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New future for Straubing’s Carmelite church

TUM | Press Release | 03.07.2023

The Carmelite church in the Bavarian city of Straubing will be the official TUM university church. At a gala religious service on Saturday the Technical University of Munich (TUM) welcomed the dedication of the new university church. It is a part of Straubing’s historically very important Carmelite monastery, which became the property of the State of Bavaria in 2018 and was made available for academic use by TUM.

Fünf Männer in Anzügen halten vor dem Altar ein blaues, quadratisches Schild hoch.

Guests at the service in the new university church (from left): Rector of the TUM Straubing Campus Prof. Volker Sieber, TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, Bavaria’s Minister of Science Markus Blume, Straubing’s Mayor Markus Pannermayr, Member of the State Parliament Josef Zellmeier. Photo: Jan Winter/TUM

Speaking at the ceremonies, Bavarian State Minister of Science and the Arts Markus Blume said: “This is a great day for Straubing: The Lower Bavaria region is filled with historical Bavarian nostalgia and is at the same time full of modern high-tech. The university church is our bridge between faith and progress. Our faith is an important foundation on which we can build our trust, providing us with an anchor in these fast-moving times. TUM now has its own church, an additional ethical compass to help chart the course of university innovation. And the new university church sends an important signal to society: We are committed to our Christian roots. We are not only preserving a building but the very soul of Bavaria.”

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann observed: “The Carmelite monastery together with its Church of the Holy Spirit are historical symbols of the university city Straubing. The continuing use of the building as a university church fits wonderfully with our TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability. Here we are creating a special place at TUM that unites scientific progressive thinking with theological reflectiveness and Christian commitment to respecting other religious convictions.”

Ein Mann an einer Kirchenorgel, umrahmt von einem Chor und einem Orchester.

TUM President Emeritus Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang A. Herrmann playing the organ. Photo: Jan Winter/TUM

TUM President Emeritus Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang A. Herrmann accompanied the festive services on organ with Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

The Carmelite monastery is currently being renovated. After completion the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability will use the historical premises for modern research and reaching. The TUM church will conduct university religious services as well as hosting larger academic events.

Built in 1430 and recast in the Baroque style during the 17th century, the church is also to serve students and employees as a contact point for spiritual guidance. In this context TUM intends to integrate in university life the intellectual and religious proximity of the three Indian monks who will continue to live in the monastery.