Abbot Thomas M. Freihart OSB

At the head of the Bene­dic­tine monas­tic com­mu­ni­ty is the abbot. This office is cur­rent­ly held by Thomas Maria Frei­hart. He was born in 1960 as the eldest son of a farm­ing fam­i­ly with eight chil­dren in Rait­en­buch near Berch­ing. In 1980 Frei­hart entered Plankstet­ten Abbey as a novice and made his per­pet­u­al pro­fes­sion there in 1984 as a Bene­dic­tine monk. He stud­ied the­ol­o­gy at the Catholic Uni­ver­si­ty of Eich­stätt and was ordained a priest in 1986. In 1988 he con­tin­ued his stud­ies at the Bene­dic­tine Col­lege of San­t’Ansel­mo in Rome and grad­u­at­ed in 1991 with a degree from the Monas­tic Insti­tute. After his return from Rome, Father Thomas ran the guest house in Plankstet­ten Abbey; he was also novice mas­ter and pri­or there from 1993.

On Octo­ber 2, 1995, Thomas Maria Frei­hart, who came from Plankstet­ten, was elect­ed Pri­or Admin­is­tra­tor, i.e. tem­po­rary Supe­ri­or of Wel­tenburg Abbey, suc­ceed­ing Abbot Dr. Thomas Nig­gl. On June 25, 1998, the con­vent elect­ed him the 70th abbot of the tra­di­tion­al monastery. On Sep­tem­ber 19 of the same year, Bish­op Man­fred Müller (Regens­burg) per­formed the solemn abbot con­se­cra­tion at a pon­tif­i­cal mass in the monastery church of St. George.

Abbot Thomas places his ser­vice under the mot­to: “Car­i­tatem non dere­lin­quere — don’t give up on love”. With this mot­to from the 4th Chap­ter of the Rule of St. Bene­dict, the abbot refers to his cen­tral task, name­ly to ensure that the love of Christ deter­mines liv­ing togeth­er in the community.

The coat of arms of Abbot Thomas M. Frei­hart OSB von Wel­tenburg com­bines the emblem of the abbey with per­son­al sym­bols. Since 1415, the red paw cross has stood for the patron saint of church and monastery, St. george Three ears of wheat indi­cate that Thomas M. Frei­hart came from a farm­ing fam­i­ly; at the same time they sym­bol­ize St. Eucharist, allud­ing to the abbot’s mot­to. The blue col­or and the green triple moun­tain are bor­rowed from the coat of arms of his pro­fessed monastery, Plankstet­ten Abbey. The square in the low­er left cor­ner of the four-part shield is both an attribute of St. Joseph (bap­tismal name) as well as St. Apos­tle Thomas (reli­gious name), the patron saint of the abbot.

shield squared of sil­ver and blue; 1 and 3 a con­tin­u­ous red cross-pat­tern; 2 three gold­en ears of corn on a green three-moun­tain; 4 an oblique gold­en angle hook. On the shield is a sil­ver miter with red trim­mings, behind it a gold­en abbot’s baton, slant­ed to the left, with a sil­ver cloth fly­ing away.