Schönstatt: Begegnungen am Ursprungsort

Looking for the Beautiful Place
International Visitors in Schoenstatt

Musikgruppe "Lauda Musica" aus Wels, Österreich
Music group "Lauda Musica", from Austria

(mkf) Young people from the music group "Lauda Musica" in Wels, Austria, drove 8 hours (one way) to spend one day in Schoenstatt. A young Mexican couple rented a car and came from Düsseldorf, (successfully) looking for Schoenstatt. A couple from "just across the River Rhine" come again and again, "because this beautiful place gives so much."

They started around midnight in Wels, Austria – six young persons in two cars, plus the youngest of the group in the baby seat. The members of the music group "Lauda Musica" made it for breakfast in Schoenstatt, followed by a holy Mass in the Original Shrine. In the afternoon, they spent 2 hours in the Father Kentenich House, at night, they met for a discussion about the beginnings of Schoenstatt, Father Kentenich’s style and more. On Sunday, they had holy Mass in the Founder Chapel at 11:00am before leaving again for Austria – 8 hours to drive. Why did they come? "We actually don’t know anything about Schoenstatt; well, some of us took part in the Schoenstatt Marriage seminar, and two did child care on a Schoenstatt families’ retreat." – "But one of us brought up an idea which he had picked up from a Schoenstatt Father’s remark on a musical about Father Kentenich: Could we perform that here?" The group had discussed the idea, and some were excited. Practice started. "But then we found: We got to go to Schoenstatt and see what it is all about." And what is it about? "It’s crazy. It is worth while driving 16 hours to just be here. When I was in the shrine, I sensed: one cannot read or explain or study that, you need to experience it!" – "It was worth while to come here. You cannot study Schoenstatt." - "I am deeply impressed with what I learned in these hours."

A young couple from Mexico came with a rented car, from Düsseldorf. They both knew Schoenstatt from a novena the young woman had found somewhere and prayed again and again. "I also recommended it to others since I got it in 1993," she shared. "Since I first read the novena I wanted to once go to Schoenstatt." When they went to Spain, they tried to find out about Schoenstatt which they knew to be in Europe. But where? "We asked in churches, at information centers, in travel agencies. One travel agent wanted to talk us into going to Rome instead, because of all the art there, but I wanted to go to Schoenstatt." Finally, they made it to a hotel in Düsseldorf, rented a car, and tried to find Schoenstatt near Vallendar – successfully. They spent a long time in the Father-Kentenich-House, visited the Original Shrine, and were glad to join a holy Mass in the Founder Chapel. Before they left, they took a pile of novenas – "for our friends in Mexico".

A student from Argentina came with her protestant boy-friend. They had gotten to know each other while studying in Darmstadt. He wrote to the guest book: "I hope this was not my last stay in Schoenstatt. When I am here, I am a happy person."

A stewardess from Brazil came for one day – she likes Schoenstatt so much that she never misses on a chance with flights to Frankfurt.

The weather was ugly, but they did not care: "We come more often. We can see this church from home." The couple visited the adoration church; they are from a town on the other side of the River Rhine. "We were in Vallendar to see a doctor, and of course we would not miss on a visit to the adoration church. This beautiful place gives us so much."

"I just could not wait until we have retreat in March," said a 30-year-old League member from Northern Germany, who showed up last Monday. "I just had to come again and be in the Original Shrine for a while. It’s three hours by car, and the last 100 kilometers, I felt like a child on Christmas Eve!"

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