The Baptistery in Gymnich – a Sign of God's Guidance and Love
Commemorative Plaque dedicated in Gymnich Parish Church – the Place of Fr Kentenich's Baptism
(mkf) The baptistery in St. Kunibert, Gymnich – testimony of God's unconditioned love and guidance. Since years, Schoenstatt members from all over the world come to visit the place where the founder of the International Schoenstatt Movement, Fr Joseph Kentenich, was baptized on November 19, 1885. On September 9 the parish collocated a commemorative plaque by the baptistery. During a festive Mass, Auxiliary Bishop Plöger, Cologne, blessed the plaque.
"This is the place where God initiated Schoenstatt, this is the place where I experience the reality of the supernatural," shared a woman who visits Gymnich on an afternoon in August, together with a group of Schoenstatt members. The highlight of their stay is the baptism and covenant renewal by this baptistery – where Father Kentenich was baptized. She shared with the others about the "discovery" of Gymnich and specially this baptistery by the Cologne Schoenstatt Movement during the preparation for the centenary (1985). "God began Schoenstatt here, with the baptism of this child that he had chosen as instrument, in not so good start conditions. God leads and God chooses without prerequisites."
Specially during summer, again and again pilgrims from all over the world come to Gymnich – in the week preceding September 9 families from Argentina with the director of the movement, Father Carmona; in August and July, pilgrims from Spain, Portugal, Ecuador … They visit the house where Fr Kentenich was born and the parish church, where they celebrate Holy Mass, baptism renewal, the Covenant of Love.
An Initiative of St. Kunibert's Parish, Gymnich
These groups, and since a couple of years through the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign, created a growing interest in the parish; they discovered Father Kentenich as "son of Gymnich". Father Pikos, with a good laugh, shares the story of an inhabitant of Gymnich who in a London hotel was asked about his hometown. He is convinced that anyway nobody knows it. On the contrary – when he finally says: 'Gymnich', he hears: "Sure, Gymnich, Father Kentenich! Please share more about him!!" Already since several years, info sheets on Schoenstatt and Father Kentenich are displayed in the parish church. Now, the parish took initiative and decided to collocate a commemorative plaque by the baptistery. On the day of the parish feast, September 9, Auxiliary Bishop Plöger - who worked in Gymnich for several years - dedicated the plaque during a festive Mass.
Gymnich can be Proud of this Founder who was Born and Baptized here"
On this rainy and cold Sunday, Auxiliary Bishop Plöger celebrated holy Mass together with Father Pikos, the parish priest, and Father Angel Strada, Schoenstatt, postulator in the process of canonization for Fr. Kentenich. In his sermon, Father Strada highlighted the meaning of the testimony of life and faith for growth in faith. From this starting point, he shared about his own experience when he first heard about Father Kentenich and his life and love for the Church. This was in Argentina and the first time, he added, to also hear "Gymnich". The church, he explained, tested Father Kentenich's love for the church, but he remained faithful and confident. After the Mass, Auxiliary Bishop Plöger blessed the plaque: "We bless this plaque in memory of a person of Gymnich and of the Universal Church," he said in the prayer. "And we hope to soon be able to honor him." After the Mass he added: "Gymnich can be proud of this Founder who was born and baptized here."
Schoenstatt Info Stand
After Mass, some special guests were welcomed, among them the Lutheran minister; she knows the Schoenstatt Center in Maria Rast. Despite of the rainy and cold weather, many young people joined in the parish feast that took place around the church. A Schoenstatt info stand was erected with pamphlets, magazines, and info material. Many persons said that they had already been in Schoenstatt. One of the results of this parish feast – the Schoenstatt Info magazine will from now on be displayed in the parish church. Gymnich and Father Kentenich belong together.
[Seitenanfang / Top] [letzte
Seite / last page] [Homepage]
Last Update: 13.09.2001 16:56 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
© 2001 Schönstatt-Bewegung in Deutschland, PressOffice Schönstatt, hbre, All rights reserved