Father Franz Bänsch - Conciliator in Times of Horror


Leave nothing undared for the Gospel

Eugen de Mazenod, Preface to the rules
A Child of the Diaspora

World War I changed Franz Bänsch's life. At first he was not drafted, but many of his teachers and schoolmates had to go to war. In 1917, he had to report to his Saxon home to serve in the armed forces. But still he was not yet near the front. His unit was regularly shifted far behind the trenches. Franz used the time to prepare himself for the uncertain future of a soldier in the war and to "get things straight with the Lord God" in confession. Fortunately, he was spared a direct deployment to the front. After the armistice, his unit retreated to Saxony at the beginning of November 1918.


Getting things straight with the Lord God.

Fr. Franz Bänsch
A Missionary Oblate for Germany

My life must concentrate on the intention to become holy.

Fr. Franz Bänsch
Priest in two Dictatorships
Priest in the GDR

The end of the war brought about a new dictatorship for the Oblates in Dresden. The renovation of the Oblate residence and the church had to be implemented under the anti-church SED regime. In addition, pastoral care had to be reorganized in a shattered cityscape. In the process, Father Bänsch also integrated the refugees.

People recalled Father Bänsch's work in Dresden-Plauen: "His humble nature, his sense of humor, his helpfulness and hospitality opened hearts to him."


His humble nature, his sense of humor, his helpfulness and hospitality opened hearts to him.

Obituary of Father Franz Bänsch
The Good Shepherd in Dresden at the Münchner Platz

How comforting your visits to the cell were for me

A survivor of the Münchner Platz
Conversion and Reconciliation

Father Franz Bänsch perceived the death row inmates as human beings regardless of their religious attitude. A former inmate wrote to Fr. Bänsch in 1946: "How comforting your visits to the cell were for me…Every KPD man (communist) and every foreigner I spoke with in prison, they all raved about your love for the prisoners."

Sure, Father Bänsch also distinguished between the political prisoners and the criminals and murderers. In the case of the latter, it was about their individual conversion to God, but also about reconciliation with fellow human beings. The political prisoners were not criminals in his eyes. It was a matter of reconciling them with their difficult fate.


Here, the main thing was that those condemned to death did not leave the world in despair, anger and hatred, but reconciled with God on their way to eternity

P. Franz Bänsch
Program: Reconciliation

that they die for a reconciled and peaceful world.

Fr. Franz Bänsch
A Role Model for Today

For the Savior gives everyone enough graces for it.

Fr. Franz Bänsch
Missionary Oblates always close to the people
Eugen von Mazenod