Neueinweihung der Vitus Kapelle am 25.3.2014


Benediction and  New Consecration

of the Chapel of St. Vitus

25.March 2014


Highest Lazarus Union Awards for Military Dean MMag. Dr. Alexander M. Wessely

Mlitary Dean MMag.Dr.Alexander M.Wessely

For some months now we tried to find a fitting occasion to thank and to honour Militärsuperior Alexander Wessely for his long lasting generous support of the LAZARUS UNION and also for his many actions as a military chaplain for the soldiers of the Burgenland and periodically also of Lower Austria, not to forget his support of many events where his turned out to be a brilliant comedian as well. His acts as the Good Soldier Švejk are legendary already.

The consecration of the Chapel of St. Vitus which was renovated last year (see also the introduction) finally seemed to be the perfect occasion.

About 160 guests, among them the Parson from Parndorf, politicians of the surrounding villages and numerous flag detachments from tradition unions, met for the ceremony and were greeted by the commander of the military training ground Bruck-Neudorf.

In the course of a Holy Mass with music from a tamburica band and a brass ensemble from the Military Command Burgenland the Capel of St. Vitus was ceremonially consecrated by military chaplain Dr. Wessely. During his sermon Wessely compared the renovation of the chapel which was totally derelict to Jesus Christ and Francis of Assisi, who both built new upon old.

The end of the service was now the perfect opportunity to present the well-earned honour to Dr. Wessely. President and Union Commander Wolfgang Steinhardt introduced the LAZARUS UNION with a few words and pointed to the parallel that also the LAZARUS UNION was founded in 2009 by only two campaigners (A quote by Pop John XXII: “Sisters and brothers, you should never cease to begin and never begin to cease!“), dared a restart, and today has about 16,000 members worldwide.

The special level of the Grand Cross of the Cross of Honour is the highest award the LAZARUS UNION can give away and with Dr. Wessely it is only for the second time that this honour is awarded to a person. In an emotional laudation Steinhardt pointed out the grand merits of Dr. Wessely and his long relation to the LAZARUS UNION.

In the end all were invited to an agape where numerous new contacts were met, many talks held, and the photographers hat lots of opportunities to shoot some pictures.


The Chapel of St. Vitus on the Bruckneudorf Military Training Ground – an Introduction

“Look at a house full of glory…” this is the start of a patriarchal chant sung every year in the Martin Barracks at Eisenstadt at the time of the church consecration festival. Yet the chant does not only praise the house of God made from stone but rather the faithful believers in Christ meeting in God‘s house, the church of the living stones. While this meeting with God and fellow Christians is first and foremost the Church of Jesus Christ, it still needs some defined and concrete places, the churches, chapels, and other places of worship, all made of stone, where God‘s people can meet for their worship ceremonies.

In the military parish Burgenland all barracks do have their own chapels for prayer and services in front of God, but also providing a place for tranquility and contemplation. This is unique for Austria and something we have a right to be proud of!

One of the oldest and at the same time newest chapels of the military parish Burgenland is the Chapel of St. Vitus near the “Parndorfer Hof”. Although some visitation reports from the late 19th century name two chapels nearby, one of which was undiscoverable even by then, geographical details and the plain construction style of the chapel suggest that the other one could have been St. Vitus‘ Chapel which was erected by Croatian immigrants. Anyhow, on one side the date 1822 is engraved.

The chapel which is placed along “Burgenland‘s Way of St. James“, which was erected in 2013, lies exactly on the borders of the military training ground. In September Offizierstellvertreter (in the US: Sergeant Major; in the UK: Warrant Officer Class 1) Josef Hatos had the idea to renovate the tiny church which was completely dilapidated and which he at first considered to be an old guard tower. Anton Gabriel and Oskar Prandstötter from Parndorf turned out to be enthusiastic fellows-in-arms. In record-breaking time the building was not only excavated from two meters of earth but also completely rebuilt. Old and fitting construction materials were thankfully provided by “Beppo” Haubenwallner from the Mönchhof village museum, as well as Michael Krasanovsky from Parndorf, the bells for the chapel and a cross made from shell splinters were provided by the military parish. A scallop chiseled from sandstone – by hobby artist Erich Kettner from Frauenkirchen – also was placed in the chapel. The actual holy picture, a sandstone sculpture of St. Jacob, was donated by the No.2 training company of the army trooping school. It was consecrated in September in the Lower Austrian pilgrimage village Maria Taferl.

Today a trellised gate allows to look at the saved chapel interior, the statue of St. Jacob and a cross made from cast iron. A prayer‘s bell wants to invite for a prayer.

The chapel shall be a place for contemplation and tranquility inviting pilgrims as well as soldiers to pause and to follow Jesus‘ invitation “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

 The Vitus Chapel BEFORE the renovation

 The Vitus Chapel AFTER the renovation



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