May 15, 2021: Remembering our Brother, Pachomius
Pictured above are Brother Lawrence, Abbot Pachomius, and oblate Brother Dominique of the former Erlac Benedictine Monastery in a photograph from January 2018. Abbot Pachomius (Kurt) Pirmanschegg passed away in March of 2020. On May 15, 2021 we were at last able to have a funeral Mass and burial for our beloved brother. Fr. Mark Scott, OCSO, presided at the Mass which was attended by our community of sisters, Brs. Lawrence and Dominique, and a very few invited guests.
Below are Mother Vicki’s remembrances which she shared after Fr. Mark’s homily at the funeral Mass. A few photos from May 15 follow the text.
REMEMBRANCES OF OUR BROTHER, PACHOMIUS
Father, brother, friend. Lover of the community and of the place. To each of us, Kurt, or to use his monastic name, Pachomius, is at least one of these, if not all. To you, Brothers Lawrence and Dominique, he was a Father guiding you, fortiter et suaviter as an ‘O’ Antiphon of Advent goes, with strength yet compassionately and gently in the ways of God’s love. He walked with you in the ‘hard and rugged ways that lead to God’ which the Rule of St. Benedict describes, a road on which the monastic person is called to set forth along the monastic journey. He lived among you as your brother in the days of Abbot James who was truly like a father to this young monk who, despite the trauma of his early years, yielded to God’s merciful care in the person of his beloved abbot. A brother with whom you lived side by side in the daily simplicity of monastic life. A simplicity that holds within its ordinariness a door to inner depths where God abides and calls to relationship in love. A deep inner place of prayer and union with God. Kurt/Pachomius spent much time in this inner place of prayer, and the actions of his life attest to the love of God which he discovered there and which spilled into his life.
Yes, he was a lover of the community and a lover of the place, his beloved monastery of Erlac. He spoke frequently to me of Erlac as paradise. A place that held within its enclosure walls everything that drew him to monastic life: the experience of God. He loved its trees, its plants and flowers and yes, even its very stones. He loved his dogs, which in the final years of his life, were a comfort in their faithful presence – and a worry when they slipped through an open gate and headed for parts unknown in the open desert. Yet they always returned, eventually, to paradise and were welcomed back into the canine fold by their Shepherd of Erlac.
To us sisters of Santa Rita, he was our brother in the monastic journey. A kindly friend who walked along similar paths through the Rule of Benedict which both our communities live. He was a gentleman – a gentle, courteous man, someone who loved to converse about God and the monastic way. We always looked forward to our times together with our brothers of Erlac, especially at our holiday meals when we shared laughter and the conversation of friends at table.
To each of us, he was a friend. A warm, caring person who could encourage with his gentle smile. He was loved by us all and is now in the fulness of love where, if we but ask him, he will intercede for us. Pray for us, dear friend.