Sankt michael – our church

I would like to take you by the hand like the children of our community, who are being prepared for first communion, and lead you through the Church of St. Michael in Sillenbuch, a southeastern suburb of Stuttgart. If you drive through the suburb, you don’t always see a church tower that you can use to orient yourself. An angular tower only flashes occasionally and draws attention to the church. If you walk past the church on Mendelssohnstrasse at walking pace, you still remember Long not what indoors is and what relationship can grow between eye and artistic design and between ear and church music.

The foundation stone was laid in 1952 because after this The experience had been that the number of Catholics had doubled and because at the same time it had to be expected that the number would increase. The then dean had invited to a public mission with a chapel wagon; the event turned out to be a direct hit, so he asked the Augustinians to apply for pastoral care for the parish to be built. So we Augustinians came here, participated in the excavation of the church and in the construction of the building; after the consecration in 1953, just a year after the foundation stone was laid, the members of the Augustinian convent had the task of building up the community internally and shaping it in an active exchange with the local people. They too, who had previously been accommodated in parishioners’ rooms, needed a common house, which they added to the church. For the people of Sillenbuch and many people in Stuttgart, this was not a Romanesque abbey, not a monumental baroque abbey, but was affectionately called “the Klösterle”.

The church wall on the street side already indicates the name of the church. The archangel Michael stands there with powerfully spread angel wings and has nailed the snake in the lower part of the picture with his lance, so that it can no longer develop evil power. The picture is scratched into the plaster so that, depending on the weather, it is not easy for everyone to see. The marking with “W. G. 1953 ”refers to the artist who created a lot in our church and the year of completion. Wilhelm Geyer was one of the forbidden artists of the Third Reich, his pictures had to be removed from the Stuttgart and Ulm museums. When he was working on a church contract in Munich, he had his studio in a print shop. From this came the leaflets that were dropped into the courtyard of Munich University by the White Rose. He was friends with the Scholl family. Thereupon Wilhelm Geyer was captured by the Gestapo; An eye disease not treated there led to the loss of an eye by the artist.

In the Church of St. Michael, Geyer created the large glass window behind the altar, which is pastel or restrained, to capture a mood in the different areas of the church, from the festive liturgy in the main aisle to meditation in the aisle to the door area, where daylight surrounds us. In the dressing room of the altar servers there are two further glass windows that refer to children and their service at the altar. This is the scene in which Hanna brings her child Samuel to Eli in the temple and the child who has the five bread and two fish for his meals, which the Lord blesses and has distributed to everyone.

The second great artist who left his mark on our church was Otto Herbert Hajek. He created the altar with the symbol of fish and bread, the ambo in which a Jesus who preaches to his disciples is engraved, and the baptismal font with a risen Christ, a baptized child who carries his baptism dress in his hands, and the archangel Michael who throws Lucifer out of the sky with a sword stroke. Even the cover of the baptismal font is designed; there are wavy lines that in some places become fish in the water. "Can a fish live without water?" I ask the children and they answer "No". Can we be Christians without Christ? This question is intended to clarify our togetherness with Christ and with one another and to point out the importance of baptism and baptism grace.


the tabernacle, which is housed in the aisle today, comes from this artist. It is wider than it is tall and shows the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. When the tabernacle was brought up by the artist, it had to be removed immediately because it was not approved by the Episcopal Ordinariate; it was argued that it would not meet the requirements. The artist then packed the tabernacle in his backpack and drove it to Rome on a Vespa. A priest had given him advice because an exhibition in the Vatican on liturgical art was currently under way in Rome. The submission deadline for works of art was already over, the exhibition at the beginning of the colonnade was already open, the tabernacle was nevertheless accepted and even awarded a prize in the end. Then it was difficult to continue to reject this cult object for St. Michael.

It was originally planned to commission Hajek to design a way of the cross for St. Michael. He then created two stations for submission to the relevant committees; the order was not placed because the church foundation council had different ideas and wanted a more "playful" and painted way of the cross. In the protocol, however, was also noted the reason why the project had been rejected: S. flüchtling. The time at that time was no longer the same in the religious field as it used to be: a lot has already been questioned, old solutions are no longer satisfied and new answers are not yet emerging. It was a time of upheaval that slowly made the Second Vatican Council necessary and at the same time prepared it.

The third important artist has no name. No one knows Romanesque Christ who hangs on the left wall of the church has been created. This is how it happened: Two friends from Sillenbuch, the then parish priest and the director of the Württemberg State Museum in the Old Castle, were out mountaineering in South Tyrol. During one of the hikes, they discover a small church that had a Romanesque cross on the outside and inside. Be /> m. Both made an application to the local pastor to purchase. Our fellow brother P. Leonhard almost fell by the wayside here because he couldn’t offer as much financially as the director of a state museum. But the local pastor argued in favor of selling to a church. In the museum everything is looked at and clarified that the foot position of the crucified indicates that time. that the absence of a crown of thorns gives the same hint and the long skirt instead of the loincloth also. In the museum, appraisals are made for the damage caused by ice and snow, but prayers are made in the church.

I have always considered it important to inform the future communion children of this expectation of the pastor of South Tyrol and to keep the promise of the pastor of Sillenbuch and to really pray in front of this cross. It is very impressive for me when on Good Friday people walk past this cross, bend their knees in front of it and look into the face of the crucified one, If you touch the shaft of the cross and hold on to it or stand up. I am very grateful to the people with whose financial support this cross could be purchased. It distinguishes us from many other Stuttgart churches.

When you have the office next to the church, you always notice how many people jump into the church during the day and stay there for a few minutes: the old couple on their walk, the women with the shopping bag, fathers or mothers with their children , the young man in the motorcycle outfit or the bank clerk after his office hours. What are you looking for? A moment of rest, relaxation, letting go, gathering, longing, hoping? There can be so many different reasons, but each of them is justified and offers opportunities that can and should above all be taken up in the pastoral care.

In the field of pastoral care, when the Augustinian convent was founded, the Stuttgart Dean Hermann Breucha warned that the brothers should have the skills to approach people with all their problems, they should have time to listen to people’s concerns, and they should have staying power for him Exchange of ideas in conversation. In addition, great value should be placed on a proper liturgy, so that something can jump from the "saint" into everyday life. What would be celebrated on Sunday should sanctify the working day. We have the experience that in addition to the celebration of the Eucharist there must be new forms of worship that give more impetus for the organization of a day here and now, that pass on the message of God in a more concentrated manner, that take up the symbols of faith more strongly and make them speak. This was accomplished with more or less great success by the confreres who are or were involved in pastoral care. Of course: Success is not a name of God, it is said. Often enough, God fails and his message does not get through; even his son – from the outside – failed. What is achieved in pastoral work comes into play after a long process. Here one can hope that something big can grow from the small, even the smallest, seed; perhaps it is precisely in pastoral care that one can trust the parable of the Lord: the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field; although it is smaller than all seeds, but when it has grown, it is larger than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches. (Mt 13.31f)

Thoughts about the large glass window

And I saw: Seven angels stood before God;
they were given seven trumpets.
And another angel came
and kicked with a golden smoker
to the altar;
he was given a lot of incense,
which he had on the golden altar
should burn before the throne,
the prayers of all the saints
to bring before God.
The incense rose from the angel’s hand
with the prayers of the saints to God.

(Rev 8, 2-4)

The task of the seven angels
is the announcement of the court.
You are still silent,
but someone is playing the trumpet
already to the mouth,
to call out the woe.
Is saved and is one of the saints,
who trusts the lamb
and sang his praise.
That’s what Michael stands for.
He does the liturgy, the praise of God,
the service of worship.
The Archangel is mighty
spread its wings.
He invites us to hide under it
(cf. Ps 34.8).
What happens in the glass window upstairs,
finds its equivalent at the bottom of the altar.
Our fair should be worship,
Thanks and honor to the,
worthy of praise and honor.
That is the lamb,
surrounded by the four winged beings,
who wrote down his healing work,
what happened to us:
the devotion of the Son of God,
who is the lamb,
that takes away all the sin of the world.

And I saw: a throne was in heaven,
someone was sitting on the throne,
that looked like a jasper and a carnelian.
And over the throne
the rainbow arched,
that looked like an emerald .

(Rev 4.2bff)

The Book of Revelation
is full of colors:
Jasper and Carnelian,
like a rainbow,
bright knows how
Snow, white clothes,
golden wreaths,
Candlesticks and bowls,
Gold ore that in the
Melting furnace glows,
shining like
fire flames,
glassy sea
as well as crystal,
spotted red and
purple with blood.
In front of the dark green
these colors shine
in the glass window:
blue as a sign of the sky and its,
what belongs to heaven;
red as a sign of blood, of life,
of the love,
and the gold that only God is entitled to:
devices for liturgy, cross nimbus
around the head of the lamb,
the trumpets
and the wings of the four Creature.
The bright colors change,
break themselves,
set themselves apart sharply
and tie up yet
into one unit.
Let me join in your praise,
thankful for your salvation for me.
Let me join in your praise
for all the colorfulness of my life,
how it got through my fault
and by your grace.
I trust in that,
that the surrender of your love
is greater than all my guilt.
Let me tune in
in your praise,
because you with your blood
put me in,
my robe of life
white washes.
Let me tune in
in your praise,
because I can vote
in the choir of angels,
that sing to you: holy,
holy, holy you are.
You accept me,
when I try
to sing your praise,
with weak
and breaking voice,
with a strange tone
and wrong sound.
Accept me .



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Christina Cherry
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