“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and you shall find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11:28 f.)

Suddenly and unexpectedly, our confrere
Father Leopold Steininger
Benedictine monk of Seitenstetten, parish priest emeritus of Öhlin, passed away on 6 June 2020, at 4 pm.

P. Leopold was born on 4 October 1940 in the hospital of the Bavarian border town of Wegscheid and was baptized there with the name Franz, receiving Saint Francis of Assisi as his patron saint. He grew up in the Upper Austrian Hausruckviertel, in Rüstorf near Schwanenstadt. After graduating from the archiepiscopal grammar school Borromäum in Salzburg, he entered Seitenstetten in 1958 and received the religious name Leopold when he started his noviciate on 14 August.

In 1959 Frater Leopold went first to Rome and then to Salzburg to the College of St. Benedict, where he studied theology at the University. He took his perpetual vows in Seitenstetten on 15 August 1962; he was ordained deacon by Bishop Franz Žak on 20 August 1963 in Lilienfeld, and after completing his theological studies, he was ordained priest in Seitenstetten on 2 July 1964. His uncle, the well-known professor of dogmatics at the University of Salzburg, Dr. Ferdinand Holböck, delivered the sermon when Father Leopold said his first mass on 5 July 1964 in Rüstorf.

In his first year as priest Father Leopold worked as prefect in the boarding school of the monastery, followed by years as chaplain in Öhling 1965, in Ybbsitz 1966-69, in Aschbach 1969-76 and in the parish of Seitenstetten 1976-80. In 1981 Father Leopold was appointed parish priest of St. Georgen in der Klaus, from 1982 to 1986 he was parish priest in Biberbach and from 1986 to 2005 in Öhling, where he also worked as pastor at a neurology hospital, the Landesnervenklinik Mauer-Öhling.

At his own request, Father Leopold returned to the monastery for retirement in 2005. He was able to integrate quickly and well into the community and it was obvious that he enjoyed being there. He was very interested in theology and knew his subject well; an interest especially dear to him were the saints. So Abbot Berthold asked him to add the Blessed and Saints of recent times to the Martyrologium, from which daily readings are taken after the evening table. Father Leopold enjoyed to help with the pastoral care in the parishes of the monastery and beyond. From 2012 to 2018 he helped regularly in the parishes of Wolfsbach and St. Johann and later on in the chapel of the hospital in Mauer-Öhling, which had become especially dear to him. His death came as a great surprise to us. On Saturday, 6 June, he did not return from a walk in the afternoon. When the confreres went to search for him after Compline, they found him in the convent garden.

Father Leopold will be laid out in the crypt chapel of the monastery from Friday, 12 June, 5 p.m. On this day we will hold a wake for him in the collegiate church of Seitenstetten at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, 13 June at 7 p.m. in the parish church of Öhling. On Monday, 15 June, we pray the rosary at 1:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. we will say mass for him. Because of the limited number of participants in the collegiate church, the service will also be transmitted to the collegiate court. Afterwards we will escort the mortal remains of Father Leopold to the monastery cemetery for burial in a small circle.

We ask for prayer for the deceased confrere and for a remembrance in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Abbot Petrus Pilsinger and the convent of Seitenstetten Abbey
Fidelis Annemarie, Gertrude, Leopoldine, Sr. Sighilde, Christoph, Hemma, Roswitha Siblings on behalf of all relatives