Druckansicht - Donnerstag 16. Dezember 2010
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Overview of the Dioceses in Austria


Archdiocese of Vienna 

Archdiocese of Salzburg

The Diocese of Graz-Seckau

The Diocese of St. Pölten

The Diocese of Eisenstadt

The Diocese of Linz

The Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt

The Diocese of Innsbruck

The Diocese of Feldkirch

The Catholic Military Ordinariate





Archdiocese of Vienna


About 1.4 million Catholics live in the Archdiocese of Vienna. Vienna is the biggest diocese in Austria and comprises two very different areas: on the one hand, the city of Vienna, which poses a challenge for pastoral work due to its cultural and political history. On the other hand, there is the eastern part of the province of Lower Austria, which is very much shaped by Catholic tradition.


In the city of Vienna, only half of the population claims to be catholic, 26% are uncommitted to any religious denomination. In a pluralistic and multireligious society, the high percentage of non-Catholics does not pose the only challenge. In a city like Vienna, the yawning gap between young and old people is a real stumbling block if it is not turned into a stepping-stone. In the part of the Viennese diocese in Lower Austria, 80% of the population are members of the Catholic Church. The dramatic changes in society have also left their marks on Lower Austria.


Radiating future orientation, the Archdiocese of Vienna and its Archbishop Cardinal Schönborn strive for a missionary church. The personal commitment of Christians, and successful projects like "Long Nights of Churches," and the "Stadtmission," a missionizing project which was designed in Vienna and was taken over by churches in Paris, Lisbon, Brussels, and Budapest, complement one another.


Many things shaping church life in Vienna today go back to the former Archbishop Cardinal König, who died in 2004. For instance, the good ecumenical contacts, the commitment to churches in neighboring countries like Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Poland etc., as well as the dedication to pro-life issues, which are concerned with the human life from its very beginning to its natural end.


Over 600 parishes build a network offering spiritual guidance and pastoral care. 1.600 priests, deacons, and pastoral assistants, and 6.500 members of the parish councils are the motivating forces in the parishes. Another 8.000 people do voluntary work in a variety of fields. They engage in pastoral care for children, teenagers and families, sick, and handicapped people, for students at university as well as tourists who come to Austria for a vacation. Another distinguishing feature of the Archdiocese of Vienna are the 30 foreign-language parishes where Catholics from all over the World can find a spiritual home.


More than 3.000 staff members of the Caritas, the Catholic social service organization, offer real help to real people in need. As a consequence, the organization has a strong voice in political discussions of social issues. In Vienna and Lower Austria, the Church is one of the most important institutions offering education and training. In the course of Religious Education at elementary and high schools, more than 2.000 teachers educate 180.000 pupils. Additionally, 35.000 children and teenagers attend private Catholic schools, and 170.000 people make use of the educational programs and trainings offered by Catholic institutions specialized in adult education.





Archdiocese of Salzburg


The Diocese of Salzburg under Bishop Dr. Alois Kothgasser has two pastoral priorities: protection of life and the dialogue in the Church and between the Church and the world. Dr. Alois Kothgasser, a member of the Order of the Salesians of Don Bosco, was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Salzburg on January 19, 2003, which was founded in the 8th century by St. Rupert. The Diocese of Salzburg consists of 209 parishes, and 500.000 Catholics live in the diocese.


In September 2004, Archbishop Kothgasser mobilized the initiative "Forum Neues Leben" to give new impetus in the protection of life from its beginning to its natural end. The "Forum Neues Leben" offers a platform which overcomes party political, religious and denominational boundaries to institutions, movements, associations as well as private persons who are concerned about the protection of life. In the mean time, institutions offering concrete help have been founded (Diocesan Aid Fund for Pregnant Women in Need; "Mother-and-child-house"). Additionally, initiatives have been launched to raise awareness for the protection of life and here comes the "Woche für das Leben" ("The Week for Life") and its various projects into play.


The "Aktion Offener Himmel" (the initiative "Open Heaven") is the major title of the project week which has been organized by the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care and the Katholische Aktion Salzburg in the last few years. The main aim of every year's project week is: talking about faith; creating an atmosphere in which religious discussions can take place; facilitating experiences of faith regarding the principle of sustainability. "In a time of great changes, people are looking for a foundation for their lives and ways of realizing their visions of a happy future. The longing for an "open heaven" is huge. The project weeks are chances where people can experience this "open heaven" - a colorful, intriguing heaven, serious, and cheerful, where the fulfillment of our hopes is waiting for us," says Archbishop Kothgasser.


Besides the dialogue with Christian churches of other denominations, Archbishop Kothgasser is very concerned with interreligious dialogue. Thus, he brought the "Diözesankommission für den interkulturellen und interreligiösen Dialog " into being. This diocesan commission is concentrating on establishing and keeping good contact with representatives of all world religions, especially Islam. Particular emphasis has been put on educational work.


Shortly after coming into office in 2003, Archbishop Dr. Alois Kothgasser announced in an interview that Salzburg was becoming a "center of intellect" again. DDr. Manfred Holztrattner, president of the Raiffeisen Bank Salzburg, and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinrich Schmidinger, Dean of the University of Salzburg, were inspired by this thought and the idea was firmed up in a detailed planning phase together with Archbishop Kothgasser. As a result, the association "Salzburg Ethik Initiative" (SEI) was founded which concentrates on fostering a new and lively exchange of thoughts and acts as a platform. The Archdiocese, the Paris-Lodron-University and the Raiffeisen Bank are the ideal sponsors of the "Salzburg Ethik Initiative" (SEI) and their aims are raising awareness for ethics in all areas of human existence, making ethics an issue to be discussed and an aim of scientific research.


In this way, SEI wants to work on the realization of a more human society. Following the initial thought of the founders and Christian values, SEI connects theory and practice to point out new perspectives for a changing society. So, 40 young scientist from all over Europe came to Salzburg in May 2007 to discuss ideas on the future of work and find new perspectives on work in the course of a symposium.


At Pentecost, many young Christians from all Austrian provinces and other countries came to the 7th Pentecostal congress of the Loretto-youth and the "Fest der Jugend" in Salzburg. Especially young people are looking for love and acceptance and strive for a fulfilled life, meaning and new perspectives. The Loretto movement wants to be a "Place of Light" here, where "one can confide in Jesus and He can change our lives. Within us, Jesus can do good in the world for the salvation of the people and to the higher glory of God." Thousands of young people in Austria have accepted this invitation. At Pentecost, about 3000 of them gathered in the Cathedral in Salzburg for prayer, catechesis and meeting.





The Diocese of Graz-Seckau




The diocese of Graz-Seckau is almost congruent with the federal territory of the Austrian province Styria, which covers 16.387 square kilometers and is thus the second biggest province of Austria. With regard to population numbers, Styria ranks only fourth among the other Austrian provinces: at the end of the year 2006 there were a total of 1.151.678 people registered to be living in Styria. With regard to size, the diocese is the biggest in Austria, with regard to the number of Catholics living there (898.591), the diocese ranks third behind Vienna and Linz - so 78.02 % of the people living in Styria are Catholic.


Social, Economical and Cultural Aspects


When it comes to economic diversity, Styria has a lot to offer: in the North, also called Upper Styria, tourism plays a major role. The former industrial belt in the Mur-Mürzfurche has lost much of its former importance. In eastern Styria, economic changes have had great effects on society: many people lost their jobs and now commute and work abroad in cities like Vienna and Graz. In this part of Styria, the economic potential of its thermal springs has been discovered and so spas have become a whole new flourishing sector of economy. In the Western part of Styria, the situation is not much different from the ones in northern and eastern Styria. The city of Graz and the surrounding areas are the places where people want to live and so the population there is continuously increasing.


In the last few years, Graz, the capital of Styra, political center and diocesan town, benefited from the settlement and expansion of the car industry. In 2003, Graz was given the title "European Cultural Capital." The II. European Ecumenical Council held in Graz in 1997 and the announcement of world heritage status of the historic center of Graz played a major role in the city's nomination. With new initiatives in ecumenical cooperation, the Catholic and Protestant Church of Graz made a significant contribution to the city's year as "European Cultural Capital".


In May 2004, the Catholic Church in Styria organized the "Mitteleuropäischer Kirchentag," a meeting of Catholics from Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the concluding event "Wallfahrt der Völker," the so-called "Pilgrimage of the Peoples." These initiatives offered the chance to maintain old and establish new contacts especially among parishes which had secretly been in contact with each other in the time of the Communist Regime.


In this context, the Episcopal Castle Seggau in Leibnitz plays an important role. Since 2005, the province of Styria and the diocese of Graz-Seckau organize a European dialogue board called "Pfingst-Dialog Steiermark: Geist und Gegenwart" ("Pentecostal-Dialogue in Styria: Spirit and Presence"). Since 2006, Schloss Seggau has been the educational center of the diocese of Graz-Seckau and an international summer school, to which students from Southern Europe are primarily invited.


In cooperation with the federal leaders of the province Styria, the Church in Styria addressed the topic "pilgrimage" in a way which attracts both tourists and members of the Styrian church.


Pastoral Challenges


In the light of many changes in society and the churches, the representatives in the dioceses are engaging in regular discussions to formulate guidelines on pastoral care for the years to come.

The Church wants to be a missionary and inviting community. The celebration of the liturgy and the Holy Sacraments, especially the gathering and the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays, are important signs and sources of unity. This unity is also to become visible in the parishes. Furthermore, the Catholic Church in Styria tries to fulfill its vocation as a "serving church." By means of charitable engagement of volunteers in the parishes and the work of the organization "Caritas," the Catholic Church is active on behalf of the poor and the socially disadvantaged and disenfranchised in Austria and other countries.


In unity with the bishop and the diocesan administration, 492 priests, 51 deacons, 150 pastoral assistants 1100 R.E. teachers, about 1000 laypersons are working in the administration, kindergartens, and central offices, and 6000 members of parish councils are translating these plans into action.





The Diocese of St. Pölten


The Diocese of St. Pölten was founded in 1785 and covers the western part of Lower Austria. 628.000 people, out of which 552.000 are Catholic, live in an area which is 10.450 square kilometers big.


The 424 parishes are often very small and are grouped into 24 deaneries. Facing the challenges of the 21st century, structures in the administration and the parishes have to be changed and so parishes are grouped together or share priests.


296 diocesan priests are working in the diocese. Additionally, 251 members of orders are working in the diocese, of which 54 are not ordained priests. A quarter of the parishes are taken care of by members of convents. The priests are supported by 65 deacons. Furthermore, 80 pastoral assistants are doing their share in pastoral care in the parishes and in hospitals. More than 7000 women, men and teenagers are voluntarily engaged in parish councils and their committees.


St. Pölten is a diocese with many convents. Melk, Göttweig, Lilienfeld and Zwettl are among the big convents in this Austrian province. Besides their historical and cultural significance, these convents take great responsibility as educational centers, centers for pastoral care and "places of meeting." About a quarter of all parishes are so-called "convent-parishes."


A Variety of Social Activities


Additionally to the pastoral care centers, a network of Social Help and Information Centers, educational centers and help organizations has been established.


16 out of 30 Family Information Centers in the diocese are run by the Church. There, people can get advice free of charge and anonymously. Priorities are questions about the relationships between parents and children, couples, patchwork families, counseling of rape victims - also psychotherapy and mediation are among the services offered.


The crisis line, a telephone service for emergencies which is available around the clock, has existed for more than 30 years now. New about it is the so-called "kids-line," a telephone service designed for children in need.


The Diocese's welfare organization, the Caritas, has also developed a very well organized network. 1.200 full- and part-time employed people work in more than 100 institutions. Their work is supplemented by 6.000 people in the parishes who are in charge of finding sponsors and establish contacts with the people in need. Priorities are the care of mentally and physically handicapped people, counseling in psychological crises, counseling of drug addicts and providing help for people with work related problems. More than 2.500 people are taken care of by the Caritas and its community nursing care which takes more than 365.000 hours a year.


In the 35 years of its existences, the Family Fund of the  iocese of St. Pölten approved more than 4.000 loans to people to start families.


Engaged Christians have started singular projects for the unemployed, for trainees, asylum seekers and refugees, former prisoners, alcoholics, the homeless and drug addicts to help them return to normal life. These projects as well as the well-organized movements of the "Katholische Aktion" and other renewal movements dominate the picture of an active Church with a strong social engagement. 





The Diocese of Eisenstadt


The easternmost diocese in Austria, Eisenstadt in the province Burgenland, presents itself as multifaceted in terms of ethnicity, culture, and the Church. The Diocese of Eisenstadt acts as a "window" to the neighboring countries Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.


The province Burgenland, the youngest province of Austria, used to be a part of Western Hungary and joined the state of Austria only in 1921. The history of the independent Diocese of Eisenstadt, Burgenland started in 1960.


The characteristics of the Diocese of Eisenstadt are:

  • The diocese's location at the Austrian border is close to the eastern neighboring countries which belonged to the Eastern Bloc until 1989 and were separated from Austria by the Iron Curtain.
  • Multilingualism, German, Croatian, Hungarian, and Roma, and ethnic variety are typical for the Diocese of Eisenstadt - thus, in Burgenland, hospitality is first priority.
  • 14% of the population, more than in any other diocese, are members of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches. As a consequence, the ecumenical climate is very good and the contacts between the Churches are well established.
  • A high percentage of priest, about 50%, come from dioceses outside Austria.
  • The diocese consists of small rural parishes. The capital of the province Burgenland, Eisenstadt, is the biggest city in the province and has 12.000 inhabitants.


Paul Iby, the Bishop of the Diocese of Eisenstadt, is responsible for the open climate for communication in the diocese. He initiated the "Dialog für Burgenland," a platform whose main aim is the active discussion of religious topics relevant for the Church among people of all ages. People living in Burgenland are regularly going on pilgrimage - the favored pilgrimage site is Mariazell.




In 1960, the Diocese of Eisenstadt was established as an independent diocese in the province Burgenland. Already in 1947, Christians in Burgenland had desired the establishment of an own diocese. When the state of Austria accepted the concordat of 1933, the way was paved for this important step for the Church in the province Burgenland. The first Bishop of Eisenstadt was Stefan László, who had been Head of the Apostolic Administration of the province Burgenland since 1954. Therewith, for the first time, a person from Burgenland was head of the Church in Burgenland and the newly established diocese, which Stefan László had helped to bring into being. In 1992, Paul Iby, who had been vicar-general until then, succeeded Stefan László.





The Diocese of Linz


With 1.051.000 Catholics, the Diocese of Linz, Upper Austria, is the second biggest diocese in Austria.


487 parishes organized in 39 deaneries, huge convents and many Christian groups build a network of humanity in Upper Austria.


The spirituality of St. Benedict, St. Augustine, St Norbert, and St. Francis, Ignatius of Loyola, St. Katharina, St Therese of Lisieux, St. Elisabeth, and many others shape the faith and spiritual life in Upper Austria through 23 men's orders with 400 brothers and 28 women's order with 1000 sisters. Due to his conscience, which had been formed and shaped by the Christian faith and according to Christian values, Franz Jägerstätter, a farmer and family father from the Innviertel, consequently rejected the Nazi rule in Austria. In 1943, he was killed and thus became a martyr for his faith and an example of Christian faith for today. The beatification of Franz Jägerstätter will take place in St. Mary's Cathedral in Linz on October 26, 2007.


More than 100.000 women, men, children and teenagers are members of the "Katholische Aktion Upper Austria." As laypersons they work in the parishes as volunteers, they join in the services of the Church and thus form a significant Christian voice in today's society. 754 world priests and religious order priests, 82 deacons, 232 theologically qualified laypersons, and 56 youth leaders (survey of January 1, 2007), are engaged in a variety of areas in pastoral care. 1366 R.E. teachers are responsible for the "preaching of the good news" in Austrian schools.


The Diocese of Linz puts an emphasis on social justice. The "Sozialwort der christlichen Kirchen" and its engagement for a workfree Sunday in the "Allianz für den Sonntag" has been greatly influenced by the Diocese of Linz and its bishops, Bishop Dr. Ludwig Schwarz SDB and Bishop em. Dr. Maximilian Aicher OSB. The department of "people and work" in the Linz Diocese and the working group "Christ and Economy" are striving for a just and human way of designing everyday working life in the light of human dignity.


The Caritas, the social welfare organization of the Linz Diocese is divided into four working fields: Caritas for people in need, Caritas for handicapped people, Caritas for community nursing care and Caritas for children and teenagers. Employing 2.500 people in Upper Austria only, the Caritas is an indispensable and professional help organization in Austria.


More than 17.000 children are taken care of in 291 kindergartens in the parishes run by the Caritas. 41 private Catholic schools, a College on Education Science, a big private Catholic University, and more than 10 educational institutions reflect the huge engagement of the Linz Diocese in the field of education. The Institute on Esthetics, Art History and Philosophy have been granted the status of a University by the Vatican Congregation of Catholic Education.


The established contacts with partner and exchange parishes in Belarus, Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Rumania mirror the broad horizon of the Linz Diocese.


People from Upper Austria work as priests, members of religious orders and development workers in the developing countries of the world.


The Catholic Church in Upper Austria publicly addresses explosive issues, offers counseling, help to secure family relationships, and to protect life from its beginning to its natural end. Human dignity in the household, agriculture, economy, and the service sector, and the living together of people of various religions, denominations, and cultures are the priorities of the Church in Upper Austria.


The value of the fantastic art treasures in  more than 1000 churches and chapels in Upper Austria mirror the enormous richness of the faith of the Church. The oldest churches in Austria, the Romanic Church of St. Martin's in Linz, other great church of the Gothic age, the Baroque and the New Gothic age, such as the St. Mary's Cathedral in Linz, churches built according to contemporary styles in architecture - a variety of churches can be found in Upper Austria which illustrates the faith and spiritual life of Catholics in Upper Austria.





The Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt


The Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt was founded in the 11th century by St. Hemma of Gurk and covers about 9.500 square kilometers within the province Kärnten. Out of the 560.089 inhabitants of Kärnten, there are 411.971 Catholics.


181 priest, 13 world priests from other dioceses, 68 priests of a variety of orders and 42 deacons are responsible for the spiritual guidance of the Catholics in the 337 parishes in 24 deaneries. 68 religious order priests, 12 friars, and 275 sisters live in 38 convents. 392 laypersons and 66 pastoral assistants, help run the administration of the diocese, the deaneries, and many parishes. The pastoral assistants and 10.000 volunteers, of which 3.000 are parish council members, are essential for the Church's work in Kärnten.


The language of the liturgy is German. Slovenian is the second language of the liturgy in 69 parishes of the bilingual part of South Kärnten.


Guided by Bishop Dr. Alois Schwarz (ordained on May 5, 2001), in cooperation with the other Austrian dioceses and relying on the Papal document "Novo Millennio Ineunte" by Pope John Paul II.(published on January 1, 2001), the Diocese of Gurk made the following topics their priorities for an ecclesiastical year each: "The Year of Vocation" (2001/2002), "The Year of the Bible" (2002/2003), "Christ, the Hope of Europe" (2003/2004) in the context of the "Sozialwort des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen in Österreich," "The Year of Prayer" (2004/2005) in connection with the "Year of the Eucharist," "Community, Faith, Church" (2005/2006), the organization and realization of the parish council elections (March 2007), "Designing Living Space - Opening Space for Faith" (2006/2007) in connection with "To Look on Christ," the motto of the Apostolic Journey of the Holy Father Benedict XVI. from September 7 to 9, 2007.


The contact with the Archdiocese Sarajevo, which could be established on the occasion of a so-called "Wallfahrt der Völker," the "Pilgrimage of the Peoples," is another of the many priorities and long term diocesan projects in the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt. The building of the Hemma-Pigrimage-Route, which connects many countries and peoples, was only one measure undertaken to effectively revive the pilgrimage movement in Kärnten.





The Diocese of Innsbruck


From a geographical point of view, the Diocese of Innsbruck as well as the province Tyrol look as if they have been torn into pieces. The diocese covers about two thirds of the area of northern Tyrol (reaching from the Arlberg to the Ziller) and the whole of eastern Tyrol. Both parts are completely separated as far as geography is concerned.


The diocese consists of 406.621 Catholics (numbers from December 31, 2006), which make up 80% of the inhabitants. About 20% of the Catholics regularly attend Sunday masses in one of the 286 parishes. On High Feasts in the ecclesiastical year, such as Easter or Christmas, the churches are often crowded with people.


The spreading of the Christian faith in our diocese began under the rule of the Roman Empire. This is proved by archeological excavations dating back to the 4th century. The border between the Archdiocese of Salzburg and the Diocese of Innsbruck in the Zillertal, a valley named after the river "Ziller," goes back to the ancient border between the two Roman provinces Noricum and Rhaetia.


The long Christian tradition and the amazing loyalty to the Catholic Church have deeply shaped the culture and thinking of people in the Tyrol. Though people living in the Tyrol are often not fully aware of their Catholic heritage and tradition, the millions of tourists who come to our country every year, which is one of the most favorite tourist spots in the world, see and experience the Catholic influence at every turn. Churches, chapels, roadside crosses, summit crosses, religious paintings on houses, and much more testifies to the Christian heritage of the Tyrol. Bishops from all over the world approve of the good reputation of the Department of Theology at the University of Innsbruck.


Like most of the dioceses in Middle Europe, the Diocese of Innsbruck is facing a phase of reorientation and changes in the structures of the administration. The consequences of the decrease in the number of clergymen over the last three decades are hitting in. In December 2003, Dr. Manfred Scheuer, who was born in Upper Austria was ordained Bishop of Innsbruck. He set the course for the so-called "Seelsorgsräume," "Pastoral-Care-Areas," which commits the responsible priests and the laity in the parishes to closely working together with neighboring parishes.






The Diocese of Feldkirch


About 3 Million Hours of Annunciation Activities are a Strong Signal


A rough estimate done a few weeks ago resulted in the following: 3 million hours have been spent by countless people in the service of faith, the Church, and especially the people living in the Diocese of Feldkirch. "There is no bigger gift than one hour of lifetime," says Dr. Benno Elbs, vicar general in the Diocese of Feldkirch, and reality proves him right. Church life in Vorarlberg is reflected by the many working hours per year: Caritas, the Catholic social welfare organization, records 614.000 working hours to which additional 215.000 hours done by volunteers have to be added. Looking at the number of hours which are "sung only," namely more than 300.000, the brilliance of Vorarlberg church choirs and church music comes into view. Two diocesan educational institutions offer an extensive program and 35.000 hours of pilgrimage reflect the people's interest in the local pilgrimage sites (the Basilica in Rankweil, the Gebhartsberg in Bregenz or Maria Bildstein). The Diocese of Feldkirch supports a number of social and pastoral care projects, such as the crisis line (13.000 hours) and the crisis intervention team which is on the spot, when catastrophes threaten people's existence and bring them into a situation they cannot cope with on a psychological level.


The pastoral work in Vorarlberg is shaped by about 140 priests. Their working hours amount to more than 260.000 hours of preaching during services, spiritual guidance and pastoral care. Pastoral assistants work another 60.000 hours in pastoral fields and all those helpful people who voluntarily engage in all areas of church life: 74.000 hours during services and masses, 56.000 hours in open youth work, 42.600 hours in projects, such as the "Sternsingen," and countless hours in the preparation of the children's First Communion and Confirmation in Vorarlberg, which is better known as the "Ländle," which means "small country."


This "3-million-hours-portrait" of the Church in Vorarlberg outlines its central task, which is to accompany people in their search for God and a meaningful life by all means available in pastoral care. At important points in life, such as birth, growing up, and growing into a family, community, and society, and finally, at the end of life, certain questions turn up. In those hours and moments, the Church's presence is of greatest importance.





The Catholic Military Ordinariate


"Those who devote themselves to the military service of their country should regard themselves as the agents of security and freedom of peoples. As long as they fulfill this role properly, they are making a genuine contribution to the establishment of peace." (Gaudium et Spes)


Military Pastoral Care

  • is serving those who serve
  • is coping with vital issues
  • provides counseling of the armed forces
  • provides crisis intervention
  • provides education and scientific research
  • is stressing the respect for human dignity
  • is communicating a religiously sound military ethos from a Christian perspective
  • is strengthening the family
  • cooperates in international missions


The Oldest Special Form of Pastoral Care


Military pastoral care is one of the oldest branches in pastoral care. The church's concern about professional soldiers dates back to the 16th century. The Catholic military pastoral care was regulated with the Apostolic Constitution "Spirituali Militum Curae" on April 24, 1986. After this, the Catholic Military Ordinariate in Austria was established in today's form.

"Consortium of Catholic Soldiers" - the Lay Organization in the Catholic Military Ordinariate


The rules and regulations of the Catholic Military Ordinariate in the Republic of Austria from March 21, 1986, designate the "Consortium of Catholic Soldiers" in the jurisdiction of the Military Bishop. The "Consortium of Catholic Soldiers" understands itself as a movement of soldiers and members of the military ("Bundesheer"), who want to realize the lay apostolate in their operating duties. So, a community of Christians is supporting this by religious education, the preservation and evolvement of Christian faith and life in the military forces, by supporting the military priests, and by celebrating the Eucharist together. The aims of the military counseling are formation of conscience and raising of awareness. Based on the conviction that love of peace and serving in the armed forces to not contradict each other, the members of the "Consortium of Catholic Soldiers" try to implement justice and love of neighbor to foster peace and pray for the peace which we cannot establish and keep on our own.


Structure of the Military Diocese in Austria


The Military Bishop's area of jurisdiction in Austria encompasses 91.633 Catholics who serve in the Austrian military, their families, and, if required, former employees of the Ministry of Defense who have retired. The Military Diocese in Austria consists of 19 military parishes Austria and three military parishes accompany the military forces deployed abroad.



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