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 published: 2003-05-08

Committed with the distribution and sharing of "life in abundance"

Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German Episcopal Conference, ordained Thomas Jochheim priest in Schoenstatt

El 10 de mayo de 2003, Thomas Jochheim, Padre de Schoenstatt, fue ordenado por Cardenal Karl Lehmann, Manguntia, en la Iglesia de la Adoración en Schoenstatt.

Thomas Jochheim, Schoenstatt Father, was ordained on May 10, 2003, by Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Mainz, in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt

Thomas Jochheim, Gemeinschaft der Schönstatt-Patres, wurde am 10.5.03 von Kardinal Lehmann, Mainz, in der Anbetungskirche Berg Schönstatt zum Priester geweiht.


P. Michael Joh. Marmann, superior general de los Padres de Schoenstatt: palabras de bienvenida

Fr. Michael Joh. Marmann, superior general of the Schoenstatt Fathers: words of welcome to the Cardinal

P. Dr. Michael Joh. Marmann, Generaloberer der Schönstatt-Patres: Willkommensworte an den Kardinal


Familiares, amigos, parroquianos, schoenstattianos de la diócesis de Mainz, de Schoenstatt y también de otras diócesis, formaron una familia unida en la alegría y la oración.

Relatives, friends, parishioners, schoenstatters from the diocese of Mainz, Schoenstatt, and from several other dioceses formed a celebrating family, united in joy and prayer.

Verwandte, Freunde, Pfarrangehörige, Schönstätter aus der Diözese Mainz, vom Ort Schönstatt und aus anderen Diözesen und Ländern bildeten eine große feiernde Familie.


Música de calidad: Esperamor

Quality music: Esperamor

Musikalische Begleitung mit Qualität und Stil: Esperamor


Compromiso de fidelidad

Loyalty pledge



Entrega total

Total surrender



Imposición de manos: P. Heinrich Walter, superior provincial

Imposition of hands: Fr. Heinrich Walter, provincial

Handauflegung: P. Heinrich Walter, Provinzial


Imposición de manos: párroco del lugar de nacimiento de P. Thomas

Imposition of hands: parish priest from Fr. Thomas‘ hometown

Handauflegung: Heimatpfarrer


Oración del Obispo

Prayer of the Bishop

Weihegebet des Bischofs


Entrega del cáliz

Father Thomas receives the challice

Übergabe des Kelches


En neosacerdote en el altar, con los celebrantes

The newly ordained priest at the altar, concelebrating

Der Neupriester am Altar mit den Zelebranten






Foto: POS Brehm© 2003

SCHOENSTATT, mkf. "Our Father and Founder described priests with the words 'out of people - for people', and so we wish you that you live to this word of our Father and Founder out of love to your vocation, and that you can give depth, content, and radiance to this word," said a congratulatory note addressed to Father Thomas Jochheim on behalf of his ordination. "In the deep closeness as Schoenstatt family," the Professional Women continued, "we ask for God's abundant blessing and many gifts and graces from the Blessed Mother for you and your community of the Schoenstatt Fathers on this day of great longing and joy." In this deep closeness as Schoenstatt family, this Schoenstatt family gathered to join in the celebration as one of them through the imposition of hands was to be ordained priest on May 10, 2003, committed with the distribution and sharing of "life in abundance", as Cardinal Lehmann said in his sermon.

More than forty priests, along with deacons, seminarians, students, and a number of mass servers, processed into the completely full Adoration Church, plentifully decorated with bright yellow and orange flowers; Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German Episcopal Conference, warmly greeted and blessed all as the procession went ahead. The Schoenstatt family, the German, and Universal Church is represented in the priests that stand around the altar - the general directors of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests, and of the Institute of the Ladies of Schoenstatt, Fr Peter Wolf (recently back from Burundi), and Fr. Joseph Fleischlin, are among them, Fr. Lothar Penners, movement director of the German Schoenstatt Movement, many Schoenstatt Fathers of course, diocesan priests of the Institute, Federation, and League, fathers, priests, deacons, seminarians, and novices from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Burundi, Croatia, Czech Republic, India, Switzerland, Austria, the parish priests from Thomas Jochheim's home parish, and the parish of his deacon's work…

In the church, council members of almost all of the Institutes, and Federations, relatives, friends, parishioners, youth from Mexico, Paraguay, and Ecuador, Schoenstatt members from the diocese of Mainz, from Schoenstatt, and also from other dioceses, mix and mingle as a joyful, celebrating and praying family: living church.

"It is a special joy for us that, once knowing that you would be in Schoenstatt anyway on this day, we would invite you for the ordination of Thomas Jochheim," said Father Michael Marmann, Superior General of the Schoenstatt Fathers. Cardinal Lehmann was in Schoenstatt, because the University of the Pallottines' was to confer the honorary doctorate to Cardinal Walter Kasper, Rome, in the afternoon. Father Thomas Jochheim is from the diocese of Mainz, and presently works in a parish of this diocese.

People's searching for life in abundance and the richness of life

" I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10,10)", this was the motto that Thomas Jochheim had chosen for his ordination.

"Faith is marked by two processes: first, people's searching for the completion of their lives, together with the experience of not being able to reach this completion considering their own strength; second, the gift of this completion coming from God," Cardinal Lehmann said at the beginning of his sermon, picking up the motto of the ordination and the gospel about the Woman at Jacob's well (John 4, 1-26). He created a new understanding of what Jesus means with the living water, with the promise that who drinks "the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Water is increasingly becoming a central focus of global resource management and issue of international conferences. The woman at Jacob's well understands - completion, fullness of life, life in abundance must be like a well of water that never will run dry. Jesus talks to the woman about a more profound hunger, a more profound thirst, as he knows what moves people in their heart of hearts, Cardinal Lehmann continued. Jesus wants us " to have life and have it more abundantly", a joy in life that cannot be lost. However, when we try to work on our own for the completion of our lives, we fail. Only God can grant us life in abundance, completion, bliss that cannot be taken away from us.

When we reach out to others, when we trust and are trusted, when we love and are loves, whenever we are faithful to each other even in dark times, this "life in abundance", this richness and completion of life is beginning to be realized; it is realized, however, also when we accept what in our natural vision does not "taste" of richness and completion: renunciation, for example. Whenever we touch the eternal love, whenever we sense a joy in faith, in truth - then we touch this completion, this abundance of life.

No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God

The task, or better, the committing of each one who holds an office in the church, would be to distribute the "life in abundance". "But this 'life in abundance' is not something you just seize, neither as a lay person nor as an ordained person, and is not something that you, as a priest, distribute on your own authority, no, as 'committed persons', as those who have been committed we share and distribute what God wants to give to all of us." The ordination that Thomas was to receive now would be part of the "life in abundance" and would mean committing him to be sharer and distributor of this life in abundance. "No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God" (Hebr 5,4).

"Bless your servant, o Lord, whom you chose to be a priest…"

"It was a moment of heaven, like catching a glimpse of heaven," a young woman said after the service. "When the priest, one after the other, imposed their hands to Thomas, and when the chancel filled with priests forming a half-circle, it moved me profoundly…. Time seemed to stand still. Really, it was like 'watching heaven'". It was the most moving and the most tranquil part of the symbolically rich liturgy of the ordination that had started with the Holy Spirit Hymn, and the loyalty pledge of the candidate. The Schoenstatt band "Esperamor" interpreted the All Saints' Litany to the tone of Taizé. Then, Cardinal Lehmann, as successor of the apostles, imposed his hands as they did, and, in silence, each of the priests present did so too. "Really, this means something very special", one of the younger Schoenstatt Fathers said. "You relive your own ordination in a very intensive way." When Thomas Jochheim, now Father Thomas Jochheim, then dressed with the priestly vestment, when his hands were anointed, and when he received bread and wine, many of those present prayed what had been expressed before in the litany - Bless your servant, o Lord, whom you chose to be a priest…"

After the embrace, the closing part of the liturgy o ordination, Father Thomas Jochheim walked to the altar to perform for the first time his priestly service in concelebration with the bishop, and the other priests.

"Mary, I ask you to give me your feel for the Word of God"

Before the final blessing was given, Father Thomas Jochheim entrusted his life as a priest to the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt. Following the moments of her historical life from the Annunciation, he asked for her help for his priestly work in service of God and people: "Mary, I ask you to give me your feel for the Word of God…At the wedding at Cana you paved the way for the Word of God; Mary, I ask you, help me to bring the Word of God to people…Help me to be a person of prayer…Help me that the gift I received today will become a reality on my life."

Father Heinrich Walter, provincial, at the end thanked everybody who had contributed to the celebration - the Adoration Sisters who offered and prepared the church, "Esperamor" and organ player Daniel Kretschmar, the mass servers from Gustavsburg and Ginsheim, and of course the bishop for his selfless service: "You interpreted the Word of God, you imposed the hands, and you have made us experience a family-like church, thank you!"

He would be grateful for the variety of charismata and communities, Cardinal Lehmann said, and he would know that Schoenstatt, together with other Ecclesial Movements and Communities, would be the soul of the diocese of Mainz. This ordination had been a joy to him. He thanked all those who had so far accompanied the newly ordained priest, and wished all God's abundant blessing.

A big number of congratulants lined up after the celebration. Moreover, in a variation of a biblical verse, one could say - Those who come during the rain will celebrate in bright sunshine! Radiant blues skies, and sunshine, greeted all (a special joy after the drizzle of the early morning), and invited to celebrate on - during lunch on Mount Sion and the following program "in family".

"I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10,10)", this word for many now is connected to a very deep and inspiring experience of priesthood, church, and belonging to a big spiritual family that values each one's vocation.

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