"To know and proclaim nothing but Schoenstatt and its Founder"
German Schoenstatt Movement thanking its Movement Director, Father Tilmann Beller, on behalf of his 40th ordination anniversary
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. On July 7, the day before the anniversary of Father Kentenich's ordination, the German Schoenstatt Movement celebrated with Father Tilmann Beller, Movement Director, the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination. In the sermon during the festive holy Mass in the Adoration Church on Mount Schoenstatt, Father Heinrich Walter, regional superior of the Schoenstatt Fathers and chairperson of the National Council, highlighted the corner stones of Father Beller's work, and his convinced, testimonial, and prophetic way "to know an proclaim nothing but Schoenstatt and its Founder."
Due to vacation time and short notice invitation, not all who had liked to join in the celebration on this first Sunday in July, could actually participate, leaving a seat even for the random onlookers in the Adoration Church. Next to the official representatives of the branches, federations and institutes, smaller groups and individuals from the various communities had come, some of them traveling several hours.
The Holy Mass was concelebrated by huge number of Schoenstatt Fathers concelebrating, along with Schoenstatt diocesan priests from several dioceses; students, and seminarians of the Schoenstatt Fathers accompanied them. Father Dr.Michael Johannes Marmann, superior general of the Schoenstatt Fathers and chairperson of the General Presidium, attended as well as Father Heinrich Walter, Fr. Josef Treutlein, chairperson of the diocesan directors, Fr. Dr. Peter Wolf, superior general of the Institute of Diocesan Priests, and Fr. Joseph Fleischlin, director general of the Institute of Ladies of Schoenstatt.
The choir of the Schoenstatt Sisters, Schoenstatt Girls Youth, and Fathers' students contributed songs and music, as well as Fr Beller's niece, Sabine Batzil, who excelled on the flute.
Paving the way for a new excitement for Schoenstatt and its Founder
In his sermon, Father Heinrich Walter thanked Father Beller for paving the way, often in the style of a pioneer, for a new excitement for Schoenstatt and its Founder during the years of his work as director of the German Schoenstatt movement. Father Beller had taken office with the idea "to know and proclaim nothing but Schoenstatt and its Founder." With a sample of adjectives, he described the feature of Father Beller's typical style: convinced and convincing, testimonial, prophetic, at time with a touch of geniality for words and messages. His pastoral method, Father Walter declared, would be marked by a sincere discipleship to the founder and the creative faithfulness of applying the founder's words and methods. He had the talent and virtue of creating independent life through initial support. While in Hungary and Austria he had been the pioneer of Schoenstatt, especially through building a strong and independent family movement, in Germany he would have been the pioneer of "my Schoenstatt" – meaning the subjective, personal approach to Schoenstatt as method for the apostolic approach: My life enkindles life.
A Time of Celebrating in Family
Afterwards, all were invited for coffee and cake to House Marienland. Next to the members of the National Council, General Council, and Central, many persons had come from far and wide to celebrate with Fr. Beller. Despite of the heat in the conference hall at House Marienland that was filled to capacity, joy, and informal, family-like conversation marked the atmosphere. The speakers unanimously mentioned Father Beller's faithfulness to Father Kentenich and total commitment to proclaim nothing but Schoenstatt and the founder.
At the beginning, Sr. Adelinde (Provincial of the Dynamic Province, Female branches) congratulated Father Beller, then Sr. Violaine and Sr. Annetraud (Schoenstatt Mothers' League, Schoenstatt Family Movement) made a rhymed speech in praise of Father Beller, following the letters of the alphabet; afterwards, Sr. Annette (Schoenstatt Girls' Youth), continued with the letters of the German word for "Thank you".
The Schoenstatt Girls' Youth was present in a small number; their gift was a booklet with experiences with Father Kentenich, written by the girls. Father Dr. Lothar Penners, who also moderated the afternoon, spoke in the name of the central, highlighting in a humorous way the central points of Father Beller's working in the German movement, his "passions": to create and inspire the attitude of regarding each other benevolently; the unity in different mentalities and charisma; the turn from a more defensive attitude towards apostolic commitment. As a gift, the members of the central prayed 40 rosaries for Father Beller (or yet intended to do so).
Maria Theresia and Hubertus Brantzen, speakers of the Family League, expressed the gratitude and well-wishing of the families with specific gifts like glasses or a spade, linking them to the idea that is very much alive in the German family movement – to find the footsteps of God in one's daily life.
"The Movement, the central focus for the Federations' and Institutes' work"
In the name of the diocesan directors, Father Joseph Treutlein announced the gift of this committee: each diocesan director had offered one hour of adoration in the diocesan Schoenstatt Shrine.
Father Dr. Peter Wolf closed with a speech on behalf of the General Presidium, reminding that Father Beller represents the German, and also the entire Movement, in the Presidium, "the movement which is the central focus of the federations and institutes, the movement that we all work for." He expressively thanked Father Beller for his sensivity for the movement.
Father Beller in his short words of gratitude first turned to his relatives, and then expressed his wish that the Blessed Mother and Father Kentenich would grant all the "grace of joy in each other".
At the end, all went to the lawn on the way to the adoration church and tomb of Father Kentenich, to plant a ginkgo tree as sign of gratitude and commemoration.
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