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Duisburg - Hamborn Abbey, Germany

Congregation of Norbertine Sisters
Wilmington, CA

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

 

Greetings!

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!

 

Thank you to Facebook post by Fr. Johan Goossens, O. Praem.

Thank you to Facebook post by Fr. Johan Gooseen, O. Praem.

Thank you to Facebook post from Fr. Johan Gooseens, O. Praem.

Catholicism recognizes the possibility that, throughout time, some particularly worthy men and women received the visits from Jesus, the Virgin Mary or a particular Saint. During these visits, these men would receive messages, revelations, and even orders, aimed at their own and the whole Christian community’s good. The nature itself of the Catholic religion, deeply focused on an interior dimension made of prayer and personal meditation, makes us understand how important visible, and sometimes even tangible, ‘signs’ are in it. Even though the soul is the preferred channel for the dialogue between man and God, the carnal and material nature of men sometimes demands for a manifestation of His presence on an existence level that is more suitable for men. During such apparitions, God’s love becomes visible, it turns into flesh, presence, a mystical experience that transcends every understanding and completely and irremediably shakes those who live it.
The story of the Miraculous Medal (or Medal of Our Lady of Graces, or Medal of the Immaculate Conception) relates to such experiences. This veneration object has a powerful symbolism, capable of unexpected healings and prodigious acts, and comes from an apparition, from a moment of divine love turned into flesh and light. It comes from the meeting of a young and humble novice aged twenty-four and the Virgin Mary, a night dialogue that lasted for hours, made not only of words but also of looks, gestures, displays of affections and devotions, and vibrant hope.
The Church in particular considers Mary’s apparitions as interventions from a loving Mother towards her children. They are an act of mercy and love from her, who, so close to God, does not forget those who live the anxieties of an earthly life, too fragile and weak to be able to face problems, adversities, and the many obstacles life gives them on their own. Therefore, Mary occasionally descends and reminds the believers and the faithful of her commitment, of her will to help men and women in their daily life, always supporting their cause in front of the Father.
That is what happened for the Madonna of the Miraculous Medal: on November 27th, 1830 she appeared to the future Saint Catherine Labouré, young nun of the congregation of the daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in rue du Bac n. 140, Paris.
Thank you to Facebook post by Jordan B. Arnold

Wilten’s Boy’s Choir

The oldest evidence of the  choirboys in Wilten Abbey dates back to the 13th century , which means that the Wiltener existed a good 250 years before the Vienna Boys’ Choir founded by Emperor Maximilian in 1498. As a result of secularization in the 19th century, this centuries-old tradition came to an end. In 1946 the Premonstratensian canon Otto Karasek gave OPaem. Christmas caroling with a small choir of altar boys led by Prof. Norbert Gerhold. With that, the Wilten Boys’ Choir was brought back to life.
Mag. Johannes Stecher has been the artistic director of the Wiltener Sängerknaben since 1991 and since autumn 2006 he has been head of the Wiltener Sängerknaben department at the Tyrolean State Conservatory.
Today, the choir has around 190 members, who are trained in six groups – from junior choirs to concert choirs to male voices – in part in cooperation with the Tyrolean State Conservatory. Johannes Stecher heads the Wilten Boys’ Choir department at the Tyrolean State Conservatory.
The choir members attend various schools in Innsbruck and the surrounding area and, depending on their age, come to Wilten one to three times a week for rehearsals and singing lessons. The youngest choir members are around four to five years old.
Repertoire is constantly being changed and expanded, since the members of the choir – as is otherwise not possible in children’s choirs – change very quickly and pass from the soprano or alto registers to the tenor or bass. The choir deals a lot with old sacred music, from the Renaissance through the Baroque period to the Classical and Romantic eras.
The music of the 20th century on the one hand and composers such as William Byrd, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Sebastian Bach, Anton Bruckner and Arvo Pärt on the other play a prominent role. Nevertheless, the choir refers to numerous recordings from the classical area with masses and oratorios by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn.
As a Tyrolean choir, we naturally feel committed to the tradition of authentic folk songs. And so yodels and folk songs from the Alps as well as spiritual folk songs – especially during Advent and Christmas – are often found in the choir programs.

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