00 5/1/2010 6:49 PM


Just to remind anyone who gets to Europe one of these days - there is a neat little tour called the BENEDIKTSWEG you can do by car or by bike. Follow the sign of the miter...

The article posted two days ago in the BENEDICT thread datelined Traunstein elicited pleasant memories from a great friend of the Forum who e-mailed me the following, and whom I thank for this:

I found the article about Traunstein, Bavaria very interesting, especially since my husband and I had visited there in 2007. We were traveling in Austria when on a train from Vienna to Salzburg, I noticed that the stop for Traunstein was only a half an hour from Salzburg.

One morning, we took the short ride to the lovely city. We spent the morning walking around the town and took a taxi ride to the Ratzinger home in Hufschlag, which was very modest and as charming as he described it in his biography.

The pictures of Hufschlag above were taken by Simone at the PRF.

The baroque church really was beautiful...especially considering that it was a very small city by our standards. But isn't that true everywhere in Europe ... it was clear that the church was the most important building and the center of community life.

Picture from the Sankt-Oswald site.

The people in the church were very friendly. They had brochures printed in several languages describing the life of the future pope in Traunstein. I couldn't find a place to put an offering so I went over to one of the parishioners who were helping with the upkeep of the building and asked if they could take it. They were so grateful and obviously very proud of there former neighbor.

There was a small tourist office that offered information about walking tours of the town and included additional places that were significant in the future pope's life... such as the school and seminary attended by the Ratzinger brothers.

More pictures from Simone.

On the train ride I thought of the two teenage brothers cycling to Salzburg to attend the music festival. It must have been quite an adventure! I can't see my kids riding their bikes into Manhattan even though it is probably about the same distance!

BTW I was surprised to see not a few people wearing traditional Bavarian lederhosen. We were in Salzburg on the Feast of the Assumption and attended the liturgy (which featured Mozart's Mass) at the Franziskanerkirche.

Very many woman wore lovely dirndls and men wore a more formal version of the classic garb. Even those not in traditional garments were clothed very nicely in dresses, jackets and ties. We were put to shame by our casual American tourist clothes!...

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 5/1/2010 6:52 PM]