Am 13. März 2024 ernannte Diözesanbischof Wilhelm Krautwaschl acht Priester der Diözese Graz-Seckau zu Geistlichen Räten sowie zu Bischöflichen Konsistorialräten

Father Sascha Heinze honoured as priest and pastor

Bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl of Graz confers honorary degrees on eight priests

On the 13th of March Monsignor Wilhelm Krautwaschl, Bishop of Graz, appointed eight priests of the diocese of Graz-Seckau as Spiritual Counsellors and Episcopal Consistorial Counsellors. Our confrere Father Sascha Heinze was especially honoured for his work as a pastor in the House of Silence and can now call himself a “Spiritual Councillor”. This episcopal title of honour is given to priests who have shown special commitment to the Catholic Church over many years.

Bishop Krautwaschl addressed each of the recipients with very personal words. This was also the case for Fr Sascha Heinze, who moved to the Diocese of Graz-Seckau in 2017 after working in various roles in his native Germany, and has since been working as a pastor and member of the management team at the House of Silence in Heiligenkreuz am Waasen.

The Bishop praised the House of Silence as “an important centre of spirituality, of taking a breath and recharging one’s batteries in the Styrian Church and far beyond”. He thanked Father Heinze for his priestly ministry: “You are a valuable companion to many people, developing your human, spiritual and pastoral talents. In your openness to the questions and needs of our time and in your joy in the faith, you give guidance to seekers and make it possible to experience the Church as a place of fullness of life”. The Bishop wished all those present God’s abundant blessing for their future work.

“Dare the future – step by step”

The House of Silence has been a spiritual centre since 1979 because many people have shared this vision and invested their time and energy in different ways to develop and shape this community project.

What distinguishes the House of Silence from educational centres and other similar institutions is the fact that a community has lived in the house from the beginning and has shaped it together. They see themselves as a “community on a journey” in which everyone contributes to the creation of the “House of Silence – Living Space for Spirituality and Encounter” according to their own abilities and possibilities. It is the self-understanding of this community that it is constantly changing and developing through new people, while remaining committed to its basic mission. In addition to the core areas of the house (guests, courses, community, spirituality) and the basic focus on silence and meditation, new projects have been developed over the years, such as peace, social and garden projects, theme trails, NGL songbooks and building projects.

Heiligenkreuz am Waasen - Diözese Graz-Seckau
Einladung zum gemeinsamen Gebet im Haus der Stille in Heiligenkreuz am Waasen in der Diözese Graz-Seckau

“Time must not stand still in this house”

The name “House of Silence” says it all. A place to slow down in an ever faster and louder world, a resting place for body and soul. Time out and healing silence for people who are looking for times of inner and outer peace.
Not standing still, but not adapting to the hustle and bustle of the world. Offering a place to rest, but also encouraging people to take the next steps in their lives. The people in this house live and work in this tension.

The House of Silence is located 15 kilometres south-east of Graz in the beautiful hilly landscape of south-east Styria (Stiefingtal region). The quiet location, the large garden and the atmosphere of the house invite you to reflect and relax in healing silence. There are many opportunities to walk part of the way with the Way Community: As an individual guest or in a group, in a retreat, in an orientation year, in courses or in the regular times of prayer, Eucharist and meditation. There are also many opportunities to get to know each other, especially after the monthly St Francis services, when everyone is invited to share a meal.

Text source: Katholische Kirche Steiermark, haus der stille
Photos: Gerd Neuhold / Sonntagsblatt / Diocese of Graz-Seckau; Haus der Stille.


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