“Lord, I love this place… where your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8)

Strengthened by the last sacraments, our confrere

Father Bonifaz (Engelbert) Born, O.S.B.
from Grellingen BL

died in the Bruderholz Hospital on 5 May 2020.

Engelbert Born was born on 4 February 1937 and grew up in Grellingen with three brothers and two sisters; he was the eldest child of Josef and Verena Born-Bucher. After primary school and a year in the French speaking part of Switzerland, he attended the Karl Borromäus College (Altdorf UR) from 1952, which was run by the Mariastein Benedictines. At the age of 20 he graduated from the school for paramedics in Basel. In 1959 he passed his High School graduation at the College of Sarnen. In the same year he entered the Mariastein Monastery, following the example of his uncle, Father German Born (1901-1978). After the noviciate he studied theology in Einsiedeln and Mariastein. On 26 September 1960, the day of the consecration of the diocesan cathedral in Solothurn, he made his monastic profession as Brother Bonifaz. On 1 August 1964 he was ordained priest by Bishop Franziskus von Streng. Soon the young priest was entrusted with tasks within the community: he took over the offices of ceremonial and custodian, he taught in the novitiate, and he was responsible for the graphic design of the monastery magazine. At the same time he attended the Catechetical Institute in Lucerne and gave religious instruction, among other things at the local district school.

After Father Mauritius Fürst had been elected Abbot in the monastery in July 1971, Father Bonifaz was elected President of the monastic building commission. This started his life’s work. For now it was his responsibility to plan the complete renovation of the buildings of the monastery, together with the building commission, with the architect Giuseppe Gerster, with the Office for the Preservation of Monuments, with master builders and craftsmen, and to realize it step by step. Father Bonifaz was just the right person for this huge task. Here he was able to use all his talents, gifts and abilities. Thanks to his creativity, his knowledge of the history of the monastery and his leadership qualities, this huge project could be completed within 15 years. The interior restoration of the monastery church (2000) and the St. Anna Chapel (2003) were also carried out under his direction.

In 1985 Father Bonifaz entered a new field of activity, when he became pastor of Metzerlen-Mariastein, 1986 additionally of Burg i.L., 1997 also of Radersdorf. Besides these pastoral tasks, he worked for the Basler Pfarrblatt, from 1999 to 2006 as its President. At the age of 65 he withdrew more and more from these public activities, but he continued to look after the buildings and technical installations. Up to the last days of his life, he worked tirelessly to research and record the architectural, liturgical and artistic heritage of our monastery. In 2009 he became critically ill and was hospitalized a number of times, and this increasingly sapped his vitality. Father Bonifaz accepted his illness with serenity and finally placed his earthly life calmly back into God’s good hands. May he now rest in peace.

— Abbot Peter of Sury and community
Brothers and sisters of Father Bonifaz and relatives

Because of the current corona pandemic, Father Bonifaz was laid to rest in a private ceremony in the crypt of the monastery church. At a later date we will celebrate a public requiem for him.

Please consider giving a donation instead of flowers, to the Benedictine Monastery 4115 Mariastein (Postal account 40-9323-9; marked: Fr. Bonifaz).