Glad news on September 20: Planning Permission and Building Regulations Clearance given for International Schoenstatt Shrine in Rome
A dream come true: Thirty-seven year-old promise to Father Kentenich to be fulfilled
SPECIAL, mkf. The International Schoenstatt Shrine and Center in Rome: a dream is turning into a dream come true! On September 20, the planning permission and building regulations clearance was given. According to Monsignor Dr. Peter Wolf, Director General of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests, the building plans are ready, and groundbreaking could be as soon as in 2003.
"Finally it is so far!" –The emotion reverberates in the first lines of a letter sent by Monsignor Dr. Peter Wolf, Director General of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests, to the members of his community committed with the implementation of a thirty-seven year-old promise to Father Kentenich. On September 20, out of the blue, the planning permission and building regulations clearance was given for the International Schoenstatt Shrine and Center at the outskirts of Rome, at the Via de Boccea, near the Church of St. Gemma. On November 16, 1965, when Father Kentenich's 80th birthday was celebrated, the General Presidium of the International Schoenstatt Movement had promised to build this Shrine. On December 8, 1965, Father Kentenich and Schoenstatt representatives present in Rome did a symbolic groundbreaking on the land at the Via de Boccea, where since then a small wayside shrine testified the longing, commitment and hope to be held high in the "endless story" of getting the clearance.
"We wanted to know that the Blessed Mother wanted it"
Like so often in Schoenstatt history, the glad news came on a significant date: September 20, the anniversary of Father Kentenich's funeral in 1968, the anniversary also of Father Kentenich's detention in 1941. "On September 8, the birthday of the Blessed Mother, I heard that the department of building and inspection in Rome had given a positive report for our building plans," Monsignor Wolf shared. "The decisive meeting of the committee of building was first scheduled for September 13 – the day when the telegram called Father Kentenich to Rome, in 1965 -, then to September 18, and then finally to September 20." It was a long time between the promise and the permission, Monsignor Wolf added, "a history of ups and downs, of waiting and waiting again, and at times it seemed a hopeless case." There was a clear decision in the General Council of our community", he added. "We would never only answer to any offer of doing anything by only slightly crooked means. It should all be the work of the Blessed Mother. We believed her to be capable of making the impossible possible. We wanted to know that she wanted it." Now the decision was made, the go-ahead is given – this year of all years, marked for the Institute Priests by the motto: "Set out beyond…"
Rome pilgrimage in the light of a "Shrine – come – true"
The day before the glad news reached Schoenstatt, the brochures for the come Rome pilgrimage were sent out. "Doesn't matter," said Monsignor Wolf. "This Rome pilgrimage will be different than all those before, it will be marked by the Shrine to be built not "one day" but soon." The pilgrimage to Rome is scheduled for December 3 – 9, 2002. Booking is still possible.
For congratulations and more: dr.PeterWolf@t-online.de
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