Stift Melk - UNESCO-Welterbe

Tradition and Present

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"Human encounters should lead to the realization of what God’s Will is. A human atmosphere should make us aware of Christian brotherliness and responsibility towards each other and generate creativity. Through various forms of pastoral activities from and within the monastery, people should become aware of the kingdom of God." Abbot Georg Wilfinger

The Divine Office accompanies and sanctifies the day of a Benedictine monk. It is an important objective for the Benedictines in Melk abbey to create vivid religious services in different settings: Masses and prayer services are being offered not only in the wonderful Baroque church, but also in the early Baroque Summer Sacristy Chapel or the modern St. Benedict Chapel.

The monks in Melk abbey strive together to look for and find God’s Will for the various challenges of the monastery. Pastoral care in the parishes, the operation of the school in the spirit of Christianity, the opening and the preservation of the monastery as a spiritual, intellectual and cultural center constitute the traditional tasks of this abbey. For centuries Benedictine monasteries have been shaped by intellectual confrontations and activities: by running the school and organizing numerous cultural events, the Benedictines try to accomplish their cultural mission.

In addition to these historical tasks, more recently the monks in Melk have attempted to expand their work in target-group-specific pastoral care. Here the abbey’s cultural values represent a significant asset which should not be underestimated. Due to many activities with the students and local youth (orientation days, youth Masses, youth vespers, youth weeks, musical presentations), the monastery becomes a place for them to feel secure, encouraged and at home. The abbey also offers spiritual exercise courses and retreats. The ambience of the house and contact with the Fathers and Brothers prove to be enriching for guests.

The proceeds from tourism and the abbey’s enterprises are entirely used to finance these different tasks and the maintenance of the building.