Bernhard Maria Alter

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Bernhard Maria Alter OSB (born 1946 in Poland) is a Polish Benedictine monk and icon painter. He has been abbot of the Dormitio Abbey in Jerusalem since 2018.[1]


Bernhard Maria Alter studied philosophy and theology in Kraków and art in Russia. In 1970 he joined the Pauline Fathers in the pilgrimage town of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa (Poland) and made his profession. In 1973 he was ordained priest. He was active in pastoral care in Bavaria for over 20 years. In 2000 he joined the Benedictines at Dormitio Abbey and, together with other monks from Dormitio, helped to build up the reestablished Benedictine convent in Hildesheim (“German representation of the Benedictine Abbey of Hagia Maria Sion Jerusalem”), where he lived from 2003.[2]

Since 2016 he has been novice master at the Benedictine Abbey of Dormitio on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. He nevertheless lived as a hermit in the Judean desert.

On 20 February 2018, the 20-member monastic community of Dormitio Abbey, led by Abbot Praeses Ansgar Schmidt OSB, elected Father Bernhard Maria Alter as abbot for an eight-year term. Alter thus succeeds Gregory Collins OSB, who had resigned in 2016.[3] In the meantime Abbot Praeses Ansgar Schmidt OSB had appointed the Jerusalem monk Nikodemus Schnabel OSB as Prior-Administrator for a maximum period of 18 months.[4]

Web links

Individual references

  1. Jerusalem Benedictines have new abbot, Daily Mail, February 21, 2018.
  2. From Mount Zion to the Lappenberg, Diocese of Hildesheim, 10 November 2003.
  3. Benedictines elect hermit as new abbot,, 20 February 2018.
  4. Father Nicodemus is Prior-Administrator of the Dormitio.26 August 2016, retrieved 29 August 2016.
Predecessor Office Successor
Gregory Collins Abbot of Dormitio Abbey
since 2018