House remains meeting center

House remains meeting center

Benedictine monastery Damme © Hermann Pentermann

The announced departure of the Benedictine monks from Damme Monastery is imminent. The house becomes the 31. December closed, the priory announced this Monday. The Benedictines had worked in Damme for 54 years.

Already from next Monday (19. December) there would be no more public services and prayer times in the monastery. The convent of Munsterschwarzach Abbey had decided earlier this year to close the monastery in Damme. The six Benedictines who have been working there up to now are called back to the motherhouse.

Cost ie

A discussion process of about two years had shown that "the large investments for urgently needed building measures are not in proportion to the personnel situation in Damme," it said. The costs for renovation work were quoted by the order at two million euros.

The house will continue to be available "as a place of encounter," Benedictines say. In addition to an adult education center run by the Katholisches Bildungswerk Dammer Berge, plans call for a day care center for children, day care for seniors, and assisted living and residential apartments. The building had been acquired by an investor from Bremen. Reconstruction work is currently underway and should be completed by spring.

Five friars had last lived in Damme under the leadership of Prior Stephan Veith. One of their main tasks was hospitality. Offered courses in retreats, life orientation, contemplative paths and Benedictine life.

Thanksgiving service with Bishop Genn

In the farewell year, cases of abuse from the 1960s and 1970s at the former boarding school (1966-1983) in Damme had also become known. As the Munsterschwarzach Abbey confirmed in May, there had been boundary violations and physical violence against pupils by a priest of the monastery who had already died.

Because of the suspicion, the abbey had set up a working group for the reappraisal and prevention of sexual violence. The latter had written to former students and invited them to a meeting. There the accusations had been confirmed.

The monks would like to say goodbye to companions and neighbors in Damme in the coming days. Among other things, meetings with staff and former boarding school students are planned for Saturday. Sunday at 11 a.m.A thanksgiving service with Munster's Bishop Felix Genn will take place at 3 p.m. in the church of St. Victor in Damme. Abbot Michael Reepen delivers the sermon.

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