During the night of 14-15 January 2020 our confrere Brother Alfred (Karl) Straubinger OSB was unexpectedly called to his eternal home. Brother Alfred was born in Oberthambach near Beutelsbach on 6 June 1947. His parents, Karl and Therese Straubinger, both died soon after he was born. He was baptized with the name Karl Ludwig on 7 June 1947 in the parish church of Beutelsbach. He spent his childhood from the age of four with his grandparents who lovingly looked after him. After attending primary school in Beutelsbach, Karl Straubinger entered our brother’s seminary here on 4 September 1961 and trained as a baker with Brother Aurelian Blöchl. He passed the exam as an assistant in 1964 and then entered the monastery with five of his classmates and on 9 September 1964 was admitted into the postulancy. Admittance to the novitiate followed on 18 September 1965. Br. Alfred made his temporary profession on 24 September 1966. In 1967 he transferred from the bakery to the metalworking shop since the then-master, Br. Christian Stahle, had to give up the management of the shop due to illness. In May 1969, Br. Alfred took over the metalworking shop and continued directing it alone. On 26 May 1969 he passed the journeyman’s exam in this area and then masters exam on 27 July 1972.

These were very busy years in the workshop since much was rebuilt, renovated and newly erected from the late sixties to the mid-seventies. During these years the industrious metalworker also directed a large number of apprentices for their journeyman’s exam and, in addition, successfully took part in a theology distance learning course in 1970. We owe to Br. Alfred a number of handforged iron gates and grave crosses that still adorn our cemetery today. The strong and melodious voice of Br. Alfred also enabled him to become part of our chant schola. In 1974 he, together with Fr. Pius, was appointed main cantor. For over forty years Br. Alfred was a mainstay of our liturgical singing. He was fully committed to the last renovation of the interior of the abbey church in 1997/98. Here, among other things, Br. Alfred produced the grille work for the organ gallery of the church. The work in the metal workshop was draining his strength. After a long stay in the hospital, he asked to be released from the work in the shop. Br. Alfred then received a new field of work in our monastery garden. For 20 years he put all his energy into working at the side Br. Raphael. In addition, he continued to be faithful to his role as a cantor.

Reliability and faithfulness in all areas were the hallmarks of our confrere, as well as a pronounced modesty. Br. Alfred was very open to engaging in conversation with the confreres. He especially took care of the sick and older members of the monastery.

Towards the end of last year he needed to make use of the help of the infirmarian himself since his strength was exhausted.

We thank our confrere Alfred for all his dedication and his faithful living in community and ask for a remembrance of him in prayer.

 — Prior Administrator Richard Multerer and the monastic community of Schweiklberg