Photo : Abtei Münsterschwarzach, Altarraum, color corrected and cropped | By Berthold Werner – Own work, CC BY 3.0

A long life circumscribed with the central values of the Benedictine tradition, ora et labora, came to end on Thursday, 12 August 2021, at 4:50 p.m. for

Brother Fabian (Adolf) Jennebach OSB

Adolf Jennebach came into the world in Hanover on 26 April 1928. His father Heinrich and his mother Josefa offered their three boys and two girls a deeply religious home. The first probationary period for the 16-year-old was the war in 1944: an air force helper in Upper Silesia and a prisoner of war for three months in British custody. After that Adolf entered into his professional life. He trained as an auto mechanic. In this he became a highly recognized master. According to his own statement, during this time two central directions for his life were formed: “My vocation in the faith and my passion as an auto mechanic.” Sunday after Sunday, he was the chauffer for the assistant priest and his altar servers; this filled the day.

On 11 January 1949 he entered our community. A year later, his older brother also came to the monastery. Br. Lukas died in 2009. Br. Fabian began the postulancy on 6 March 1949 and on 19 March 1950, the novitiate. Since this time, his monastic life was under the patronage of St. Fabian. Temporary vows followed on 11 April 1951 and perpetual profession on 9 May 1954. Br. Fabian worked first in the metal shop. Then followed a short time in house maintenance, then five years as a payroll clerk. In 1958–1959, he was again a mechanic and plumber at the new Würzburg study house.

St. Joseph’s Day 1959 was the right day for the hard-working brother to be sent to a new mission in South Korea. A detailed report describes the journey from the Mediterranean to the distant Busan. There the local bishop met the arriving Benedictine. He reached Waegwan on 9 December 1959. For eight years Br. Fabian oversaw the garage of the growing Catholic mission.

In 1967 he returned to Münsterschwarzach and took over the shipping department of the mission procura. That meant a lot of paper work along with much skill in packing the containers with all the necessities of life. Here the energetic man had his kingdom, exercised his competence, and had a wide field for his strengths and peculiarities. His style was always a forceful commitment. That went for work as well as prayer. With “my Jesus” he was always on the road, sometimes obedient, sometimes obstinate. As he grew older, he went regularly to pray in various places in the house and in the very early hours of the morning in the abbey church.

In 2007, a new call came to him. Br. Fabian transferred to our St. Benedict Priory in Damme. With the charm and originality of age, he was the porter there for five years. In August 2012 he returned to the abbey. For the last ten years, Br. Fabian had to shift to a quieter gear due to health and old age. Since 2017, he was in the assisted living of our infirmary.

We will remember him for his hands-on style, his diligence and his unique piety. His tangible faith and his intense trust in God were certainly the bridge to the eternal homeland.

Münsterschwarzach, 16 August 2021

— Abbot Michael and the Community of Münsterschwarzach

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