The oldest documented mention of the church of Maria Schöndorf can be found in the “Mondseer Traditionscodex” from the year 823. “The church is probably even older, but the sources don’t go back any further,” says Elisabeth Würzl-Baldinger from the Catholic parish of Vöcklabruck. So this year the parish is celebrating the 1200th anniversary of the Maria Schöndorf Church. This makes it one of the oldest churches in Upper Austria and the oldest pilgrimage church in the district. It is also older than the medieval city center of Vöcklabruck.
Nothing remains of the original church building. Today’s church was built between 1400 and 1520. It is a two-aisled hall church – a typical design for the Attergau.
Vöcklabruck’s oldest church was also the mother church of the parishes of Attnang, Puchheim, Regau and Timelkam. In Vöcklabruck itself, however, it was replaced in 1785 by the church of St. Ulrich as the town parish church. “Nevertheless, it is probably the most popular of our churches to this day,” says sacristan Elisabeth Würzl-Baldinger. Every Sunday at 9 a.m. there is either a Eucharistic celebration or a Liturgy of the Word. And because the municipal cemetery is also in Schöndorf, most funeral services are also celebrated here.
The parish of Vöcklabruck is celebrating the anniversary year with a series of events, starting with a May prayer next Wednesday (7 p.m.). After that there will be five festival concerts with well-known musicians until late summer, a big ceremony on September 30th with a lecture by theologian Paul Zulehner and finally an ecumenical harvest festival on October 1st.
After all events there is agapen in front of the church. A “Schöndorf wine” bottled especially for this year will be served and sold. In order to be able to finance the concerts, “Schöndorf fridge magnets” are also sold – designed and produced by Marlene Karel, the youth representative on the municipal council.