“When Mary Magdalene and the other women set out on the way to the tomb of the Lord on Easter morning, they had to assume that a large stone would stand in their way. They went on anyway and lo and behold: the stone was gone,” said Lackner, adding: “We in the church today would probably start by setting up a stone-rolling-away commission. And only go on after that”.
Franciscan monastery is a contemporary place of resurrection
For the archbishop, the Salzburg Franciscan monastery is a contemporary “place of resurrection”, like the empty tomb or Emmaus in the Bible: “Many blessings emanate from this place,” said Lackner. Many people come here because they have a longing for discussion and absolution. Also, the Franciscans served a tangible solidarity with the poor and homeless.
The Archbishop expressly referred to the aid organization of the Austrian Franciscans, “Franz Hilf”, whose employees are currently primarily looking after the people in and from the Ukraine. This commitment is important and he wants to thank him for it. In addition, the Franciscan monastery in Salzburg is a place of prayer, said the Archbishop. Our time is similar in many respects to the situation of the Emmaus disciples: “We do not see the Risen One, although He is with us”.
Governor Haslauer: work of great radiance
Governor Wilfried Haslauer congratulated the Franciscans on the successful construction. The monastery, but above all the Franciscan church, is a special place with an impressive atmosphere: the depiction of the Mother of God with the child by Michael Pacher (1435-1498) conveys gentleness and goodness. These two virtues are the answer to crisis and aggression, said the governor. The Franciscans stand for such an attitude, an attitude of “open confidence”. But such an attitude also requires housing: “This building of the monastery is a work of great radiance,” said Haslauer.
The Franciscan province in Austria and South Tyrol includes 107 confreres who live and work in 18 branches. Since 2021, Fr. Fritz Wenigwieser, who comes from Engerwitzdorf, has presided over her as Provincial Minister. In the course of the Counter-Reformation, the Salzburg prince-archbishop Archbishop Johann Jakob von Kuen-Belasy (1560-1586) called Franciscans to the city on the Salzach for spiritual renewal.
Since 1583 there has been a Franciscan monastery in the district of St. Peter. After the Anschluss in 1938, the National Socialists abolished the monastery and converted it into the headquarters of the GeStaPo. Converted into the headquarters of the ORF after the war, the monastery was returned to the order in 1974. Since 1974 Franciscans have been living and working in the convent again. Since 2007 it has been the seat of the provincial government of the Austrian Franciscans.