1802 till today

After the abolition of Steinfeld Abbey in 1802 through a political rape, a difficult time began for the monastery. The property was sold and squandered by French commissioners, and the Canons were expelled. The abbey church remains as parish church for the local community, but who should take care of the large monastery complex.

More than 120 years the abbey remained secular property and served various purposes. After much back and forth, the Prussian state took over the estate in 1844 and established in the monastery Steinfeld a "Royal Prussian reformatory". This utilization did not meet the expectations for use of a monastery, but at least the total decay was prevented.

1873 there was a terrible fire of the roof truss and the crossing tower. This eventually resulted in a mandate for the renewal of the west facade to the Cologne architect and diocesan master builder Heinrich Wiethase (1833 bis 1893).

In this renewal (1884), the West facade got its distinctive shape with the two high round towers. At the last restoration (2010), it was plastered and whitewashed. Now it shines - like the whole basilica - in bright white.

Until 1923, the reformatory remained in Steinfeld as the Salvatorians took over the monastery. The first years were very difficult for the religious, because they had to whip into shape the run-down buildings. The Salvatorians took over the pastoral care, and right from the start they founded a grammar school with a boarding mainly for religious vocations in 1924. Through the World War II and the nearness to the Siegfried Line, the monastery and the surrounding area got a terrible time again.

After the war, the school closed by the Nazis was reopened in 1958 and was expanded to a complete grammar school (new school building in 1959 with several extensions until 1985). The Salvatorians established in Steinfeld monastery several apostolic works: Publishing House (today the Monastery Shop), guest and formation house and the Academy Kloster Steinfeld. Again, Steinfeld has become a center of formation and spirituality, art and culture far beyond the region.

And so the quotation about Steinfeld published in a Festschrift from 1747 is valid still today: "The House on the Rock, in which the light dwells, in which there was no room for darkness, nor is, nor ever will be."