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Pastoral care

The chief vocation of the Augustinian Canons and of Klosterneuburg Abbey is pastoral care. By entrusting the care of parishes to Klosterneuburg Abbey, Leopold III laid the foundation for this task, which is congruent with the self-conception of the Order of the Augustinian Canons: a priestly community for ministering to God’s People (Constitutions of the Congregation of the Austrian Canons Regular).

In the 18th century, on account of the great number of parishes founded under Emperor Joseph II, many parishes were attached to Klosterneuburg Abbey. In the 20th century, too, a few parish communities were founded, most of them due to secessions from long-standing parishes.

At the outset of the 21st century the Augustinian Canons of Klosterneuburg embarked upon courageous pioneer work by taking a parish in Norway (Bergen) and two parishes in Long Island (Glen Cove, NY) into their pastoral care. Thus, Klosterneuburg Abbey is responsible for a total of 28 parishes in Lower Austria, Vienna, Norway and the USA.

In this day and age, the ministry of pastoral care has become a demanding task. The Augustinian Canons want to make their specific contribution because, in their view, “this community is not an end in itself – on the contrary, one of its main aims is ministry”, serving God’s People (Constitutions of the Congregation of the Austrian Canons Regular).

Today, parish work is not just one or more priests catering to the needs of a parish. Parish work is living in a community in which everyone shares responsibility for the parish and for each other in search of God, on the path to God.