Photo courtesy of Abtei Schweiklberg

Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,
you did for me.
Mt 25:40

On 3 September 2023 while we in Schweiklberg were singing Sunday Vespers, God called our confrere

Brother Franziskus (Hermann-Josef) Rohjans OSB

from this life in the hospital of the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God in Regensburg.

Hermann-Josef was born on 21 June 1957 in Lorup, in Emsland as the sixth child of the master shoemaker Johannes Rohjans and his wife Maria Rohjans, née Goldmann. After finishing school, he, together with his twin brother, took up the masonry profession and worked as a journeyman mason at the Kreutzjans company in Lorup, to the complete satisfaction of his employer from 1977 until 1990, when he decided to enter religious life. He was strengthened in the Christian faith from his parents’ home and also as a member of the Kolping family for many years. Ultimately it was the example of his sister Anni, who worked in Guatemala as a member of the Secular Institute of St. Boniface in Heidenoldendorf, that motivated him to join the Missionary Benedictines. His wish to serve as a missionary in Africa was fulfilled shortly after he had made his profession. The superiors allowed Brother Franziskus two short assignments in the Kerio Valley in Kenya (1993–1994) and in the priory in Tororo, Uganda (1996–1999). Prior to that, Br. Franziskus had completed a one-year training as a nursing assistant at the vocational school of the Hospitaller Brothers in Regensburg.

Back from Africa, his services were needed for a short time in the newly built cafeteria of the monastery until finally the monastery infirmary became his permanent field of work when his predecessor there was transferred to Bergfried in 2003. For a full twenty years Br. Franziskus provided sacrificial service to his elderly and sick confreres with much expertise and devotion. Very concerned about the health of his confreres, he did too little for his own health, unfortunately.

His untimely death poses a great challenge to our small community. His passing was not unexpected because Br. Franziskus had already been close to death once. A quickly performed emergency operation a year earlier saved his life then.

We commend our confrere to the mercy of God and your prayers!

The monastic community of Schweiklberg