Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Abbot of Heiligenkreuz Abbey

The Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz in Austria, which we have often covered here on the NLM (click here for former posts) has today elected a new abbot, after its former abbot, Rt. Rev. Gregor Count Henckel von Donnersmarck, had resigned after twelve years. The election was held under the presidency of the Abbot President of the Austrian Cistercian Congregation, Rt. Rev. Wolfgang Wiedermann, abbot of Zwettl. After a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, the swearing-in of the electors and the chant of the Veni Creator, the 63 monks in perpetual vows - a number not reached in 300 years - elected 68th abbot of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Cross, Very Rev. Maximilian Heim, prior of Stiepel and professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical Theological Academy of Heiligenkreuz. At 49 years of age, abbot Maximilian II is one of the youngest abbots Heiligenkreuz has ever had.

Here is the new abbot (centre) with Abbot President Wiedermann (l.) and the former abbot, Count Henckel von Donnersmarck (r.):

After the election and the profession of faith and the oath of fidelity of the new abbot, the monks processed into the abbey church, where the abbot sat down before the altar and received the homage of the monks who promised into his hands: "Father, I pledge to you and your lawful succesors obedience unto death." Here is a video of this homagium:

After the homagium, the new abbot takes for the first time his place in the choir, receives the crosier, and the Te Deum is sung.

Abbot Maximilian before lunch at the refectory:

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