Photo courtesy of Benediktinerkloster St. Georgenberg

Father Thomas (Franz) Naupp OSB
Monk of St. Georgenberg Abbey

23 August 1950 – 7 June 2023

Our Fr. Thomas came into this world as Franz Naupp in Hall in Tyrol in 1950. He grew up in Mils and Stans, graduated from the Paulinum in Schwaz and entered our monastery in Fiecht in 1970. After his first profession he studied philosophy and theology in Salzburg and was ordained priest on 23 April 1977 by the bishop of Innsbruck D Dr. Rusch. Abbot Gregor Schinnerl then sent Fr. Thomas to the Institute for Austrian Historic Research, where he passed the state examination in archival science, librarianship and museum studies in 1980. Thus the three great themes of his life were set: monk, priest and historian.

After returning to the monastery, Fr. Thomas was appointed archivist and librarian of Fiecht. The holdings were the underpinning of his love of the history of his own monastery and of his Tyrolean homeland. Thomas was extraordinarily prolific, writing more than 350 books and articles: extensive scholarly essays, well-researched monographs, and short articles. He treated great, small and curious things of the monastery and regional history in a clear language and with an eye for detail. In addition to the Institute for Austrian Historic Research and the Bavarian Benedictine Academy, he was a member of several historical associations. In 2015 he was awarded the Medal of Merit of the State of Tyrol.

The Benedictine monk Fr. Thomas, so familiar with the history of the monastery, often wrestled quite temperamentally with the more recent developments of his community. He found joy and fulfillment in pastoral ministry. As an assistant in Achenkirch (1980–1993), as pastor of Fiecht (from 1994 to 2010) and administrator in Stans, he accompanied countless people through important stages of their lives. He taught religion in six elementary and secondary schools. In addition, he acted as chaplain of the Aschbacher Rifle Company Achenkirch and as district chaplain of the Kameradschaftsbund Schwaz. After a sabbatical in the monastery of Muri-Gries, he took over the pastoral care of Steinberg am Rofan in 2011. He successfully served in this remote place, which he himself called “the most beautiful end of the world,” loved by the community and content until the onset of his illness.

In 2022 Fr. Thomas was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw. He bravely and optimistically underwent the many procedures needed, amicably accompanied and cared for by Deacon Dr. Bachinger, into whose hands he had also entrusted the parish, temporarily, he hoped. He passed away peacefully on 7 June.

Fr. Thomas served Christ faithfully at all times. May he now receive him into his glory.

Abbot Jeremias Schröder OSB
and the monastic community of St. Georgenberg
Archbishop Dr. Franz Lackner and the Archdiocese of Salzburg

Grete Naupp with Markus,
parish and local community
of Steinberg am Rofan