Duisburg - Hamborn Abbey, Germany
Congregation of Norbertine Sisters
Norbertines of St. Michael's Abbey Orange, CA
Stift - Wilten Abbey Innsbruck, Austria
Copyright: picture alliance/dpa
Father Tobias Breer from Duisburg put on running shoes for children in the Ahr Valley and collected donations. It is not the first action of the man of God.
The legendary Duisburg “Marathon Father” has put on his running shoes again: Tobias Breer runs and runs and runs … always for a good cause. And this good cause has been a very special one since the summer: Help for the school children affected by the flood in the Ahr Valley.
According to his own statements, the fast Premonstratensian monk from Duisburg-Hamborn “ran together” exactly 42,195 euros in a marathon for the Ahr Valley children. And the sum is very real, but of course also a symbolic one, because the marathon route is exactly 42.195 kilometers long.
Duisburg Father Tobias Breer “continuously” collects donations
The money was used to give 90 schoolchildren from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler new teaching materials, since they had lost their previous satchels, writing cases and books in the flood . They would also receive a subsidy for school meals. “I will continue to run for the children in the Ahr Valley in the future,” announced the Father.
And a lot can still come together, because the 58-year-old Father has been running like hell since 2006: three to four marathons and one ultramarathon per year. In March 2021, the clergyman was admitted to the “100 Marathon Club Germany” – he not only completed the required 100, but even 121 of the long-distance runs.
Father from Duisburg has so far “run” millions of euros in donations
And in the process, truly gigantic donation sums were collected: In total, Breer puts the “run” euros at around 1.5 million, which flowed completely into various charitable projects. It is by no means as if the priest would run for a good cause out of sheer boredom.
He has had an eventful life and has plenty to do full-time. Breer was prior of Hamborn Abbey for almost ten years and at the same time military chaplain in Essen and Wesel. At the same time, the theologian, philosopher and psychologist completed further additional studies, such as journalism training. Against this background, he has also been editor-in-chief and publisher of the magazine “LebenWerte News” since 2005. In 2007 he founded the “Project Worth Living”, which is committed to helping the needy in the north of Duisburg and which he still heads today. The project runs a social café, among other things.
And then another task was added: Since 2008, Tobias Breer has also been pastor of the Herz Jesu congregation in the Neumühl district of Duisburg. There he also opened the Syrian-German restaurant “Sham” in 2017. But his great passion is and remains running over long distances. And so the Father published his first book in March. Its title is: “The Marathon Father – 60,000 kilometers against poverty.”
By: Michael Kerst
Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and forever! As we begin a new year we give praise to God for all the blessings that we’ve received in the year 2021. It was indeed a very special year for all members of the Norbertine family throughout the world as we celebrated the 900th Jubilee year of the order.
On New Year’s Eve, we welcomed the New Year and our Mother Aurelia and Sr. Lujza from Slovakia! During their stay they shared with us about all the different Jubilee celebrations that took place in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We were reminded that, even though we could not all gather together as an international community, we were most united in the Eucharist. We had the honor of receiving relics of the Holy Cross from Mother Aurelia reminding us that it is the Cross where we find strength to stand firm in the midst of the chaos of the world. We are so grateful!
Our community also has a special tradition on the Feast of Holy Innocents which was passed down from the monasteries in Europe: on December 28, the youngest novice gets to be superior for the day while the real superior went to pray at Planned Parenthood and attended a Pro-life Mass at St. Joh the Baptist Parish. They got to eat at In-n-Out and had lots of holy fun together. The goal of this tradition is to help young sisters understand the role of superior and it also gives the real superior a day off!