A new Premonstraatsee monastery has been opened in the German city of Magdeburg. This is remarkable, because there are very few monasteries left in East Germany. The last monastery in Magdeburg closed its doors 400 years ago. The Premonstraatsee Monastery, whose construction began in 2020, is built on the banks of the Elbe River, not far from the former Virgin Mary Premonstraatsee Monastery and Magdeburg Cathedral.
The city has very special importance for Premonstratensians, due to its founder Saint Norbert of Xanten He had been bishop here since 1126. He died there in 1134 and his body was then buried in the Church of Our Lady.
Norbertine Philip Richling It explains that its founding remains a result of German reunification. “Then we held a conference about our future. Then came the idea of moving to East Germany. In the end the choice fell on Magdeburg. After many parents had to flee to the West for decades because of communism, a step in the opposite direction is now being taken.
Reichling: ‘Today there are three brothers in Magdeburg. We are developing a new way of church life because we are in a new situation together. The number of Catholics in the new environment is very limited, but the local atheist mayor welcomes the arrival of the monastery, because he sees it as a cultural enrichment. “Our mission is to be present, to have an impact and to contribute something of our faith and our religious history.”