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Our History

  • In 1919 a small group of Red Cross Sisters takes over the leadership of the St. Hildegard Hospital in Berlin.


    In 1934 the majority of the sisters decide to live as Benedictine nuns. They move to Alexanderdorf to begin their contemplative life. Their life is very difficult. They are trained as nurses but attempt as best they can to farm the sandy soil.


  • 1939-1945

    1939-1945 During World War II many sisters are deployed to serve in the war effort; first as workers in the woods and later as nurses for injured soldiers. In Alexanderdorf the sisters also take care of fallen soldiers in the wood near their monastery.

  • In 1949 Graf Christoph Bernhard von Galen gives the sisters Burg Dinklage as their property. The sisters invest a great deal of effort into making the house and its gardens an inhabitable monastery. By offering various types of courses and weekends for girls, the sisters share with others their many gifts. They also develop several important contact points with people in the region.

  • In 1960 the sisters set up a cross in what was called the "Paradise" area of the estate, marking what is to be their future cemetary. This is not simply a practical preparation for the future, but also a clear expression of their hope to remain.

  • In 1968 the first "Dinklage Talks" take place. During the 1970s and 80s Benedictine monks and nuns meet regularly in Dinklage to exchange about various themes concerning monastic life.

  • In 1972, after 25 years as prioress, Sr. Radegund Kemper steps down from her office. Sr. Agatha Rohtert is elected as the second prioress. This change marks the end of the "founding period" of the monastery.

  • In 1977 the monastery is raised from a priory to an abbey and Sr. Agatha Rohtert, who had been elected prioress in 1972, is elected abbess.

  • In 1980 Sr. Agatha Rohtert und Sr. Máire Hicky travel to Rome to participate in a symposium for Benedictines. This is the first time that Benedictine nuns and sisters from different traditions and parts of the world have come together. This proves to be an important moment in the development of the idea to form an international association for Benedictine women.

  • In 1989 new contact between Alexanderdorf and Dinklage is made possible by the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  • On June 8th, 1999 the community celebrates 50 years of monastic life at Burg Dinklage. For this occasion the community, together with the BurgKreis, publishes the book "Domus Dei".

    In 1999 the Benedictine community takes over responsibility for the education and retreat house and restructure it into a guest house.

  • In 2005 the Burgkapelle is renovated and a group of sisters takes part in the beatification of Clemens August von Galen in Rome.

  • In 2009 the community celebrates its 60th anniversary at Dinklage. On this occasion the prayer book: "Put your Hope in God" is published.