for a few years or perhaps decades, a few last for centuries. However, it is hard to imagine something lasting for almost a millennium. The Benedictine Abbey of Admont is a very special place celebrating such an almost unimaginable anniversary: it is 950 years old. And with it a place of incredible beauty and historical significance, a place of spirituality, knowledge and art. And last but not least, a place of encounter that brings together people from all corners of the world. With such a long history, it is tempting to mainly look back. However, the ever-changing exhibitions and art collections, diverse workshops, events and collaborations clearly show that people here are also consciously looking ahead. In 2024, the Abbey Museums will be completely reorganised to mark the anniversary, allowing visitors to experience them anew. When it comes to Admont, most people probably think first and foremost of the magnificent monastery library with its three floors, which is one of the most beautiful in the world. However, the Benedictine abbey with its monastery gardens, the abbey cellar, the winery, 26 parishes, the abbey grammar school and all the other facilities is truly an overall experience. I also read that the abbey has built a health centre and is very active in terms of digitalisation. With all this, the Benedictine Abbey of Admont is a large organisation whose success is due to the many people who put their hearts and minds into it. They all ensure that this place is filled with life, music and culture even after so many centuries. You are not only preserving a valuable cultural asset, you are also helping to develop it on a daily basis, making it a home of diversity, openness and humanity. I sincerely congratulate the Benedictine Abbey of Admont on this very special anniversary and wish you all the best.

Federal Government

Karl Nehammer, MSc

Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria

In 2024, the Benedictine monastery of Admont can look back on 950 years of existence and the diverse development history associated with it. When Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg founded the monastery in 1074 on the basis of a donation from Saint Hemma of Gurk, he could probably not have imagined what an important monastic centre would emerge here. The first monks of that time would certainly have been filled with joy and gratitude if they had been able to see the multifaceted work of what is now the oldest existing monastery in Styria. In its long history, Admont Abbey has achieved a formative significance for the region despite many challenges and has become a spiritual, cultural and economic centre of the Upper Styrian region. In the spirit of Saint Benedict of Nursia, love of God and neighbour as well as pastoral care are at the heart of the convent. Proximity to people is practised by the monastic community in a variety of ways. The Benedictine monastery in Admont also plays an important role in the areas of education, science, art and culture. The grammar school and the abbey museum are widely known. The world's largest monastery library, a Baroque synthesis of the arts, is of particular artistic and cultural-historical significance. The Benedictine monastery is also an important employer in numerous commercial enterprises. I would like to emphasise the valuable contribution that the monastic community makes in conveying values that are indispensable in our society. The commitment to peaceful interaction, solidarity and a common ethical foundation contribute to the functioning of our society. The importance of social responsibility and mutual respect can be conveyed particularly when working with young people. The life and work of the Admont monks is also an example of the meaningful power of faith and charity, which gives us support and orientation. The 950th anniversary is a worthy occasion to celebrate what has been achieved to date, to further promote the current vitality of the monastery and to look to the future with optimism. I would like to thank the current monastic community and its leader, Abbot Gerhard Hafner, for their multifaceted commitment. I wish you, all the employees of the monastery businesses, the readers of the monastery magazine and everyone who cares about Admont Abbey all the best and much pleasure in reading this anniversary issue.


Christopher Drexler

Governor of Styria

Benedictine monks have been living in Admont Abbey according to the Benedictine Rule since 1074. "Ora et labora et lege" not only characterises everyday life in the monastery, but also shapes the entire region through the monastery's diverse fields of activity. With its monastery library and museums, Admont Abbey is an essential part of the Styrian museum landscape and an important attraction for which our homeland is known far beyond its borders. The abbey library is not only a complete work of art, but with 70,000 antiquarian books, it is also a storehouse of knowledge that has grown over the centuries. With the grammar school, the convent also runs one of the largest schools in the region and makes a significant contribution to passing on the monastery's wealth of knowledge and playing a key role in the education of future generations. The monastery is also an important employer and economic factor in the region and beyond. From forestry operations to energy generation and wine production, the monastery is active in many areas, generates regional added value and employs up to 500 people in Styria. At the same time, the monastery is also active in the social sector, from the Admont Health Centre to its own senior citizens' centre. And the monastery is particularly influential in the area of faith by looking after numerous parishes in the region. The convent is also trying to find modern and alternative ways of communicating faith, for example by offering a spiritual programme via social media. With its extensive work, the convent has already shaped centuries of Styrian history and will continue to contribute to a Styria worth living in the future. I would therefore like to congratulate the monastery on its 950th anniversary and, as Governor of Styria, thank it for the numerous tasks and the social contribution that the monks of the monastery around Abbot Gerhard Hafner OSB regularly make. A Styrian "Glück auf"!

New district governor of Liezen, HR Dr Christian Sulzbacher, and new branch manager, Mr Nico Groger

HR Dr Christian Sulzbacher

District Governor of Liezen

Dear readers In 1074, 950 years ago, the Benedictine Abbey of Admont was founded and has developed into the spiritual, cultural and economic centre of the Liezen district over this long period. Despite the many transformations and changes, the monastery has always been a stabilising factor, not only actively shaping life in our district, but also being economically active in many ways and thus creating and maintaining jobs. In all these years, the Benedictine Abbey of Admont has also endeavoured intensively to operate sustainably and preserve nature. Above all, the nature-friendly management of the forests within the framework of ecological forestry was an important model for other forestry operations and agriculture during these centuries. The cultural and educational tasks that the monastery has taken on in an exemplary manner are also of outstanding importance for the entire region. The pastoral work has been maintained and intensified with great commitment, despite the massive problems that have repeatedly arisen. It is a special honour for me to congratulate Admont Abbey on the occasion of its 950th anniversary and to thank it for its outstanding cooperation. I wish the monastery, the convent and all the confreres continued success as well as good luck, health and God's blessing on the way to the 1000th anniversary. May your work succeed and bear fruit in the interests of the entire district.

Haider Christian

Christian Haider

Mayor of the market town of Admont

This year, we in Admont are celebrating a very special anniversary together with Admont Abbey. The anniversary "950 years of Admont Abbey" not only stands for 950 years of monastic life within the monastery walls of Admont, but also addresses many other important topics inside and outside Admont. For the market town of Admont and its inhabitants, Admont Abbey with its diverse businesses offers a large number of important ecclesiastical, economic, cultural, tourist and educational facilities and, above all, important jobs in our home town. The Stiftsgymnasium Admont (which I was able to fully enjoy and graduate from with the Matura) rounds off the educational offer in our community alongside 3 primary schools, a secondary school and the Grabnerhof agricultural college in the area of general secondary schools with a high level of education. The abbey businesses, above all the "Admonter", are not only known far and wide for their products, but are also the largest employer in our large municipality. The energy supplier "Envesta" supplies a large number of our households with district heating and electricity as an important basic supply. Many people are aware that our municipality is categorised as a residential and tourist community. Tourism in Admont naturally goes hand in hand with the cultural and tourist attractions of Admont Abbey in addition to our scenic offerings around the Gesäuse. The Admont Monastery Library is an absolute visitor favourite, which has graced the covers of all well-known magazines in recent years and gone viral around the world. However, the museum area has changed with the times, especially in recent years, and offers a varied programme with its exhibitions and special exhibitions (including in the anniversary year 2024). The cultural development with the various events has also taken many Admont residents on a journey to visit well-known artists. We are all particularly proud of our small but all the finer family ski area and recreation area on the Kaiserau. The history, but also the present and hopefully also the future, show the co-operation between Admont Abbey and the market town of Admont. On behalf of the market town of Admont, it is therefore a special honour for me to congratulate Admont Abbey and all those responsible, its decision-makers and, above all, its employees on its 950th anniversary and to wish them all the best for the coming years and decades. A Styrian "Glück Auf!

DSC ()

Albert Wonaschütz

Professor at Admont Abbey Grammar School; director of the church choir

"Therefore we praise you with all the angels and saints and join with them in singing the praises of your glory". These words introduce the "Sanctus", the part of the Catholic Ordinary of the Mass in which the coexistence of heavenly and earthly liturgy is clearly expressed. Here it becomes abundantly clear what a large part singing and music play in the events of the service, whether through the individual, who actively participates through their singing, or through a choir or instrumental music, which perform the service on behalf of the congregation. This theological premise accompanies every church music activity: music is worship and not a concert. However, this also made something possible that could almost be described as a unique phenomenon in the major Christian churches: the emergence of church music of enormous scope and unparalleled variety. Great names are associated with it: Bach, Haydn and Mozart and an endless series of other composers of merit from the past and - yes, even the present. Admont Abbey has not stood aside in the cultivation of church music, as the archives, instruments and the history of the monastery in general testify. Especially in the recent past and in our time, much has been done in this direction: I am thinking of the new construction of the church organ 50 years ago, the establishment of the musical branch in the grammar school, the appointment of a full-time organist, the commissioning of compositions (e.g. Jakob Gruchmann's "Psalm Passion") and much more. For me, as director of the Stiftskirche choir and music teacher at the Stiftsgymnasium, it is both an honour and a pleasure to be able to accompany and help shape these events. Anyone who has ever experienced the dedication with which young people can perform a Schütz Passion or the seasoned singers of the church choir sing a Mozart Mass ad maiorem Dei gloriam can understand this joy. I would like to thank the monastery for its generosity in all aspects of church music and - more important than anything else - for the appreciation that I and the other musicians have always felt. I wish this appreciation to all my successors, so that the music in Admont Abbey will continue to flourish and prosper in the times to come.