This morning at 5:15 our dear confrere
Father Benedikt (Gottfried) Rüegg OSB
Missionary Benedictine of St. Otmarsberg
was released from the troubles of old age. He was 94 years old, professed as a monk for 72 years and served as a priest for 68 years.
Father Benedikt saw the light of this world on 12 January 1927 in Jona and was baptized in the parish church there with the name Gottfried on 16 January. Together with his parents Josef and Elisabeth Rüegg-Hug and six siblings he experienced a simple childhood and youth on the farm of the agricultural cooperative Jona-Rapperswil.
After elementary school, Gottfried went to the St. Josef Institute at Gouglera for one year. He then transferred to the gymnasium in Disentis and spent the last three years before graduating in Schwyz.
On 2 October 1948, he followed his vocation as a Missionary Benedictine by entering the Benedictinum in Fribourg. Three days later, he began the novitiate and on 16 October 1949 made his temporary profession. Then followed further studies at the University of Fribourg. He fulfilled his vocation with his ordination to the priesthood in Saint Michel on the feast of St. Benedict, 21 March 1953.
In November 1954, Father Benedikt boarded ship in Venice for Dar es Salaam, as he had been assigned to the mission territory of Peramiho in present-day Tanzania. Until 1971 he had various parish postings in the southwest of the country. Father Benedikt along with other confreres then offered himself for the new foundation in Kenya. For more than twenty-five years he served in the Kerio Valley as a Benedictine and missionary among the Marakwet. A time that he found fulfilling and about which he often spoke.
In 1999 Father Benedict return to St. Otmarsberg for a sabbatical year. After assisting in our missions procura for a short time, there followed in 2001 another high point in his vocation. For a full ten years he served as the popular, people-friendly priest at Maria Bildstein. His pious and at the same time popular manner attracted crowds to the Benkner Büchel.
When health problems became noticeable in 2011, he moved back to St. Otmarsberg. Here he was an extremely kind and contented confrere for all these years. Even though Father Benedict longed for death in the past months, it came surprisingly quickly.
We commend our confrere to your prayer and your memory.
Abtei St. Otmarsberg, 8730 Uznach
25 November 2021
Abbot Emmanuel Rutz with the community and relatives.