Austria - Two youths of SYM accept challenge of Advent Gate

16 December 2019

(ANS - Vienna) - At the height of Advent, two young people from the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) Isabella Rubel and Maximilian Cichra took up the challenge of the “Advent Gate” launched by the Archdiocese of Vienna: to visit twenty-four churches by 6 January 2020. To date, they have visited 14 churches in Vienna for a total of 13,400 steps walked and are confident to complete the #AdventTuerlChallenge

It all started at nine in the church of Don Bosco in Neuerdberg. "We announce Advent", two Salesians, Fr Rudi Osanger and Michal Klučka, sang with Isabella and Max to greet them in the chapel of the house. The small Pinardi Chapel is almost hidden in the highest point of the Salesian motherhouse in Austria.

Isabella and Max then take the subway to reach the city center. In the Augustinian church, the Prior Father Dominic Sadrawetz prepared himself for the visit of the young people. He leads them to the Chapel of Loreto. Fr Dominic naturally invites them to the Angelus prayer and along the way, he gives Isabella and Max a word: "Advent means: we must go. May your life be shaped by this child!"

The next stop is the Capuchin Church. Very different from the noble Augustinian church, its high altar is much more modest, made of wood. There is also a photo of the famous Capuchin Padre Pio (1887-1968).

Then they go to Missio, the Central Office of the Missionary Pontifical Works of Austria. "It's great, that the chapel is right here!" says Max. It is the newest church in this journey. Consecrated in 2017, the chapel bears the name "Lumen Gentium - Light of the world!", according to the doctrine of Pope Paul VI. (1897-1978). The drawings of Haitian artists, and their beautiful colors, enliven the ambience. At the center of the altar is the representation of the Risen One. The chapel is a meeting place and has changed the atmosphere of the house. In the end, the two young pilgrims took a souvenir photo with Fr Karl Wallner, the national director of the Missio of Austria.

A visit to the Cathedral of St Stephen is a must along the pilgrims' route, in addition to the Christmas market.

The road leads to the next Christmas market and to the church of St Carlo Borromeo through the large Karlsplatz underground station. The church is a tourist attraction. Thus they also learn of the Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star. As a Bohemian foundation, a copy of the Infant Jesus of Prague in the old church cannot but be present.

For the last two open church gates, they take the subway to the 13th district for a brief stop at the church of Unter St. Veit.

Don Bosco's house is the last stop – for the moment - for these two pilgrims. The counter now shows 13,400 steps on their mobile phones. Carina Baumgartner and Sarah Kusché wait for them in the SYM office they visit. In the chapel, two candles are lit on the Advent wreath. Isabella and Max will definitely do the last ten churches still to visit, sure to complete the Advent-Türl-Challenge in time.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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