Regular Eucharistic celebrations & spiritual offers at Kneippianum:

  • 5.15pm Monday - Saturday: Eucharistic mass at the private chapel
  • 9am Sunday service with Father Schlake
  • Wednesday, 4:30pm: "Wholesome BEing" - a Christian meditation
  • Thursday, 8:20pm: meditation with candle light & Gregorian chant

Health weeks for priests

This week provides time to strengthen the body-mind and mental state of clerics on the basis of vicar Sebastian Kneipp's health concept. It also serves as a motivation to live a self-responsible, healthy everyday life that embraces body (lifestyle, diet, exercise), soul (relationship design) and mind (relationship with God, shape of priestly services).

Spiritual holiday at the Kneippianum Health Centre
Recreation for the soul, Kneippianum Health centre


"This is also art, is a gift of God

from a couple of sunlit days

to carry as much light around your heart

that, when summer is long gone,

to keep the keep the light"

I take these lines by our great poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe with me to my holidays and wish that your holiday will also work out according to these words!

Maybe you will especially appreciate the sun and warmth this year, since spring and especially May have brought us rain and cold days!

Now it's time for a holiday - summer, sun, holidays!

It's not the day-to-day, job or family commitments that determine our everyday life, but the time to have a time-out. Holiday - for most people this means getting away from your usual surroundings, away from your four walls, from the closeness, the usual, the monotony, the daily grind. Many see a holiday as a journey: getting on the plane, "take off", getting far, far away. Getting to know other people, their customs, landscapes and cultures or a beach might be the holiday destination. Many holidaymakers take pleasure in hiking over the lush meadows or through the forests full of life. Other again take a hike up on the mountain peaks, step by step, resting, breathing, looking - often a physical challenge that are mostly rewarded with marvellous views and a new perspective on everything that seems so important in our day-to-day life. A holiday by "bicycle" has become increasingly popular and then there are many people, who like to take a staycation on their balcony or garden - so many ways to spend a holiday.

As a holidaymaker you might experience an activity overload and peace and recreation go short. Do we really have to visit all the sights in a new city? Wouldn't a nice stop at a couple of selected sights enrich our mind and heart much more? Didn't the Little Prince say: "And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose".

"Carry so much light around your heart …" - light: brightness, warmth, joy - We encounter reality with peace, serenity, blight, conscious, mindful looking, resting …

Have you ever experienced how nature and things are touched by the light of dawn or how slowly the night wraps everything in darkness? A "light around the heart" which is able to light into your everyday life when the holiday is long over.

I wish you and us a holiday experience like this!

Sister Waldefried, Mother Superior of the Mallersdorf Sisters at Kneippianum

"Don't forget the soul"(Father Sebastian Kneipp)

Kneipp health teaching by Sebastian Kneipp
Father Sebastian Kneipp

How often is the mental condition underestimated, signals are not recognised or ignored. The Kneipp health teaching wants to show a lifestyle with which body, mind and soul are balanced. Go on your own search for traces …

The soul gets closer to those, it takes delight in.

… go on your own search for traces.

Get closer to your soul during our evening candlelight meditations, during the "breathing pauses for the soul" and during our services (daily at 5:15pm and Sunday at 9am).

"You lead me out there to the vastness"

Pure recreation, lying in the lush meadow
Recreation in the fresh air

"All those, who want to do something good for their health will spend as much time as possible outdoor." There is hardly a season when you can follow Father Kneipp's advice better than during the summer. The days become shorter. Nature is in top form: blooming, growing, ripening - an incredible, lavish richness invites you to go outside.

Summer, sun, holidays - vacation time:

A whole regiment of travellers are on their way to faraway destinations. Other settle for their home, or somewhere nearby. But it is time for the so called "change of scene", away from the own four walls and the everyday life, the job and family demands.

Far away: in front of me a gorgeous, wide meadow, a huge lake, the "sweep of the sky", the endless horizon - a fascination that you can't get away from. It must be our primary desire to look ahead over the superficial, the here and now, the day-to-day tasks and worries.

Vastness, it means freedom. No constrictions and limits, nothing in your sight, no one and nothing is in your way, not the others, not you yourself. The vast visual field creates detachment, distance, allows time to breathe and rest. Some things appear in a new light. A different perspective is offered. It frees and allows you to change your opinion, leads to tolerance and serenity. The soul can rest, the inner harmony is established and balances us.

Vastness - "not looking for vastness" - running away, cut and run, flee from a task, an obligation, a responsibility, a promise, from yourself. Who doesn't know the "situations that make you want to run away"!

Vastness - the opposite of closeness. It can trigger fear. But vastness can also be connected to fear: a step towards the unknown, strange, new. We only see to the next turn, but can't see what comes after that. I have to look for vastness, I have to walk to vastness. And this means departure, openness, change, uncertainty, but also new land, enrichment or a different horizon.

And then there is a vastness in which I feel lost, alone, lonely.

A psalm verse in the old testament says: "you lead me to vastness". You, which means I'm not left to my own devices, I'm not lonely, I don't run into nothingness. He who prays believes and trusts God. A God, who knows that we need "free space" to live - just like the psalm verse says. And he knows about the secret certainty that he holds that God's hand will lead him, hold him and carry him. The bible's God wants to free us from everything that constrains us, that frightens us. Already the first pages of the history of his peoples of Israel talk about the deliverance from the yoke of slavery. God wants no slaves, he created us a free people.

You lead me away to vastness - let us be inspired to feel this word. And when we hit a wall in our everyday life or our views are too short or narrow, when we are tempted to react in a narrow-minded way, then think of this: God has a bigger, a different horizon than us humans - thank God!

Sister Waldefried Gail

The order lies in moderation

Wisdom, fairness, courage, moderation is what I read at the cemetery memorial for Father Kneipp. The latter term reminds me of my statement: "The order lies in moderation".

In everyday language we come across measure and moderation a lot: take measurements, an eye for moderation, a Mass or a Mass mug. Measurement can refer to an amount, to measuring; it has to do with limits or more precisely "with reasonable limits", with constraints, waiver. If you see it like this it's terms that are not "hip" but outdated.

Freedom is a great achievement of our civilisation, your radius becomes bigger and wider, rules and commandments are reduced to a minimum. In our consumer and performance society other key concepts gain importance: further, faster, higher, more and more … Ernest Hemingway: "We love everything extreme because we miss an understanding for moderation".

Moderation and order require each other. A lack of those two virtues has often been for wars and military conflicts, for fights amongst neighbours or family members.

Who could doubt that the financial crises, the states' staggering pile of debts don't burst all measurements? Living on credit, running into debts - many people in our society don't flinch at the thought of it. Ludwig Erhard, the "architect" of the economic wonder has already warned us in the 60s to live according to moderation.

In an interview cardinal R. Marx once talked about the "spirituality of moderation". It's about how we want to live and how moderate we are." We, of course, need a healthy amount of motivation, competition, otherwise there wouldn't be any progress.

But what is the right moderation?

It is astonishing that the order, which has shaped the occident for millenniums and is still internationally active today - not only to do missionary work - presents the key motive of the order regulations as the "right moderation". All areas of the monk's lives are guided by it: "work and prayer, exercise and rest, food and drinks, meal and fasting times, handicraft and readings, silence and conversations. Everything has to be done in the right moderation". Whether or not Father Kneipp, who grew up very nearby in the big Ottobeuern Benedictine abbey, was inspired by this lifestyle? Or whether his sparse life forced him to it?

He named all areas of life and said: "Too much of anything, or too little of any of them is - in the long run - reason for the body to react with illnesses."

Being moderate is not the same as asceticism, waiver for the sake of waiver or not being able to enjoy life. The contrary is the case, moderation enables us to fully enjoy.

What a delight is a glass of wine instead of an excess of alcohol when you can't really appreciate how lovely it tastes. "Moderation lets us be master of the joys instead of its slave", says P. Altherr.

It stays a lifelong task that doesn't stop at our existential needs. In the day-to-day encounter it demands respect and dignity and appreciation of the values of the other as well as of nature and environment. Careful contact instead of limitless exploration like in the Amazonas rainforest, helps us protect our biosphere and to preserve moderation.

We will only find order with a reasonable moderation of work and recreation if work doesn't become the solely focus of the day or the whole life. Structure the day, seek distance and find balance and peace.

Order lies in moderation - an invitation for our way of life and surely also a challenge in our affluent society.

It not only help the health of our body, but also leads to freedom. It frees us from many constraints, from the so called "mainstream". It prevents us from becoming slaves of our own wishes, our need satisfaction and doesn't make us subject to constant "compulsion to buy", even if we are permanently encouraged to "boost the economy" and to let it increase. The right moderation lets us appreciate that however essential tangibles seem, they are not everything worth living for and that they are not the only indicator for life's quality.

Order and moderation - a way to freedom, one of our most precious skills that makes us who we really are: human beings, who ponder and decide, who are able to moderate, which means finding the balance between too much and too little.

To success and joy!

Sister Waldefried Gail

Lakeside in the Allgäu
Panorama lake in the Allgäu

"The order therapy is not psychotherapy"

by Sister Waldefried Gail, Mother Superior at Mallersdorf Sisters at Kneippianum (published in the Bad Wörishof guest newspaper, April 2011)

"Keep order, love it, it helps you save time and effort." - do you know this admonition from your childhood? Maybe you still have your mother's voice in your ear. Clearing the table, tidying up the room, doing your homework … order often rings with negative connotations.

Here in Bad Wörisofen we focus a lot on order and alignment. It is one of the 5 pillars of the Kneipp therapy. It is "promoted" as "inner balance", "mental balance", "harmony", "wellness for the soul", "balance of body, mind and soul" and similar terms. Does it say what Father Kneipp meant with the so called 5th pillar? What was important to him? If you quote his famous line when welcoming guests, "Only when I have left the soul of my patience in order was my therapy a success", then you will get hopeful attention or a sympathetic nod and approval.

"Order lies in moderation"

What are the guests expecting? It might be narrow minded to think that the order principle is only reduced to the spiritual - only because Father Kneipp was a vicar. He himself said: "Oder lies in moderation.", in moderation refers to our real life with all its existential needs and behaviours. Who would suggest that order was wrong here? We need structure and rhythm in our everyday life, therefore the "pillar" of order and alignment. It unburdens us. We sometimes get lost in minor matters. J.W. Goethe: "Use time, it goes by so fast, but order lets you win more time." Order is also essential in the social and work life. It means reliability: agreements, appointments, arrangements are kept, work reliably done, etc. Order is a key part in Kneipp's health therapy. But we wouldn't do Father Kneipp right if we looked at order as only an outer, organisational matter. "Order in the souls" means that I'm aware of my mental/psychological condition and that I take care of my "inner human being". This requires that I find rest and find a way to myself. Many people are lost in outer appearance. Maybe because they never meet the down side, never part with their "inner rucksack" of burden. Order can only be achieved by the soul, if I face the things that rob my energy and joy, like undone businesses, unpleasant fights, unresolved relationships, etc.

The spiritual dimension

The order therapy has many facets. The deepest and main meaning of the order therapy is in the religious, spiritual dimension of the human being. It is not a psychotherapy but is based in the theistic belief, he the creator of earth and all life. The first pages of the bible - which doesn't try to explain the world's creation in a scientific way - are almost a hymn to God's creations, which brought order into the chaos and made life possible, created life.

The human being is part of this creation, and enabled to be creative himself in relation to the creator. This relationship is specified for him in the creation of his life according to God's commandments. Unfortunately these are often discounted as restrictions and constraints by many of our contemporaries. What a miserable concept of God if one thinks that God needed our compliance, our effort! If you understand them right, they are an expression of our free, loving relationship to our creator, the personal God as we met him in the person Jesus Christ. God is you, a counterpart. He takes you seriously as a person. And there lies my dignity and my responsibility. Is God pure "energy" - like many people of our time suggest - what does this make the human being? Does he find his happiness in the non-binding nature, the randomness?

What is salvation?

Father Kneipp talks about "the salvation of the immortal soul, for which he wants to live, work and die". Salvation? Only God is salvation and only to be found in him, he alone can heal our wounds and injuries. However many "healing" offers are promoted on the esoteric market. However many lifestyle are spread by the pluralistic society of our time that the people can choose from. A deep desire still remains - maybe it is "God's subtle way to be remembered when we are in danger of forgetting him" (M. Broch). According to the Christian ideology the human being is "healed" when he tries to live in the order that is immanent in his nature and ordained by God: "walk before me ,and be thou perfect" Gen, 17.1. If you look at it like this we can rightly call it order therapy.

Structure and rhythm

In the end it is a metaphysical interpretation of order and no formal matter, but aims at giving the relationship with God structure and rhythm and to not make it dependent on mood, lust and whim. Like in every relationship it needs consistency in the daily challenges or in the day-to-day monotony. Rituals can unburden without letting them become empty routines or inanimate habits. In addition I need and experience the support of other people in my religious life. "Belief lives of the belief of others", says Karl Rahner.

God's hidden order in humanity, his leading hand gives me salvaging certainty, foundation and support and enables me to a positive attitude to life, makes me open and present for other people and my environment and gives me strength and joy for the here and now.

At Kneippianum PILGRIMS are very welcome! Just let us know your schedule and we will send you an individual offer for your stay in Bad Wörishofen!

health insurance grants / subsidies