World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Swiss Congregation

Article Id: WHEBN0004946005
Reproduction Date:

Title: Swiss Congregation  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Engelberg Abbey, Disentis Abbey, Beinwil Abbey, Benedictine congregations, Rheinau Abbey
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Swiss Congregation

The Swiss Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation is a grouping of Benedictine monasteries in Switzerland or with significant historical Swiss connections.


  • Foundation 1
  • Changes 2
  • Present membership 3
  • External links 4


The Congregation was founded, at the urging of the Papal legate to Switzerland, in 1602, with a significant reform agenda. Of the nine Benedictine monasteries in Switzerland which had survived the Reformation, seven had joined by 1604. Disentis Abbey was prevented at first by considerations of the sensitive politico-religious situation in Graubünden, but joined in 1617. Beinwil Abbey had been dissolved in 1554, but the community were still together, and at last, after it had been decided that a re-foundation would take place at Mariastein, joined in 1647.

The membership of the Congregation as at 1647 was thus all the extant Benedictine monasteries still in Switzerland:


The fortunes of Roman Catholic establishments in Switzerland were turbulent, especially in the 19th century. All were dissolved as a consequence of the French Revolution in 1798, but were restored by Napoleonic decree in 1803, with the exception of St. Gall, where the Prince-Abbot refused to make the necessary political concessions. The politics of the Swiss cantons brought about the dissolution of Pfäfers (1838), Muri (1841), Fischingen (1848) and Rheinau (1863), of which Muri was re-founded in 1845 at Gries in what is now the Italian province of South Tyrol and Fischingen not until 1977, as an independent priory.

The "Kulturkampf" caused the dissolution of Mariastein in 1874/75. The exiled community sought refuge first in France, and, exiled again in 1901, in Austria, where they settled at Bregenz, only to be deported yet again in 1941, by the Gestapo. The Swiss government then allowed them as political refugees to re-occupy their old monastery, which was however not re-established as such until 1973.

The outlook for Swiss Roman Catholics during the "Kulturkampf" was so bleak that Einsiedeln and Engelberg began a programme of establishing new religious houses in the United States of America so that the remaining monasteries and nunneries in Switzerland would have a refuge if they were all exiled. Eventually the crisis passed, but the new foundations took on a life of their own as the Swiss-American Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation.

Political changes outside Switzerland brought the addition of Marienberg Abbey in South Tyrol, which transferred from the Austrian Congregation in 1931.

Present membership

The member houses of the Swiss Congregation are presently as follows:

External links

  • (German) Swiss Benedictines website
  • (German) Kirche in der Schweiz 26/2002: Article on the Congregation's history
  • Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.