History of the Convent

1 January 1951

In January 1951, an autonomous province was created for the Palatinate region. Until then, the Palatinate belonged to the Bavarian province.
As the seat of the Provincial Council, construction of a mother house was planned for Esthal. Young women who opted to enter the monastery were also trained there.
At the same time, the mother house was used for providing recovery to the Sisters or for the retirement of the latter when suffering from illness and age.

8 September 1951

Laying the foundation stone for the Provincial House.

8 September 1952

Inauguration of the north and east wings and the provisional chapel,
1 Construction of the quadrilateral facility including patio. From 1952 to 1970, the Provincial House was home to the much visited one-year home administration training school. For many former students, this training period gave the opportunity to meet the Sisters and to opt for a monastery admission.

7 March 1959

Inauguration of the south and west wings.
For financial reasons, the south and west wings were only finished and inaugurated a few years later.
The centre of the monastery represents the monastery church integrated in the south wing.
The church has been remodelled again and again, most recently in 1986.
The liturgical requirements of the Council have thereby been followed.
In the chancel, a 6in10 (186cm)-high cross from 14th century, originating from northern Italy, forms a unit together with the so-called “Keltertreter” (i.e. wine-press, casing of the Tabernacle).
Both the cross and the wine-press symbolise how joy is coming out from suffering (just as wine from the grapes), and new life emerging from death.
The altar design motif is shaped by biblical scenes about water, following the slogan of the Congregation: “Draw Joyfully Out From the Springs of Salvation”.
A late Gothic statue stands at the entrance of the church, representing the Coronation of the Virgin.
This indicates the name of the monastery: “St. Mary of the Assumption”.
The Provincial House was mainly used to serve the Sisters for meetings, training, spiritual deepening and renewal, celebrating anniversaries and other occasions.
Hospitality has always been maintained in the provincial house, among other things to meet with other congregations and religious communities, to organise conferences and courses for individual guests and groups, or to perform events for children and the young.

10 April 2005

This is the date when a big change occurred for this Esthal Provincial House.
The ever-shrinking four German provinces, namely Baden-Hesse (Buhl), Bavaria (Neumarkt), Palatinate (Esthal) and Austria (Vienna) were merged and given a joint Provincial Council based in Nuremberg.
The Monastery of St. Mary is no longer an independent provincial house, but is still serving as a retreat and training centre for the Sisters as well as other religious-based groups.

Spring 2010

In the spring of that year, the Provincial Council decided to open the house for guests seeking relaxation, pilgrims, and also conference guests, among others.
Since that time, more and more new guests and groups have been visiting us, always feeling at home at St. Mary Monastery.

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