Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lutheran Monastery Virtual Tour - The Final Stop(s)

The end of summer is rapidly approaching, and with it, the end of the summer travel season.  So, with that in mind, it is time for me to wrap up our little virtual tour of Lutheran monasteries. Instead of focusing on one monastery as I have done before, I'm going to take us to some of the ones we have missed thus far in our travels.

Amelungsborn Abbey - Germany

The Amelungsborn Abbey began as a Cistercian Monastery in the year 1135.  Following the Reformation, Duke Julius of Brunswick implemented the Reformation in his realm in the year 1568, and the abbot and community of Amelungsborn converted to Lutheranism. Andreas Steinhauer was the first Lutheran abbot, and he was the founder of the school for which the abbey is primarily known.

The abbey currently has an abbot and eight brothers, as well as approximately 30 members of a associated lay brotherhood. The following video contains beautiful music and imagery from the abbey - the narration is in German, but it is still enjoyable to watch:

For more information, there is a Wikipedia article in English:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelungsborn_Abbey

Their website (in German) is here:  http://www.kloster-amelungsborn.de/

Loccum Abbey - Germany

Loccum Abbey began as a Cisterician monastery in 1163 in the Lower Saxony region of Germany.  After the Reformation, the community became Lutheran, and today, the abbot is also the head of a seminary on the grounds of the monastery. 

For more information, a Wikipedia article in English can be found here:

Their website (in German) can be found here:

Enonkoski Monastery - Finland

In Finland, there is one Lutheran monastery located in an old schoolhouse, currently inhabited by one permanent resident, Sister Virva Tyrv√§inen. The monastery is a place of quiet, rest, and prayer, offering people the opportunity to go on retreat, or for a short period of silence.  

Enonkoski monastery operates as an independent entity, but works with the Mikkeli diocesan bishop, and under the authority of and in cooperation with the Enonkoski chapel of the church.

 For more information, there is a short Wikipedia article:

They have a Facebook page:

Also, they have a website (in Finnish):

The Brothers of Saint John the Evangelist - United States

Technically, this monastery is a religious community of the Episcopal Church, but I am including it because: (a) some of the five men who founded the community in 1972 were Lutheran, and (b) since 2001, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church are in full communion with each other anyway.  The monastery is located in the State of Washington, where two of the founding members still live, and the monastery has an active group of oblates (lay members).

(An image of a Celtic cross on the grounds of the monastery)

The monastery follows the Rule of St. Benedict, and their stated goal is to:
“Advancing the Worship, Music and Arts of the Church.”

For more information, their website can be found here: http://brothersofsaintjohn.org

I hope you have enjoyed the virtual tour - I know I have learned a lot while researching these Lutheran monasteries.  Hopefully, their existence won't be such a secret in the Lutheran Church anymore!


  1. Warm greetings and blessings from the Lutheran Monastery of Enonkoski. We have done a lousy job communicating in any other language than Finnish. As an update to Wikipedia information, Sister Virva is no longer a resident of the monastery. We are communicating in English/Deutsch and occasional other languages on www.twitter.com/LutheranConvent. Please join us.

    1. Thanks for your response, Topias! I pray that the Lord will use the Lutheran Monastery of Enonkoski to bless the people of Finland. I look forward to reading about your monastery in the future.