MÜNSTERSCHWARZACH ABBEY, Germany — Brother Vianney Rentmeister, OSB, of Münsterschwarzach Abbey, Germany, formerly of Christ the King Priory/Benedictine Mission House, Schuyler, died on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Berlin, Germany. He had suffered a severe heart attack some days prior from which he could not be revived.
Br. Vianney was born in Wertheim, Germany, on Oct. 26, 1941, as one of six sons of Ewald and Barbara Rentmeister. He attended primary school in Wertheim and then went to train as a tailor at Münsterschwarzach Abbey. He entered the monastery in September 1958 and professed his first vows as a monk on Sept. 13, 1960. His solemn profession took place on April 30, 1967. In his first years in the monastery, he assisted in the monastery infirmary and in the construction of the monastery greenhouses in the garden. He then began 15 years in the mission procure of Münsterschwarzach. In 1978, Br. Vianney was transferred to the St. Benedict Study House in Würzburg where he served for five years.
Br. Vianney arrived at Christ the King Priory, Schuyler, in July 1983. Trained by Brothers Norbert Hasenmüller and Henry Libory Hartlief of the priory in the ways of visiting donors on behalf of the missions, he then was on the road from 1985 to 1990. His journeys took him to New Mexico, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, California and Texas. It is hard to really know how many people Br. Vianney made contact with, but he did remain faithful to them. They are among the people who carry on the support of the work of the Benedictine Missionaries through the priory in Schuyler up to today.
After the death of the cook, Br. Innocent Rudloff, in 1990, Br. Vianney went to work in the priory kitchen. Nevertheless, he still went on the road for some months and made contact with donors for the missions. In August 2010, Br. Vianney returned to Münsterschwarzach, “grateful for these 27 years in the USA and for the many thousands of people whom I had the chance to meet.” In September 2010, Br. Vianney was assigned to the reception area of Münsterschwarzach Abbey, a position he held until his death.
The funeral Mass and burial of Br. Vianney was held at Münsterschwarzach Abbey on Oct. 7, 2017. A public memorial Mass will be celebrated for Br. Vianney at Christ the King Priory, Schuyler, on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, at 5:30 p.m.