Pastor of the Parish of Lech
“Silence leads to a renewal of the soul.”
Shortly before the start of the 2019/2020 winter season, it was with great joy that I moved from Bludenz to Lech to continue the pastoral care of my predecessor. After three months, I was hit by the first lockdown: Church services could not take place, all weddings were postponed, we had to cancel First Communion. Representing the whole congregation, I celebrated and performed the services alone in the parish church during this time with the support of the sacristan. Ringing the bells during Holy Mass at this time was a sign to the faithful that we are united in prayer. In order to maintain contact with the population, we sent out newsletters and the tourist office broadcast the services and prayer hours on their info channel. In order to comply with hygiene measures, our parish secretary single-handedly created a touchless vessel for holy water.
At Christmas, churches are usually crowded, but during the pandemic we experienced the opposite. Masses took, but without music, without a choir and with limited attendance. Hearing the bells ring out through the village at midnight on New Year's Eve touched my heart. In previous years, they had been drowned out by music and fireworks. Once I walked through the village after the service. It was at a total standstill. I hardly met a person and there were no cars on the road. The silence and restraint in social life also yielded many positive things for the renewal and inner life of the soul.
The past summer of 2021 saw the return of hope and many were able to enjoy the freedom and vastness of nature in the mountains. In order to ensure people maintained their distance during services, I held additional Holy Masses in the open air, at alpine crosses and chapels, every Sunday during the summer. Praying in the open air left a lot of good impressions on all of us. Despite the official restrictions and hygienic measures, I experienced the winter of 2021/2022 very positively. In the spring of 2022, a certain normality returned and many meetings and conversations took place. Having an open ear for the quiet sounds of God in nature fills us with inner harmony and inner peace. Listening to nature is what wish for all of us and especially for our guests who want to absorb the ‘spirit’ of the mountains.