The monks of St. Ottilia, who double as voluntary firemen, recently marked the 100th anniversary of their monastery’s foundation with a mass, celebrated by the abbot, Fr. Jeremias Schröder.
Many professional firemen, with whom the monks have formed bonds of friendship, attended the mass, reported SIR. Two members of the Vatican fire brigade also traveled from Rome for the occasion.
The 19 members of the voluntary fire-brigade unit of the monastic community of St. Ottilia (Benedictine missionaries) live according to the Benedictine Rule of prayer and work.
In addition to the monastery and their tasks as voluntary firefighters in the surrounding area, they operate a 750-student high school, a retreat house that accommodates 120 people, a farm, various craft workshops, and a publishing house. They are also responsible for a stretch of the neighboring Autobahn (the A 96).
In the early years after their foundation, the monastery provided emergency service wearing their monastic habit, but now they wear a uniform that complies with existing health and safety rules.