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History and Mission

The Caritas-Pirckheimer House, built on the grounds of the former “Klarissenkloster”  (Convent of Poor Clares), is named after the abbess Caritas Pirckheimer (1467 – 1532). In the year 1525, when the city of Nuremberg joined the reformation, Caritas Pirckheimer defended her beliefs and her cloistered way of life against extreme Lutheran severity and the public pressure of the Nuremberg council. In defiance of all opposition, this highly educated woman fearlessly followed her conscience, remained constantly devoted to the church, and yet was not afraid to enter into dialogue with dissidents. Hence, she is an example to our Academy and at the same time, we are indebted to her.

The Caritas Pirckheimer House, (CPH), was established in 1960 by Jesuits as a Youth Centre. Very soon it proved to be a lively and attractive centre for official and open youth work. In the 1970’s the adult education centre also found its home in the CPH, which, by this time, had been consolidated into an Academy through a foundation of the Archbishop.

Through our work we aspire to give impulses to pause, listen, consider and act.

Our events invite you to think critically about questions of faith, the world and the church. Values should be questioned and a willingness to engage in dialogue should be strengthened.

Our work should demonstrate that the church needs not to hide itself from the challenges and demands of our times, but rather that the message of the gospel can also be made clear under today’s conditions. Through our work we also see the opportunity to offer guidance to people to whom the church is alien.

To follow ones own conscience, respect the conscience of others and never be afraid of entering into dialogue with dissidents: we should all adopt a little more of the life philosophy of Caritas Pirckheimer.