9 April 2024

On 3 April 2024, the community of Sant’Anselmo received the sad news that the Most Reverend Abbot Primate Emeritus Notker Wolf OSB had died suddenly.

From 2000 to 2016, Abbot Notker served as Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, Abbot of Sant’Anselmo and Grand Chancellor of our Atheneum. From 1971 to 1978, he was also professor of Natural Philosophy and Philosophy of Science at our Faculty of Philosophy.

Abbot Notker, even after the expiry of his mandate, always remained close to the community of Sant’Anselmo, to which he continued to direct his attention and advice. Abbot Primate Gregory Polan OSB and the entire Sant’Anselmo community join in prayer with his monastic community, Sankt Ottilien, and in remembering him as a man of faith, culture and great generosity.

Below is the text of the sermon delivered by Prior Mauritius Wilde on 9 April during the Sant’Anselmo Memorial Mass for Abbot Notker. Included also are links to the obituary in English, videos, photos and sermons related to the event.


Dear residents,

The death of Abbot Primate Emeritus Notker Wolf has been unexpected for all of us. His archabbot Wolfgang, from St. Ottilien, recounted that Notker hadn’t been feeling well in the days prior. Instead of resting, as his abbot had recommended, he decided to accompany a group of pilgrims to Italy. During this journey, his condition worsened. At first, he wanted to come directly to Sant’Anselmo, but he couldn’t. Then he decided to return immediately to Germany. During this trip, at the Frankfurt airport, he couldn’t continue and went to a hotel. In the morning, he was found dead in the hotel room. He had had a heart attack.

It seems more than appropriate to celebrate a memorial mass for our dear Abbot Primate Emeritus Notker Wolf. His life has already been described in many ways in the past few days. However, having been a student, professor, and Abbot Primate here at Sant’Anselmo for 23 years, Sant’Anselmo also became, in short, his home. He loved Sant’Anselmo. Never tiring, he did a lot for the Benedictine Confederation and the Collegio and Ateneo of Sant’Anselmo. He began the modernization of our building, much desired and necessary. Among the abbots, he was known as the Primate who raised money for the windows. A humble job. He provided up to ten scholarships a year for students from all over the world. Until his last days, he supported some of our students. He wrote many books and articles in newspapers, and with the income from the books, he helped the students. He invited many Benedictine professors to come to our Ateneo. Furthermore, he had the idea of establishing the Oblates of Sant’Anselmo and started the International Oblates Congresses. It is impossible to mention everything he did for us.

I am sure that many of us, professors, students, employees, and oblates can recount an encounter, a story with him. When he left Sant’Anselmo, at his last audience with the Holy Father, Pope Francis called him “the abbot on a journey.” Yes, he was known as a person who visited all the monasteries of our Confederation, male and female, tirelessly. And so he also died, on a journey.

Now we hope that our beloved deceased finds his final dwelling with the Lord. Let us pray that he is born from above and has eternal life, as today’s gospel says, and that he enjoys the breath of the Holy Spirit. Speaking of breathing: Abbot Notker always had his pipe and flute with him. His abbatial motto “Jubilate Deo” shall now be his entrance into the Kingdom of God: May the angels welcome his arrival with music and song.

Thank you, dear Abbot Primate Notker, for the life you have given to so many of us and to Sant’Anselmo.

Altre Notizie

  • The participants of the Monastic Formators’ Program have spent several weeks at Sant’Anselmo and have proven themselves to be delightful guests. The directors of the program, Fr. Brendan Thomas OSB and Fr. Javier Aparicio OSB, have written a story explaining the program and its value to Benedictine and Cistercian communities.

  • On 3 April, the Most Reverend Abbot Notker Wolf OSB, former Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, died suddenly. Here is the text of the sermon delivered by Prior Mauritius Wilde during the Sant’Anselmo Memorial Mass and links to the obituary, videos, photos and sermons.

  • Fr. Anselm Grün OSB, author and famous alumnus of Sant’Anselmo, was honored by Pope Francis. Story and photos here.