The zeal for Your house
has consumed me.
Be close to me, and deliver me!
(from Psalm 69)
In the late evening of this day, the Lord called our confrere
Father Christophorus Johannes Hildebrandt, O.S.B.
into his eternal kingdom.
He was born on 3 July 1936; he was the oldest of three children of a Protestant family of merchants in Bochum. He made a commercial apprenticeship and attended the evening high school in Dortmund. Then he decided to study Protestant theology and worked as a vicar in the Protestant Regional Church of Westphalia. In 1969 he converted to Catholicism, and he was ordained priest on 15 January 1972 in the cathedral of Essen. In 1973 he entered the Abbey of Gerleve; after his profession on 11 November 1974, he showed commitment in a variety of different monastic activities, both with enthusiasm and with conscientiousness: in our prayer, as confessor, in pastoral care for young people, in Catechesis, and from 1981 to 2003 as head of our retreat house Ludgerirast. He had a special interest in historical research, focusing most of all on the NS-era in Gerleve, especially on the years when the monks were in exile.
During his last years, his strength decreased more and more, and it was not easy for him to accept this development. Now he has reached his goal. May he live in Christ!
In the name of the monks of Gerleve
Abbot Andreas Werner, O.S.B.