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Germany: the “repopulation” of Neuzelle Abbey goes on. The priests working on pastoral care, poor people and education

Five months after the arrival of four Cistercian monks from Heligenkreuz, Austria, in Brandenburg’s ancient Abbey of Neuzelle, a town on the German-Polish border, reopened after 200 years, an important step will be taken soon: Brandenburg’s Minister of Culture, Martina Münch, who is also the president of the State Foundation that owns the abbey, announced in an interview with the newspaper “Lausitzer Rundschau” that the big rooms of the former Chancellery of the abbey, currently hosting a music school, and the office of the Land’s Forestry Committee, will be given over to the Cistercian order, under an usufructuary lease system. A great joy for the four monks, who will thus be able to host novices and spend time in monastic work. Father Kilian Müller, the abbey’s treasurer, is optimistic: “The office building will certainly provide enough room for many years to let our community grow and take in guests”. At the same time, he points out that he and his brethren want to “create synergisms in this beautiful place”. The Neuzelle experience is important for all of the German Church: the rebirth of the abbey through a planned repopulation plan “ is certainly not a simple process”, Father Kilian points out. The renaissance of Neuzelle has impressed everyone far beyond Brandenburg, which is going through a serious de-Christianisation. The monks’ arrival has been welcomed by the region’s Catholics and by the local population, who also see this as an opportunity for an economic revival of the region. The monks, who are by now an integral part of Neuzelle, are busy running the parish, assisting the poor, and working in the local primary school.

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