Last weekend, the foundation stone for the first Orthodox monastery in Austria – which will be the first in Central Europe, was laid.
The formal ceremony at the Orthodox Monastery of Agia Skepi and Saint Paisios under construction in Sankt Andrä Zicksee, took place in the presence of state, local, diplomatic and church authorities, as well as many faithful.
Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria and Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe, Hans Peter Doskozil, Provincial Governor of Burgenland, Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics of Eisenstadt, local Mayor Andreas Sattler, and the Abbot of the Monastery, Archimandrite Paisios Jung, laid the foundation stone and blessed the ceremony.
Due to the pandemic, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was unable to attend. However, in his message he stressed the importance of building an Orthodox monastery in the centre of Europe, hoping that this monastery would be the meeting point of faithful and the Lord with many spiritual fruits.
On his part, Cardinal Kurt Koch conveyed the wishes on behalf of Pope Francis and stressed the importance of the Holy Monastery for the unity of Christians.
Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria stressed that the wish he had made upon his arrival at the Metropolis of Austria, came true with the foundation stone ceremony. He hoped the Monastery would be built in the future to become a place of prayer, love and meeting not only between God and people but also of people between them.
Addressing the Fathers of the Brotherhood, Metropolitan Arsenios urged them to become imitators of the love of our Lord and witnesses of the Cross and His Resurrection.
Although the Monastery of Agia Skepi and Saint Paisios has not been built yet, its Brotherhood has been established since 2016 and lives in a small accommodation, which was acquired for this purpose the same year in Sankt Andrä.
*Source: Metropolis of Austria