“Lord, you are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” –Psalm 142
In the early morning of 28 October 2021, our beloved confrere
Father Matthias (Michael) Wenig OSB
died in the Vilshofen hospital after a short stay.
Fr. Matthias was born in Schwarzach, Regen District, on 26 August 1937 and baptized two days later with the name Michael. His parents, Johann Wenig and his wife Maria, née König, managed a farm. Michael was the youngest of five siblings.
After attending primary school, Michael enrolled in the agricultural vocational school in Langdorf but then changed to a trade. In 1952 he began an apprenticeship as a men’s tailor with Alois Wurzer in Bodenmais. He completed the tailoring apprenticeship in 1955 with the journeyman’s exam. But his life’s journey led him in a different direction. He followed God’s inner call and attended St. Matthias’ Late Vocation Gymnasium in Fürstenried/Waldram from 1955 to 1960. He successfully graduated on 16 July 1960.
Feeling called to the religious life, Michael entered the Benedictine Abbey of Schweiklberg on 5 September, where he was admitted to the novitiate on 10 September 1960, at the age of 23. He received as his monastic name the Apostle Matthias, the patron of late vocations. He made his temporary profession on 12 September 1961. This was followed by philosophy studies at the Congregation’s college at St. Ottilien. He completed his theology studies at the theological college of Passau. On 13 September 1964, he bound himself to the monastic community of Schweiklberg for life by his solemn profession.
Abbot-Bishop Eberhard Spiess of Peramiho, Tanzania ordained Frater Matthias a deacon in 1965. He was ordained a priest along with two confreres in the abbey church of Schweiklberg on 10 July 1966 by the prayer and laying on of hands of coadjutor bishop Antonius Hofmann of Passau. Numerous tasks awaited the young priest and monk. Of all the many services and assignments Fr. Matthias carried out in the course of his monastic life and performed in his priestly ministry, only the most important are mentioned here:
At first, he was assigned as a prefect in our Bergfried study house. From 1968 to 1978, he directed the house as superior and was a caring father to the students and clerics. He also taught at the Adalbert Stifter Gymnasium and the Leopoldinum in Passau. In 1978 he was called to be the rector of the mission seminary at Schweiklberg. From 1979 he taught religion and economics in the Schweiklberg gymnasium. From 1970 to 1984 he also directed the private vocational school at Schweiklberg. In addition, in 1998 he was entrusted with direction of the St. Beda Retreat House; this lasted until 2015. He served the monastic community as subprior and from 1999 to 2017 as prior. Abbot Christian assigned him the responsible position of cellarer, a position Fr. Matthias held until 2018. He gladly took on himself many pastoral services inside and outside the monastic community. Until shortly before his death, he took care of the administration of the Mass offerings, the daily income, the incoming mail, and making sure all was in the order in the monastery refectory.
With Fr. Matthias, our community loses a confrere who always took his vocation as a monk very seriously and lived his life in an exemplary manner.
We ask you to pray for him.
— Prior Administrator Richard Multerer OSB and the monastic community