Skip to main content

Franciscan University Solidifies Ties With Historic Landmark- Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu

4/23/2014 - 7:26 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (April 23, 2014) - A recent agreement moved the 14th-century Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu (Monastery of Our Lady, Throne of Jesus) in Gaming, Austria, long-time home to the Franciscan University of Steubenville study abroad program, under the sole management of the Foundation Maria Thron.

The foundation previously was responsible for the preservation and operation of about one-half of the property, with Austrian Architect Walter Hildebrand, who spearheaded the former Carthusian monastery's restoration, maintaining the balance of the holdings.

A formal agreement signed by both parties on March 19, 2014, the feast of St. Joseph, went into effect on March 31, placing all land and buildings within the original walls of the Kartause under the Foundation Maria Thron, which is comprised of Americans and Austrians who oversee its vision and operations.

The agreement gives Franciscan University full access to some of the Kartause's most special treasures, including the Bibliothek (library), dubbed the "Sistine Chapel of the North," for its exquisite 18th-century frescoes that depict the sciences leading to truth and ultimately to God; and a Byzantine chapel that is under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Vienna.

A dedicated sports field is also included in the transfer.

Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University and president of the Foundation Maria Thron, said, "The foundation recognizes that the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu is a priceless Austrian treasure--and a treasure of the universal Church. This agreement ensures that the Kartause will continue its mission as a Catholic center for spiritual and intellectual learning."

Foundation board member, Dr. Erhard Hanslik declared, "This is an historic occasion. For the first time since the Carthusian monks were here, the Kartause is now operating under one entity."

Austrian Bishop Klaus Küng of the Diocese of Sankt Pölten will consecrate the entire Kartause to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary at a ceremony to be held on May 2.

Looking ahead, Father Sheridan said that through working with Bishop Küng, he hopes the Kartause can become more of a center for the new evangelization in Austria and Eastern Europe by providing retreats, conferences, and other forms of Christian outreach.

Since 1991, more than 6,000 Franciscan University students have lived and studied at the Kartause, an experience most describe as the "most memorable" of their college careers.

Comprising 8.5 acres at the edge of the town of Gaming in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, the Kartause includes the former monastery, now largely transformed into living space and classrooms for Franciscan students, courtyards, a Church whose magnificent frescos were restored in the last two decades to their original grandeur, and a popular hotel and restaurant.

Also operating in the Kartause is the Language and Catechetical Institute, a Catholic formation program for young people from the former and current Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and China.

About the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu:

Duke Albrecht II, a member of the Habsburg family, who promised to build a monastery upon the safe return of his brother from a war, founded the Kartause in 1332. The Kartause monastery was dedicated to the Carthusian order that lived, prayed, and worked there until 1782, when Emperor Joseph II suppressed all cloistered orders. The complex slowly fell into a state of ruin until World War II when the Russians used the facility as a base of operations until the independence of Austria in 1955. In 1984, at the request of the Melk Abbey, Architect Walter Hildebrand began the renovations of the Kartause. In 1991, it became home to the Franciscan University study abroad program.


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


Franciscan University of Steubenville, study abroad program


Catholic Schools & Religious Education

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the day. Fill your ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 7 Saint of the Day

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More