ROME, Fr. Alberto Eronti. Monsignor Peter Wolf, Director General of the
Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests, April 2 - 6, 2003, visited Rome.
His journey took place in connection with the construction of the Shrine
"Matri Ecclesiae" in Belmonte, at Via di Boccea. He visitied the Bishop
of the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina, Gino Reali - the land is in the area
of this diocese -, in order to get to know him, present the project and
ask for the diocesan building permission. The two Schoenstatt Fathers in
Rome met twice with Father Peter Wolf in order to exchange first preliminary
ideas about the corner stone laying on come December 8, 2003, and the dedication
of the Shrine in September 2004.
16 de noviembre de 1965, en el terreno de Belmonte:
P. José Kentenich, Mons. Heinrich Tenhumberg (d. izq.); de
espalda: Monseñor Bolte, Maria Keymeier
November 16, 1965, on the land of Belmonte: Fr. Kentenich,
Auxiliary Bishop Tenhumberg (from l.); back: Bishop Bolte, Maria
Auf dem Grundstück Belmonte am Nachmittag der
Geburtstagsfeier (v.l.) Pater Kentenich, WB Tenhumberg (mit dem
Rücken zum Beschauer: Bischof Bolte, Maria Kleymeier)
16 de noviembre de 1965: En el terreno de Belmonte,
lugar del futuro Centro Internacional
November 16, 1965: on the land of Belmonte, place
of the future International Center
Auf dem Grundstück Belmonte am Nachmittag der
Geburtstagsfeier, 16. 11. 1965
Cumpleaños del Padre Kentenich in Roma: der.:
Gertrud Gramlich, superiora general del Instituto de Señoras
de Schoenstatt (Frauen), Bruno M. Herberger, Superior General del
Instituto de los Hermanos de María
Birthday party for Fr. Kentenich; right: Gertrud Gramlich,
superior general of the Insitute of the Ladies of Schoenstatt; Bruno
M. Herberger, superior general of the Brothers of Mary
Bei der Geburtstagsfeier – ganz rechts: Generaloberin
Gertrud Gramlich (Frauen von Schönstatt), Generaloberer Bruno
M. Herberger (Marienbruder)
Roma, 16 de noviembre de 1965: Monseñor Heinrich
Tenhumberg, Obispo Auxiliar y Presidente del Consejo General de
Schoenstatt, simbolicamente entregó al Padre Kentenich el
Santuario y Centro Internacional de Roma
Rome, November 16, 1965: Auxiliary Bishop Heinrich
Tenhumberg, President of the General Presidium of Schoenstatt, symbolically
gives the International Schoenstatt Center and Shrine in Rome to
WB Tenhumberg übergibt P. Kentenich symbolisch
das Romheiligtum und –zentrum
Fotos: Archiv Berg Moriah © 2003
From now on, the "Roman Reflections", in co-operation with the web site
will inform on a regular base about this initiative born from the heart
of Father Kentenich. A brief historical outline shall serve as a solid
base for the international Schoenstatt family, with the aim that all know
the driving forces, and symbols behind this longstanding desire for an
International Center in Rome.
- Februar 26 through March 15: first stay of Father Kentenich in Rome
- March 14: Private Audience with Pope Pius XII.
- Father Kentenich speaks about the possibility to buy a land (a "garden"
near the Casa Pallotti) in order to build a Shrine in Rome. It is an
idea first expressed by Father Kentenich in Schoenstatt already on April
- October: Pope John XXIII opens Vatican II.
- November: the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary get permission to set up
their first filiation in Rome.
- September 17: Arrival of Father Kentenich in Rome, coming from Milwauke.
- October 20: General Meeting of the "Holy Office" (the congregation
that imposed the separation of Father Kentenich from his work); the
cardinals decide to move the issue "Kentenich" to the Congregation of
the Religious Orders and Institutes.
- October 22: Pope Paul VI. confirms the decision of the Holy
Office. This day and moment end - to the day after 14 years - Father
Kentenich's exile. Father Kentenich later says that this is the fourth
milestone in the history of the Schoenstatt family:
- On October 16, Father Kentenich for the first time visits the grounds
at the Via di Boccea, in the Casalotti neighborhood.
- On November 16, he visits the grounds a second time.
- On behalf of the celebration of his 80th birthday (on that
November 16), the representatives of the Schoenstatt family that are
present in Rome, give to Father Kentenich "the Shrine of the Mother
Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt in the city of the Holy Father".
Father Kentenich speaks about the project as the International Schoenstatt
Center in Rome. He sees it linked to the Church that is to fulfill the
porgram of Vatican II; picking up the words and intentions of Pope Paul
VI, he speaks about the future "Matri Ecclesiae" Shrine (Mutter der
Kirche), Mothe rof the Church. He wants to emphasize the maternal role
of Mary in view of the church, especially in view of the application
of the decisions of Vatincan II:
- He asks the Institute of the diocesan Priests - a strong stream of
life is already vital in their ranks -, to take the responsibility for
the project to be realized in co-operation with the other Institutes.
- On December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Paul VI closes
Vatican II. The act takes place on St. Peter's Square; during this celebration,
Paul VI blesses the corner stone for the future church "Mother of the
Church", that later would be built in the new Roman neighborhood EUR.
Father Kentenich is not present; but the Schoenstatt members who are
present took along the wayside shrine of the MTA for the future Center.
During the celebration, this wayside shrine receives the papal blessing.
- The wayside shrine is erected that same afternoon at Belmonte.
- On December 22, Father Kentenich meets with Pope Paul VI in private
audience. Father Kentenich's gift to him is a chalice for the new Church
"Mother of the Church", Mater Ecclesiae. Thus, the longings of the Pope,
and of Father Kentenich, unite. Both see and proclaim Mary as mother
and model of the church at the new shores.
- On December 24, the day before Christmas, Father Kentenich heads to
- January 14 through February 11, Father Kentenich again is in Rome
to resolve some pending issues.
- On February 2, Candlemas Day, Father Kentenich for the third and last
time vistis the land in Casalotti. The MTA wayside shrine was already
erected. Father Kentenich speaks about the "Candlemas Vision", that
means: put Schoenstatt at the service of the church, and that the mission
of the family is fully understood and accepted by the hierarchy.
- Late afternoon of September 14, Father Kentenich meets with some representantatives
of the Institute of Diocesan Priests. The theme of their encounter:
The International Rome Center. On the other day, after having said the
Holy mass for the first time in the new Church of the Holy Trinity,
Father Kentenich is called home to the Eternal Father.
So far this outline of the most decisive events in the history of the
International Schoenstatt Center Belmonte (Beautiful Mountain).
A gift of the entire family
It seems important to emphasize that the represantatives of the Schoenstatt
Movement who promised to Father Kentenich the construction of this Center,
acted in the name of the International Schoenstatt Family. What does that
mean? It means, that in the interwovenness of destinies and mission, we
all are responsible for the construction and fruitfulness of the Matri
Ecclesiae Shrine. We all are called to live the words of the First Founding
Document: "Do not worry about the fulfillment of your desire... I
love those who love me (Prv 8,17). Prove to me first that you really love
me, that you take your resolution seriously. Just now you have the best
oppotunity to do so. According to the plan of Divine Providence, the ...
war is meant ot be an extraordinary means in the work of your self-sanctification."
(First Founding document, 11)
Just now you have the best oppotunity to do so
Last Saturday I made a pilgrimage to the land; the warm, sunny day made
for good prayers and a moment of profound encounter woth the place, and
Our Lady. Approximately 40 sheep were grazing in the upper part of the
land. I thought of the image of the "Good shepherd" so often cited by
our Father. Standing by the wayside shrine I imagined our Father standing
there, blessing the place by his presence. Indeed, I could not stop wondering:
Did our Father stand here? I realized the "load" of the mission that his
person and his presence left here. Indeed, this is to become a new "beautiful
place", a new Schoenstatt. this is to be "Belmonte", "beautiful mountain",
a new Tabor of the glories of Mary. One can't help but ponder the words
of the First Founding Document. "Just now you have the best opportunity
to do so." - "Undoubtedly, we could not accomplish a greater apostolic
deed nor leave our successors a more precious legacy than to urge our
Lady and Queen to erect her throne here in a special way..." - "How often
in world history have not small and insignificant beginnings been the
source of great and greatest accomplishments?" - "Future generations may
then pass their judgement upon us."
This prjects need "shareholder value", needs tokens of love, needs capital
of grace, and the Blessed Mother expects this from the entire family.
"It would be a sublime task, worthy of the diligence and labor of the
Then it will please her to dwell in Belmonte, then the porphetic vision
of our Father and Founder will be fulfilled. Hopefully, step by step,
a strong stream of life and grace will surge in our International Family,
so that we say: Yes, Father, we go with you - to Rome!
Two brief good news of our MTA's recent work in Rome and Italy
Fr. Ludovico Tedeschi visited Zelarino, Mestre. From Trento, Rosita Ciola
(Mothers' Federation, Argentina from the diocese of St. Martin, now living
in Italy) came to meet with Fr. Ludovico, and Marlene, who leads two groups
of families, and a mothers' group there. Both got to know each other and
started to co-ordinate the work in the north, with special emphasize of
the growth of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. In Argentina, Rosita Ciola
was in the National Team of the Campaign.
On April 6, the first pilgrimage of a Roman parish to the Cor Ecclesiae
Shrine was a real succes. The parish priest, three nuns working in the
parish, and approximately 40 faithful, took part. The Schoenstatt Sisters
of Mary welcomed them with their typical hospitality. Returning from the
pilgrimage, the parish priest gave permission to launch the Campaign in