(Tasswitz, Czech Republic) St. Clement Hofbauer Committee (Austria) had issued an invitation to the annual “International St Clement-Pilgrimage” to Tasswitz. On 31 August pilgrims coming by bus from Vienna, Styria, Tyrol, pilgrims from Germany and from Tasswitz and its neighbourhood as well as, unexpectedly, pilgrims on foot from Retz headed by the Vicar General from Vienna, N. Krasa, assembled in the St Clement’s Church in Tasswitz. About 100 pilgrims came to venerate the saint. This pilgrimage took place in advance of the Jubilee 2020 (the 200th commemoration of the death of Klemens Maria Hofbauer).
The Episcopal-Vicar Father Lorenz Voith CSsR, chairman of the St Clement Committee, celebrated the festive Mass together with the Vicar General N. Krasa, the Redemptorist Fathers J. Newald, A. Kendöl, H. Neuwirth, D. O’Toole, and the Head of the Czech community, Rector Father J. Michalcik CSsR, and the two deacons Brother Josef Doppler CSsR and Mr. Thomas Röder.
In his sermon, Father Lorenz Voith talked about “pilgrimages”, “to go on a journey”, “to be a traveller”, these being fundamental human attitudes – for a lifetime. The longing to be close to God in the holy places, to seek for Him, is the cause for going on a pilgrimage. Throughout his life, Clement Maria Hofbauer was such a pilgrim and traveller. He returned repeatedly to Tasswitz. When we are here in his hometown today, we commemorate his life as a pilgrim.
Maybe today St Clement would give us three pieces of advice to take with us:
1. It is about God. Believe that He journeys with us, that He is truly present here and now!
2. It is about the worldwide community of the journeying Church. Support the Church! Get together! Be on the journey as Church! Even then, when many people do not want to understand you, or even if they are threatening you … Do not let yourselves be discouraged by the “crisis” within the Church.
3. It is about us having a watchful eye for the poverty and misery in both the small and the big world. Be glad together with those who are happy! Take care of those who are sad, those who are left behind!
May St Clement always stay within our view, as an internal navigator, as a companion on our journey.
The next International St Clement-Pilgrimage – in the year of the Jubilee – will take place on Saturday, 5 September 2020.
Fr. Lorenz Voith