Photo : Aerial image of the Schweiklberg Abbey (view from the southeast) | By Carsten Steger – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” Revelation 19:9

On Tuesday, 31 August 2021, while the monastic community was praying Vespers, the Lord summoned our confrere

Brother Hilarius (Edwin) Stumbeck OSB

into his heavenly kingdom at the age of 86 and in the 67th year of his monastic profession.

“I, Edwin Stumbeck, was born on 9 January 1935 in Riedelswald, Rattenberg Parish. After finishing primary school, which I attended in Gneissen, I decided to enter the Missionary Benedictine Abbey of Schweiklberg to become a missionary.”

With these words, the young man from the Bavarian Forest purposefully and with astonishing determination asked for admission to the seminary for the brothers in September 1949.

His application was successful, not least because the pastor of his home parish had recommended him to the Benedictines as a hard-working, pious and unpretentious lad. Of course, to become a missionary required solid, professional training. Edwin received this in the monastery. He was presented with the master’s certificate in the metalworker’s trade in Passau in 1960. He continued to improve his training with various courses on the use and repair of tractors and agricultural machinery, on livestock management, etc. However, Br. Hilarius, as he was called after making his monastic profession, was denied a mission assignment. He was needed at home. For decades, his workplace was the metal workshop and the repair shop where he was concerned with maintaining the tractors and agricultural equipment. At the same time, he bore the responsibility for supplying all the monastery’s buildings with water and heat. Entrusted with these important tasks, Br. Hilarius’ voice had weight in the brothers’ council and was always appreciated.

Br. Hilairus passed on his knowledge and skills to many trainees. His creative energy did not seem to diminish in old age, until the consequences of his diabetes caused him more and more difficulties and finally confined him to the wheelchair and then his sickbed.

As long as his eyesight permitted, Br. Hilarius continued to tend to his hobby: getting clocks to work again. With admirable resignation he consented to God’s providence. This meant his becoming a nursing case at the end of his life.

With the help of the public address system, it was possible for him to participate in community life, although in a limited fashion. Br. Hilarius attended the Sunday liturgy in his wheelchair. Radio Horeb broadcasts enriched his prayer life and also provided entertainment. While listening to one of these broadcasts, the sleep of death overcame him on the evening of 31 August 2021.

We confidently hope that he woke up with the Lord in the other world, in God’s new world that Br. Hilarius was called to help build.

We ask for a remembrance in prayer for our confrere.

Prior Administrator Fr. Richard Multerer OSB
and the monks of Schweiklberg Abbey