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 published: 2003-03-07

Behind the scenes: how a chalice is made and what hundreds of slides tell about Schoenstatt's history

The Goldsmith's Shop of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary: 50th anniversary


Goldsmith of the first hour: Mr Rothgerber with a historical crown

Goldschmied der ersten Stunde: Herr Rothgerber mit einer historischen Krone


Spirituality in symbols: in thousands of slides, the development of the Schoenstatt spirituality during 50 years can be studied.

Symbolgewordene Spiritualität: in Tausenden von Dias kann die Entwicklung der Schönstattspiritualität über 50 Jahre verfolgt werden


Ernest Kanzler, manager of the Goldsmith's and director general of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary: that is worth a thesis!

Ernest Kanzler, Geschäftsführer der Goldschmiede und Generaloberer des Schönstatt-Instituts Marienbrüder: Das steckt eine Doktorarbeit drin!


The unknown world behind the doors of the store: the workshop

Die unbekannte Welt hinter den Ladentüren: die Werkstatt


Fotos: POS Fischer © 2003


SCHOENSTATT,mkf. Really, she did not expect that much dirt, noise, and heavy equipment when looking at a beautiful chalice displayed in the shop-windows of the Goldsmith's in Schoenstatt. Ursel is not the only one to express amazement, when a group of Professional Women, after a two-hour tour of the "back rooms" of the Goldsmiths' Shop is back in the well-known store. In June 2003, the Goldsmith's will celebrate the 50th anniversary - and behind the walls of the "back rooms", 50 years of Schoenstatt spirituality lie displayed in symbols that reflect the different streams of life that marked these years.

The more you ask the more you get! When the women started to ask questions about the hundreds of slides with crowns, scepters, Father Eye symbols, Paul Rothgerber shared about the beginnings of his work as a "Schoenstatt goldsmith", and how he designed the first crown in the early fifties, a mirror of the difficult times Schoenstatt was then going through. "This is like suddenly finding the missing link between our ideas of our Covenant ring, or of our symbol for our incorporation into our Father's decision of January 20, 1942," one of the women said, "and the actual symbol we then see and hold in hands a new reality!" Paul Rothgerber explained to them what it means to express spirituality in symbols, and that "it is a good deal of intuition, of service… and of prayer", to find the way to express faithfulness and loyalty, pureness and childlikeness, apostolic fervor, love for the Shrine… of different communities like the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, and the Schoenstatt Men's League, the Girls' Youth, the Diocesan Priests. Documented in thousands of slides, and on CDs, 50 years of Schoenstatt spirituality reflected in symbols offer highly interesting insights - and "are waiting for someone who would write a thesis on that," Ernest Kanzler, manager of the Goldsmith's, and Superior General of the Brothers of Mary, adds.

A real workshop

"That's like in a garage," Sophie Urbansky commented, in full surprise, when Ernest Kanzler led the group to the workshop where a precious chalice is made that once was a flat piece of precious metal… the tools used seem far to big and too heavy - and too secular? - for the fine chalice this will be! The artist, patiently, explains the different processes. In the other part of the workshop, a crown is designed for a famous statue of the Blessed Mother in Cologne, while another artist is working on a silver crown in the shape of the crown of the Original Shrine.

In the "front rooms", the store, the group can admire the pieces of art that are the end result of the work in the back rooms. "This is a good and practical application of the year's motto, Love sees more", one of them said. "So far, I went here, asked for the things I wanted, and never spent a thought on how that happens, for example, that my MTA picture now has a silver frame. You really see more when you know the ideas, the work, and the concept 'behind'."

While marveling at the tabernacles, chalices, and fancy silver eggcups, the women also learn why the Goldsmith's is offering also fine, gilded, but inexpensive medals, unity crosses, and Schoenstatt signets made with the technique of injection molding. "We want to offer genuine Schoenstatt souvenirs that are well-done, because the MTA and Schoenstatt deserve best quality, but that at the same time are within everybody's reach, also in bigger numbers!" At a price of 1,40 Euro each, one of the women bought 20 pendants with the miniature Pilgrim MTA for the small but growing Campaign in Senegal - a gift for 20 persons, thanks to the "Golden Anniversary Idea".


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Last Update: 07.03.2003 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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