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 published: 2003-09-09

Simply in love with Schoenstatt

Covenant Colors: Experiences and encounters around the Original Shrine; August 30 - September 8

Colores de Alianza de septiembre: Santuario Original

Covenant colors of September: Original Shrine

Bündnisfarben im September: Urheiligtum


Santuario Original, 8 de septiembre

Original Shrine, September 8

Urheiligtum am 8. September


Un matrimonio de Vallendar con sus nietos

A couple from Vallendar with their grandchildren

Ein Ehepaar aus Vallendar mit seinen Enkeln


Schoenstattianos de Liverpool y Birmingham, Inglaterra, con Antonieta Saaverdra, Portugal

Schoenstatt members from Liverpool and Birmingham, England, with Antonieta Saavedra, Portugal

Schönstätter aus Liverpool und Birmingham, England, mit Antonieta Saavedra, Portugal

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2003


Encuentro en el Santuario Original: Juventud Masculina del Sur de Alemania, con Rosa Maria Wieland, Federación de Familias

Encounter by the Original Shrine: Boys' Youth from Southern Germany, with Rosa Maria Wieland, Federation of Families

Treffen am Urheiligtum: Jugendliche der Schönstatt mannesjugend aus Süddeutschland und Maria Wieland, Schönstatt Familienbund


P. Barmettler, hermana de Burundi, Madame Lejeune, Hna Lisette

Fr. Barmettler, sister from Burundi, Madame Lejeune, Sr. Lisette

P. Barmettler, Ordensschwester aus Burundi, Madame Lejeune, Sr. Lisette


...junto con Jean Claude, Canadá, y los Wieland

...together with Jean Claude, Canada, and the Wieland family

…zusammen mit Jean Claude, Kanada, und den Wielands

Foto: Wieland © 2003


Testimonio de Hilda Pagán (izq.), Puerto Rico

Testimony of Hilda Pagán (left), Puerto Rico

Zeugnis von Hilda Pagán (links), Puerto Rico

Foto: Saavedra © 2003


Hilda Pagán en la Oficina de Prensa, 31 de agosto

Hilda Pagán in the PressOffice, August 31

Hilda Pagán im PressOffice, 31. August


Casa Sonnenau - lugar de encuentro para el mundo

House Sonnenau - here you meet the world

Haus Sonnenau - hier trifft sich die Welt

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2003



SCHOENSTATT, mkf. Earlier than in other years, the leaves of the vine at the Original Shrine, as the trees and shrubs are turning yellow, orange, and deep red these days - result of the extremely hot July and August. As Schoenstatt prepares for the 35th anniversary of Father Kentenich's death come Monday, pilgrims keep coming in groups or individually, for the first time, or, like Pat and Bill McEvoy, from Liverpool, any number of times. Why? "Simply in love with Schoenstatt."

September 8, Mary's birthday. After heavy rains in the morning, bright sunshine is gilding Schoenstatt. It is one of these special, typical September days with crisp air, fresh winds, deep blue skies and sun that makes you leave the house no matter how much work you have to do. A couple from Vallendar is sitting on a bench near the little brook between House Sonnenau, and Pilgrims' House. Their grandchildren from Urbar, five and almost three, enjoy ice-cream, and sun, ready to soon start over with their bike and pedalscooter… "We just love to come here," the grandfather says. "It is quiet, the children love to play here, and it is a special place, you know!"

That same afternoon, a pilgrimage from USA has arrived to Schoenstatt, accompanied by Sr. Marie, and Fr. Jonathan Niehaus. One of the highlights of their pilgrimage - a visit to Husten, birth-place of Sister Emilie Engel. Earlier in the morning, a group from Poland arrived; between the Mass of the Federation of Families, at 9.00 AM, and the Mass at 10.00 AM, they find a moment to greet the Blessed Mother in the Original Shrine.

Burundian-Chilean-Swiss-Canadian-French-German Meeting at the Original Shrine

Original Shrine, August 30, after the rosary: Sister Lisette from Burundi, and a Burundian Sister presently studying in Rome, greet Father Joseph Barmettler, from Switzerland, "Burundian honorary consul" in Schoenstatt. This sister - from one of several Burundian congregations that actively collaborate with the Schoenstatt work - has built Schoenstatt groups where ever she worked. "Schoenstatt groups that lasted when she left," Sr. Lisette adds. While talking, Rosa Maria and Josef Wieland, a couple from the Federation of Families, heading towards the Original Shrine to still get in before it is closed, see and greet them. With them, the famous sister of a famous author - Madame Lejeune is the sister of René Lejeune who wrote the first French biography on Father Kentenich, and on Karl Leisner. A joyful sharing in French starts… Overhearing the French dialogue, Jean-Claude, a Canadian living in Belgium, asks in French, too, whether the Shrine is still open (it is not), and joins the encounter for a moment, adding two nations to the "little Pentecost" in the Covenant… which is completed by a group of four boys from Swabia of whom three talk in German (kind of), the fourth, however, greets Rosa Maria Wieland (Chilean) in perfect Spanish - he's been in Chile for a year. With the doors of the Original already closed, people from six nations experience the Covenant of Love that made and makes this place an "open Shrine" of unity and true internatioanality.

Again and again

"It is simply a love story", Pat McEvoy said. With her husband, Bill, and two friends from the founder generation of Schoenstatt in England, she came to Schoenstatt for several days - like almost each year since she first fell in love with the Blessed Mother in the Shrine. "You just want to be there," she said. Levinia Pienaar from Cape Town understands. The police woman, member of the Professional Women's League, came to Schoenstatt for few days in August 1998. Five years later, almost to the day, she arrived - for a whole year! Together with some other young women she has the chance to stay longer, study German, and "take in" Schoenstatt profoundly.

Simply Father

Schoenstatt Mothers from Freiburg during their retreat September 2 - 5, in House Marienland, had a special experience of Father Kentenich in Milwaukee thanks to testimonies of special quality. On Wednesday night, September 3, Hannelore Spannagel shared about her experiences during the pilgrimage of families to Milwaukee; she had returned from Milwaukee a couple of days before. Her sharing prepared the atmosphere for the testimonies of Hilda Pagán the other afternoon. From 3:00 Pm to 5:30 PM, Hilda Pagán made the mothers participate in her personal encounters with Father Kentenich during four years of living, together with her husband and children, close to him in Milwaukee. "As a newly-wed couple, ages 22," she repeated again and again; as a couple from Puerto Rico who got to know about Schoenstatt in New York, their admiration for the Founder of Schoenstatt enkindled by the book "Every day sanctity". She shared about her first impression of Father Kentenich, about their communication in English - "Father Kentenich's person, his gestures, his eyes spoke" -, about their personal guidance and the education he gave to them as couple, about the first home shrine…The mothers had time to ask questions: Whether Father Kentenich spoke about the difference between man and woman ("He told my husband to see me as a Queen and to me to behave that my husband could see the crown on my head."), about marriage life, child raising, loss and mourning… and how she keeps the contact with Father Kentenich after his death ("I try to do now what he told me then, read all I can get hold of, "call" him with the Father telephone, keep the home shrine as he first saw it, even as we moved to Puerto Rico, read the 'book' of memories, recall the encounters we had - and I know he is there.")

"I could have listened for hours and hours," a young mother said, afterwards. "Father Kentenich was so alive during these hours…So close. Simply Father."

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