Benedictine Abbey Admont - Father Egon © Thomas Sattler

A whirlwind conquers the vicarage

Since Father Egon Homann became parish priest in the Liesingtal parish association, Mautern has not one, but two new residents.

A whirlwind conquers the vicarage

Thursday, 02.12.2021

Since Father Egon Homann became parish priest in the Liesingtal parish association, Mautern has not one, but two new residents.

Father Egon tiptoes past Finn's basket. Despite his honest endeavours to leave the bedroom without making a sound, the black Labrador wakes up. He takes a quick look at his master and, seeing nothing unusual, lowers his still heavy head back onto his front paws. He knows that when Father Egon goes to say his morning prayers at five o'clock, he will be allowed to doze for another whole hour. The priest enjoys the peace and quiet of the still young day, because once Finn has had a good night's sleep, he can be a real whirlwind. His greetings in particular are extremely stormy, "I always have to slow him down a bit," says Father Egon with a laugh.

However, the parish community of Mautern does not seem to be bothered by the four-legged friend's exuberance. Quite the opposite. "When I go for a walk with Finn, people first enquire how the dog is doing. Only then do they ask how I am," says Father Egon with a smile. All those who don't meet the duo on their daily walk can keep up to date with Finn's life as a monastery dog on Facebook. Looking through his online profile, the photos of the many gifts that the four-legged friend regularly receives stand out. The small and large gifts range from snack sticks to frankfurters and bacon. No wonder Finn is gradually developing an air of stardom. He loves being the centre of attention and has a small, select fan club not only in Mautern, but also in Graz.

A four-legged friend with charm

In addition to his role as parish priest, Father Egon is also a counsellor. Admont's Benedictine monastery founded two branches in the provincial capital years ago to care for students. One of these is the "House of Encounter". The duo is on site several times a week. Nevertheless, Finn doesn't have to miss out on his walks. The Hilmteich is one of his favourite destinations. But the four-legged friend also enjoys working in Graz. Finn has chosen a turquoise-coloured, upholstered armchair as his favourite spot in the facility's common room. This is probably because he has the best view of the glass entrance door and what's happening on the street from there. Nothing escapes his attention. With watchful eyes, he notices every movement on the pavement that runs alongside the house. If a familiar face enters the Haus der Begegnung, he is immediately on the spot. This sociability has even given him his own area of responsibility: The greeting. Once he has done this to his own satisfaction, he jumps back onto his upholstered throne. "He doesn't interfere during conversations. He only gets up from time to time to be cuddled," says Father Egon. However, Finn is extremely picky about this. In his two years of life, he has learnt to interpret people's gestures. "If someone treats a large dog with respect, he immediately keeps his distance. Finn senses when physical contact is desirable and when it is not. Depending on this, he either gets his cuddles or doesn't," says his master.

There are not many people who can resist his charm. The Labrador has most people in his pocket from the very first encounter. He is particularly popular because of his peace-loving nature. He doesn't care much for loud barking. To draw attention to himself, he prefers a languid look. "Even when he's out of his mind with joy, he doesn't bark, but jumps and romps around. He takes up the whole room," says Father Egon with a laugh and explains what Finn is most happy about. A treat? A new toy? "No, he's happiest when I come home. And that's a really nice feeling."

Benedictine Abbey Admont - Father Egon Abbey Church Admont © Thomas Sattler
Benedictine Abbey Admont - Father Egon Rosarium © Thomas Sattler
Benedictine Abbey Admont - Father Egon Rosarium © Thomas Sattler
Benedictine Abbey Admont - Father Egon © Thomas Sattler
Benedictine Abbey Admont - Father Egon © Thomas Sattler