From left to right: fathers Domenico, Peter, Othmar, Andreas, Martino
On 26 December 2022, the feast of St Stephen, Father Othmar Alber celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Congregation’s church his sixtieth anniversary of priesthood. During a solemn Mass that he presided Father Othmar was joined by not only his superior, Father Domenico Avogadro and confreres Fathers Peter Lobis, Adreas Trompedeller and Martino Bui Van Hoang Phuc, but also some of his relatives and a large group of the faithful from his parish community.
Since Father Klaus who was to preach the homily could not take part in the celebration because of ill health, this role was carried out by Father Othmar himself, who fulfilled it in an outstanding way with his usual simplicity and originality. Anneliese Pechlaner playing the guitar, accompanying the singing duo Marialuise Klotzner and Hildegard Tscholl, fittingly enhanced the ritual with music. The whole celebration had been well prepared beforehand and with great care by Anneliese and Franz Gögele, while many other faithful also contributed to the full success of this festal occasion.
At the conclusion of the liturgy, the participants shared the agape in the new hall of the Foun-dation of St Elisabeth. Maria Luzia Pöhl ac-companied the pleasant con-vivial gathering with her zither. Lorenz Rabensteiner recited the “Laudatio” in poetry, in a very humorous and stri-king way, which revealed some youthful mischief and paid tribute to Father Othmar’s great merits of his 60 years of priestly ministry in the communities of Merano, Bolzano and Vienna.
Professor Harald Pechlaner, on behalf of all the participants, thanked the person being honoured for his great commitment and merits. In particular, he highlighted his courageous and unceasing fidelity to the ministry even during the difficult times of the pandemic, quite aware of the risks. In fact, despite the restrictions, daily Eucharistic celebrations were always ensured in his parish community. The community finally bid goodbye to Father Othmar thanking him again for his ceaseless and generous commitment, while wishing him many more years of life in strength and good health.