Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jan Josef Kohl

Jan Josef Kohl was born in 1928 on a farm in Suchý Důl (Czechoslovakia) as the fourth out of eight children. After the war, he studied at a trade academy. At that time, he also took part in spiritual training, which was a decisive experience for his later life. 

After graduation, he asked the abbot of the Břevnov Monastery, to be accepted into the Benedictine order. In September 1949, he witnessed the abbot's arrest. In April 1950, he was interned in the Hejnice Monastery during Action K, aimed at the elimination of male monastic orders. In the following three and a half years, he was sent to the Auxiliary Technical Battalions to work on construction sites and mines. After his return, he had trouble finding employment. He worked mainly as an assistant labourer and metal machinist. In 1968, he began studying in the faculty of theology and in 1973, he was ordained a priest. Due to his affiliation with the order, however, he was not given the state approval necessary for performing the priest's vocation. Thanks to fortunate circumstances, he received the permission two years later and he continued working as a chaplain. In 1990, he returned to the Břevnov Monastery.

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