A church for the

next generation

The New Zentrum Johannes Paul II.

Let’s revive the old house at 28 Praterstrasse and transform it into an open church for today’s world.

A missionary church

We believe that Europe is in urgent need of vibrant church communities where people can experience true home, encounter God in Jesus Christ, follow Him and proclaim Him. Places that become breeding grounds for missionary discipleship. Therefore, we want to build a house of prayer, a place of encounter, a source of growth, a movement of church renewal. We want to empower people far from the church for missionary discipleship and help other churches to do the same. After a long search, we have found a house in the center of Vienna that is ideally suited to implement our vision.

New life for
an old house

In order to realize the reconstruction in the next 2 years, we depend on the support of many friends and partners. For the start of construction at the end of the summer, we need 900,000 euros by the end of July. For this we need 900 people to support the project with 1,000 euros each. With your help we can do it.

We are looking for 900 people to donate
€1,000 each by the end of July.

In order to be able to put the final signature in the contract with the construction company, we still need 900,000 euros by the end of July. This amount secures us to the extent that we can responsibly go into the implementation of the project. „Ask and it will be given to you.“ This trust in God’s providence has already led us this far. And we know that He gives what is needed in due time, even if it is often at the proverbial last second. If you feel a call to support our mission with a donation, donate through our website today!

Donate now!

Public area

Open doors, open heart

Prayer, the relationship with Christ, precedes every missionary activity. Accordingly, the centerpiece of the new location is the two-story chapel. The services are the heart of the center. Each weekend there are four opportunities for different audiences to attend Mass. However, the church doors should be open at all times to all who seek God.

A home takes shape

In the entrance area, a friendly and inviting café is planned. The café is intended to be a meeting place for people with different backgrounds and views, inviting them to go deeper.Um in einer modernen Gesellschaft eine relevante Stimme sein zu können, braucht es Offenheit und ehrliches Interesse an den Menschen, mit denen wir in unserer Welt, in unserer Stadt leben. Unser Café soll die Möglichkeit zu Austausch, Kennenlernen und Begegnung auf Augenhöhe geben.

Church for the next generation

„The future of humanity passes through the family.“ (John Paul II) Sometimes it gets quite noisy in the center: then it is probably Sunday morning and the first children trickle into the center with their parents. The Family Mass has been a fixed part of the Center since the beginning. Special attention is given here to the Kids Ministry – faith mediation and fellowship for our youngest members.

A space for growth

The planned rehearsal space is closely related to an important component of our mission, „Music Ministry.“ In the experience of growing congregations, music plays an essential role. A pool of 40 musicians shapes our worship services. Worship leaders from the congregation are requested for large diocesan events, worship conferences, and television fairs. In the new center we want to create even more space to make music together, to learn from each other and to offer a sound training for worship leaders.

Advanced training and discipleship

„Forming apostles to transform the world“ is more than just a motto for us. This vision permeates all of the Center’s offerings. It begins with the worldwide proven Alpha faith courses, through our Leadership Academy to the „Living Love“ marriage preparation seminars. Each course or workshop we offer is designed for personal growth, to make the content of faith understandable, to relate it to one’s own life and to enable people to pass on their own experiences. According to the biblical principle: sow – grow – multiply.

Office area

Space for development

The larger a congregation, the more organization and structure is needed to hold everything and everyone together. We are happy that our staff team is growing with the congregation. Many are volunteering, but some key positions are held by full-time staff, who are already looking forward to more work than before. In order to be able to expand our missionary activities and to be financially sustainable in the medium and long term, we are introducing the so-called „MPD“ (Mission Partner Development) model, whereby staff members build up their own circle of sponsors, but at the same time receive institutional employment through the center.

Mission online & offline

As a young church, the John Paul II Center has been thinking digitally since the beginning. Sermons are available online, talks are published as podcasts, there is an organic social media activity – and the live streams of the services were already established as missionary impulses before they became without alternative. We see the digital world as a place of proclamation, and we know the importance of a well well thought-out web presence. We are happy to be able to set up a real studio in the new house to studio in the new building to make our work in this area even more professional. even more professionally.

Living together, growing together

Whether young people find a way to church often depends on whether other young people are there. The experience of not being alone in faith plays a role that should not be underestimated. It has always been important to us to give the young people enough free space (open space) so that they can develop and try things out. And so there are not only the specially designed services (BeFree Mass), but also exuberant celebrations afterwards, small groups and other activities through which friendships can develop and grow.

Q&A

The ZJPII is a

– Roman Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Vienna (according to APG2.1, Diocesan Development Process),
– Parish within the development area Vienna Danube Canal in the heart of Vienna (in Vienna there are 140 such development areas) and the parish Sankt Othmar in the 3rd district.
So ZJPII is not a parish, but a parish located in a development space and cooperating with the local parish, but not a partial parish of the parish, but a parish „beyond territorial orders“ (see pastoral letter apg focus 3 & 4).

– parish founded by an ecclesial locality, that is, under the responsibility of the religious community of the Legionaries of Christ and the apostolate movement Regnum Christi (since 2019 the LC are part of the RC Federation approved by the Holy See, so where the LC are, there is also the RC).

The center aims to inspire distant people to believe in Christ, empower them for missionary discipleship and help other churches do the same. „Forming apostles to transform the world.“

The Archdiocese of Vienna website describes the goal of the Acts 2.1 diocesan development process as „Aiming to inspire more people for Christ. Therefore, the content focus will be on discipleship and mission, as well as a new structure of parishes and ministries.“

So it’s about discipleship and mission, and structures that enable and support that discipleship and mission. These are precisely the three aspects of the diocesan process that we are taking up. We want to invite people who are distant to embark on a journey of discipleship, to empower them in it, so that they themselves become – to use Pope Francis‘ phrase in his policy document (Evangelii Gaudium) – „missionary disciples.“ By „discipleship“ we mean the effort to put the Good News of Jesus Christ into practice in one’s own life – in 5 areas:

in one’s relationship with God
in the life of community
in continuing faith formation
in service to others
in passing on the faith.
With „missional discipleship“ we take up a basic idea of Pope Francis that discipleship is always „missional“ in the sense that striving to put the Good News into practice in one’s own life also always entails being „light of the world and salt of the earth,“ giving joyful witness to one’s faith and empowering others to do the same.

We want to set up our structures as a congregation so that both discipleship and mission are possible and fostered through these structures. Pope Francis does not separate the two concepts of discipleship and mission because sooner or later every disciple also becomes „missionary.“ That is, enthusiasm for Christ becomes contagious. Francis had this in mind when he called his policy document on mission „of the joy of the Gospel,“ because it is about sharing with others a joy that has been given to oneself.

We make our own the command of Jesus: „Go out into all the world and make disciples,“ which the diocesan development process has adopted Acts 2:1. We want to inspire people for this journey with Jesus. But we also know that we cannot bring this about ourselves. Because we believe that it is God who touches hearts. But we also experience again and again that this is exactly what happens. God changes, not us. Jesus Christ is the center, the standard and the model.

The ZJPII is a place of encounter, sharing, prayer and deepening of faith. Whoever comes is welcome because God loves unconditionally. The ZJPII creates a framework in which a path of discipleship is made possible. How does this happen practically?

– We dwell with God in worship. Prayer is the foundation and source of strength for our ministries. We are a praying church and organize 24/1 and 24/7 worship times. One day we want to worship continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But it’s not just about worship, it’s about a culture where prayer in general is very important and is the foundation of everything we do.

– We see ourselves as a „participatory church“ and promote a culture of leadership and taking responsibility. This happens, for example, in our ministry areas such as the „Music Ministry“, „Technology Ministry“ „Kids Mnistry“ or in the so-called „Service Teams“ that organize the weekend Masses and the trappings, or in the production of podcasts, or even in ministry areas such as „Love Life“.

– We want to create a setting on the weekends for those who don’t know Jesus Christ – especially with the BeFree Mass on Saturday evening, the Family Mass on Sunday, and the Young Professionals Mass on Sunday evening.

– We are looking for new ways to make faith present – in a society that, it seems, no longer needs faith. For example, through „Shut up – it’s Christmas!“ Alpha courses, or, for example, „Adventure & Faith.“

– We spend a lot of time on pastoral, spiritual accompaniment for individuals, small groups and families, pastoral care in our parish. The priests of ZJPII. take a lot of time for people. But it’s not just the priests. We try to foster a culture of empowerment, wherein someone who has responsibility in a ministry area looks at how they can invest in individuals and help them become a better version of themselves.

– We work in small groups to build friendships. There, we try to accept all people as they are. This is to help them have an experience of God, because God is like that: He doesn’t expect anything and doesn’t put conditions on anything. In these groups, everyone should be able to discover and contribute their talents and gifts – and then also take on joint responsibility.

We try to accept all people as they are. This should help them to have an experience of God, because God is like that: structures and different programs should serve people. Unfortunately, it can easily happen that in organizations the structures become independent and no longer serve the people, but rather the maintenance of structures. To avoid this, we work proactively to shape our culture.
The culture is shaped by four core values: openness, empowerment, zeal (commitment) and service.
In small groups, people accompany each other; there, everyone can discover and contribute their talents and gifts, be inspired, share and grow in faith – and then also take on co-responsibility.

This is not so much a strategy, but a question of „what do we need to do to be fruitful?“ We believe that by focusing on the following five areas, we are laying a foundation to be fruitful:

1. Promote a strong culture of prayer. Prayer is the foundation and source of strength for our ministries.

2. Create spaces for purposeful relationships. God is relationship: we want to live relationships that are honest and healthy, that is, purposeless. God loves everyone just as they are. This is a prerequisite for any growth in the life of faith and at the same time the space where this can take place.

3. mission orientation: every baptized person is mission. Mission is and always has been the identity of the Church. Our Church is missionary by its very nature. Every baptized Christian shares in the mission of Christ, as all the recent popes, from Paul VI to Francis, remind us. It is a matter of bearing witness to the joy of the Gospel and offering others the possibility of knowing something of that joy.
Pope Francis says, „When we experience the power of God’s love, when we recognize his paternal presence in our personal and community lives, we cannot help but proclaim and pass on what we have seen and heard.“  Every member of the Church, then, is also a missionary disciple, he writes in Evangelii Gaudium: „Every baptized person, regardless of his or her function in the Church and the level of formation of his or her faith, is an active agent of evangelization. […] The new evangelization must include a new understanding of the carrying role of each baptized person. This conviction becomes an immediate call to every Christian that no one desist from his commitment to evangelization; for if one has truly experienced the love of God that saves him, he does not need much preparation time to set out and proclaim it; (…) And we, what are we waiting for?“ (EG 120)

How does this happen practically with us? Primarily by creating places where we can invite those who are distant to have an experience – first of all the „weekend“ (Holy Masses and the trappings), but also Alpha & other programs like Adventure & Faith.

4. Facilitate a clear path of discipleship. We want to follow Jesus Christ and be his disciples – that is, to witness to Christ, to pass on his love, but first of all to make room for his work in our own lives. For us, this means concretely to strive for and accompany a path of growth in five areas: Prayer, Community, Continuing Education, Service to Others, and Passing on the Faith.

Jesus gathers people around him, trains them, teaches them, shapes them, forms and lives community, sends them out. Discipleship, then, begins where one encounters Jesus Christ.

In response to the current challenges of the Church, Pope Francis desires a new evangelization as a path of discipleship in response to love for the one who first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:19); a path, then, that makes possible a faith lived, experienced, celebrated and witnessed with joy. „Evangelization leads us to recover the joy of the Gospel, the joy of being Christians.“

5. Supporting other (parish or sub-parish) communities. We see ourselves as an active part of the local church. We bring our small contribution to how the future of the church can be shaped. Because the old recipes no longer work. Being able to bear witness and support other parishes in their work is something that has grown more and more in recent years and something we continue to focus on.

Because we currently no longer have enough space to carry out pastoral activity that meets the basic pastoral needs of the community. As a result, some things are suffering at the moment, especially our pastoral care for children and youth. Moreover, looking at the growth of the last few years, we believe we can have hope that in the future even more people will come here and we will be able to reach them, especially those who have lost or never had access to the Church, that with more and larger spaces we will be able to create a better welcoming atmosphere and a program better coordinated by group
The one who fills hope is God. We put everything in his hands.

Around 90 people have (central) responsibility, 30 of whom have a leadership role (for example, as leader of a small group). The leadership team of the center consists of 5 members.
Up to 200 people join in celebrating Holy Masses each weekend.
In total, the center community numbers an estimated 350 people (but there are no accurate records or membership lists).

We definitely wanted to stay close to our downtown location so that the community could „move along“ and remain in its entirety and structure. We want to continue to build – at a location in one of the outer districts we might have had to (re)start with a splinter group.

The Archdiocese has encouraged us at every stage. There has been a very good collaboration for many years. We are allowed to cooperate in different projects with different staff offices of the Archdiocese, for example with the Episcopal Vicar Dariusz Schutzki, the Vicar General Nikolaus Krasa, the Pastoral Office and the staff office Acts 2.1.

Exclusively from donations, we have to finance the project entirely ourselves, there is no money from the Order. The project is only made possible by the generosity of many people who feel connected to the center and the religious community in Austria.

Support now