History of the Convent

The St. Josef convent, Neumarkt/Opf., is a branch of the “Schwestern vom Göttlichen Erlöser” (The Sisters of the Divine Saviour / Niederbronn Sisters) in the province of Germany and Austria.

It offers living space for around 150 sisters in the communities of Maria, Elisabeth and St. Alfons. Many of the sisters spend their retirement here, some provide various voluntary services in the convent, some work together in a service community of around one hundred employees in the various establishments of the convent with tasks which are mainly not related to the convent.

The history of St. Joseph begins in 1920. With a letter from 28 August 1920, the then Bishop of Eichstätt Dr. Leo von Mergel OSB the superior general of Oberbronn (Alsace) confirmed the establishment of the mother house for the province of Bavaria-Palatinate (from 1951 to 2005 the Province of Bavaria) at the former assembly rooms of the Wildbad health resort in Neumarkt/Opf.

In the course of the following years, the St. Joseph convent came to be what we recognize it to be today.

The entire complex in its current form was influenced above all by three main tasks which have a long tradition in the congregation.

The convent was to offer premises

• for the community/communities of sisters,
• for the annual spiritual exercises of all sisters in the province,
• for training the next generation of the congregation in postulate and noviciate. In 1994, the training of the congregation was moved to Munich and is established there today with postulate and noviciate of the province of Germany and Austria in the Herz-Jesu convent there, the convent’s own establishment for children and a home for young women,
• for the sick and older sisters.

On 10 April 2005 the German-speaking provinces of Baden-Hessen, Bavaria, Palatinate and Austria were amalgamated in the new province of Germany and Austria, with its seat in Nuremberg. On 8 November 2009 the German Delegation Obernzell of the “Kongregation der Schwestern vom Heiligsten Heiland” (The Congregation of Sisters of the Holiest Saviour), Bratislava was integrated into the province. The St. Joseph convent is also a centre for annual spiritual practices, meetings and the like for the sisters of the region.