Left, Abbot Maksymilian Robert Nawara, abbot president of the Annunciation Congregation and newly-elected Abbot Nikodemus Schnabel
On 3 February 2023, Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem elected a new abbot, Fr. Nikodemus Schnabel. Quoting the Dormition Facebook post, they write in German, “With great joy we can announce that we have a new abbot. . .. Following the visitation, the elective chapter of our community today elected Fr. Nikodemus as the new abbot of the Abbey of Dormition in Jerusalem and in Tabgha!
“We take this opportunity to thank again especially Abbot Emeritus Bernhard Maria Alter for his ministry of leadership in the past years! We thank Abbot President Maksymilian and Brother Eucharius for their accompaniment during these days! We thank you and all of you for the accompanying prayer especially during this week – and beyond.
“And we wish Abbot Nikodemus with our community the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His good blessing for all that now lies ahead!”
The election came at the end of a canonical visitation led by the abbot president of the Annunciation Congregation, Fr. Maksymilian Robert Nawara, of the Benedictine monastery in Lubin, Poland, and Brother Eucharius Wingenfeld, of St. Matthias’ Abbey in Trier, Germany.
Abbot Nikodemus will receive the abbot’s benediction on Pentecost, 28 May. The celebration will be presided over by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
On 2 July 2021, Archbishop Pizzaballa appointed Fr. Nikodemus to his current position as Patriarchal Vicar for Migrants and Asylum Seekers and Migrant Pastoral Care of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Abbot Nikodemus wants to use the period until his blessing to hand over his position as head of the Catholic pastoral care for migrants and asylum seekers in an orderly manner.
Abbot Nikodemus studied philosophy and Catholic theology in Fulda, Munich, Münster and Jerusalem. He wrote his thesis in 2002 at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich on The Liturgical Vestments and Insignia of the Deacon, Presbyter and Bishop in the Churches of the Byzantine Rite.
In 2003 he entered the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition on Mount Zion in Jerusalem and took the religious name Nikodemus. He made his temporary profession in 2004, solemn profession and diaconate in 2009, and priestly ordination in 2013. Also in 2013, he received his doctorate from the University of Vienna with an award-winning dissertation from the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Vienna with a thesis about the liturgical veneration of the Old Testament’s Saints in the Latin Church – a historical and ecumenical survey.
On 26 August 2016, Abbot Nikodemus was appointed Prior Administrator of Dormition Abbey for a period of 18 months. In 2018/19 he worked as theological consultant in the German Foreign Office.
Since the summer of 2020, Abbot Nikodemus has been responsible for the Jerusalem Theological Study Year, both as a delegate from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome and as a program study prefect and lecturer in Eastern Churches.
The editors of OSB DOT ORG join the Dormition community in wishing Abbot Nikodemus blessings in his future endeavors.