A kilometre long fence around Belmonte near Rome
A gift for the future of the church
Schoenstatt/Rome, obue. A thousand metres (1 km) of heavy duty fencing. This is the first item of construction material to be procured for the Matri Ecclesia shrine and the international centre at Belmonte near Rome. This fence will protect something very valuable, "a gift for the future of the Church". This is the title given to the planned Rome centre in the recently printed flyer. It has been issued in preparation for the beginning of the construction, after the laying of the foundation stone which takes place on the 8th of December 2003.
With this leaflet the Schoenstatt Priest's Institute as trustees is inviting the entire International Schoenstatt family to take part. The leaflet has initially been published in German and will soon appear in other languages. Rector General Mgr Dr Peter Wolfe writes: After 14 years exile in Milwaukee, Fr Joseph Kentenich the founder of the Schoenstatt movement returned to Rome in 1965 towards the end of the Second Vatican council. During this period a planned matured to build a Schoenstatt shrine and International Movement centre in Rome. On the 8th of December 1965, the final day of the Vatican Council, Fr Kentenich in the presence of the General Council of the International Schoenstatt Movement, symbolically laid the foundation stone. He then gave his Schoenstatt family a programmatic lecture on the future of the Church. At the beginning of a period of World wide change, he had the vision of a Church on a new shore. He saw the mission of the Church after the Council in the image of a pilgrim rock. She should be the soul of the emerging world culture marked by a familial and Marian character. He understood Schoenstatt as an offering for the Church. He wished to give to the Church as a characterising power, the fruitful spiritual life that had emerged through the movement. Finally 37 years later on the 20th of September 2002 building permission was finally given by the Rome city authorities. The time has finally arrived to keep the promise given to the Founder. You're all now invited to take part in the input and construction of the International centre in Rome.
A location with a vision
Recently under the chairmanship of Fr George Egle there was a meeting of the Rome commission on Berg Moriah in Schoenstatt. Among other items there was a discussion about the 1000 metre long fence. The architect Rainer Poersch reported that the preparation work is moving ahead for the construction of the Shrine and the Centre in cooperation with the different Rome agencies. The final location of the shrine was established as were the layout of the paths within the grounds. At the suggestion of the Roman Schoenstatt Fathers, Fr Alberto Eronti and Ludivico Tedeschi, the shrine should incorporate a piazza large enough to hold 200 to 300 people. In the coming weeks the first invitations for tenders will take place. The awarding of contracts will be announced at the next sitting of the Rome commission on the 30th of July. After the summer holidays the construction work can begin. Of no less importance is the need to awaken in people the meaning and mission of the shrine. This matter was the focus at a conference of the Joseph Kentenich Institute last February with the title of "A location with a vision". On account of the significance of the Rome centre and the interest in this conference, the organisers at the JKI have decided to revisit the theme for a second time. On the 12th/ 13th of July the same theme with a few variations will be discussed on Berg Moriah. Everyone is invited to this conference. Fr Oskar Buehler will visit Argentine and Chile in the course of the year. He intends to awaken or intensify the joy at the shared realisation of the promise that the entire Schoenstatt movement had given to Fr Kentenich and the Church.
8th December 2003 "Off to Rome" The laying of the foundation stone.
"Off to Rome" can be seen on the posters and carrier bags all over Schoenstatt. The laying of the foundation stone on the 8th of December is almost upon us. Mgr Peter Wolf in an interview with the Schoenstatt press office told us that the celebration will be in German and Italian. The general council of the International Schoenstatt Movement which 38 years ago promised to give the Founder this Shrine will be there representing in a special way all of Schoenstatt. The actual laying of the Foundation stone on 8th Dec will take place at 15.00. There are plans to run three buses from Germany from the 4th - 10th December to the Laying of the foundation stone. As with symbolic turning of the first turf last year, you will be able to follow events as they happen on the Internet. Further information about the Rome Centre can be found at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Translation: Fr. Michael Savage, Scotland
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