Brother Alois was born in 1954 in Nördlingen, Bavaria, Germany, where his parents had settled after being expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War II as ethnic Germans. He grew up in Stuttgart. Unlike his Protestant predecessor, Brother Roger, Brother Alois is a Catholic. As a teenager he was an altar boy and a youth leader at St. Nikolaus parish in eastern Stuttgart. Later he studied theology in Lyon, though he never became a priest. When he first visited the Taizé Community, it impressed him deeply. He soon became a "permanent", a person living in Taizé for an extended period though not a brother in the community. He became a member of the community in 1974.
Brother Alois was chosen by Brother Roger as his successor in 1998. He became the prior of the community after the death of Brother Roger in 2005. In recent years, Brother Alois has represented the community in numerous public events and has given a large number of interviews. He is known for his musical talent and has written many of the newer Taizé songs which are sung throughout the world today.
In The Sunday Journal, Bavaria, on May 8, 2005, Brother Alois was asked the question: "What comes after Brother Roger?" His answer was: "This question naturally arises, Brother Roger always taught us to live in the present moment. Life is about joy, simplicity and mercy. Those are the cornerstones, with them we can move forward and so can all those who we welcome here."