Ora et labora et lege – pray and work and read.
St. Benedict of Nursia’s Rule for the Order can be summarized in these words. The Father of the Monks wrote it around 529 in Montecassino in Italy for his community.
Ora – Pray
The first and most important task of the monks is the prayer. St. Benedikt wrote in his rule:
At the hour for the Divine Office, as soon as the signal is heard, let them abandon whatever they may have in hand (…). (Rule of Benedict Chapter 43,1)
Four times a day the monks of Admont Abbey come together to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours and Holy Mass. As representatives of all Christians, the community of monks prays especially for alleviation of the problems facing the contemporary world. During the week the divine office is in German, only on public holidays and sundays in Latin.
Labora – Work
The monks are responsible for different tasks inside and outside the abbey between the prayers.
Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the monks should be occupied at certain times in manual labor (…). ( Rule of Benedict Chapter 48,1)
Admont Abbey is currently responsible for 26 parishes.
Tasks within the monastery
The whole size of the monastery is about 12,65 hectare. There is a wide range of tasks, which fulfill the monks together with the roughly 500 people in its businesses.
The head of the monastery is the abbot, as spiritual and economic father. The prior represents the abbot in his absence. He is also responsible for organizational procedures within the monastery.
The Admont abbey is as well a cultural center known in Austria and in furthermore countries. Some monks work in this area, for example they are member of the team who is responsible for the collection of contemporary art.
Beside the museum the monastery is home of the world largest monastery library which contains about 70.000 books. The whole collection includes about 200.000 books with around 1400 manuscripts and printings, which are stored in the archive of the abbey. Hospitality is an important issue in the rule. There is a guest Master who accommodates people in the monastery.
Beside this tasks there are further services of the monks, for example master of the kitchen, novice master, rector of the oblates etc. Every monk is installed in a task regarding his personal talents.
Task outside the monastery
Not only inside the monastery, as well as outside of the house there are a huge range of pastoral tasks. The abbey runs a meeting house and a hall of residence for students in Graz. Also some fraternitys are served by Admonter monks.
The abbey is a regional motor, not only in economic issues. In every stage of life the monastery is active. For the elderly people the house runs a nursing home. Some monks are responsible for the pastoral attendance.
Due to the current refugee situation the abbey established some asylums. Monks teach them in German or they spend their leisure time.
The Admont monastery runs a secondary school with about 600 pupils. Some monks operates as teacher in different subjects.
Lege – Read
Therefore the monks should be occupied at fixed hours in sacred reading. (Rule of Benedict Chapter 48,1)
But whatever Admont Abbey undertakes, it is done in the spirit of the Rule of St. Benedikt:
„Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus! – So that in all things God may be glorified!“ (Rule of Benedict Chapter 57,9)