Jubilee - Jubilation proclaimed outwardly
Golden Jubilee of Ordination of Monsignor Hermann Zimmerer, General Director of the Schönstatt Sisters of Mary, June 2, 2007
SCHOENSTATT, mns. "The expression ‘Jubilee’ speaks of joy—not only of inner joy, but of jubilation that is proclaimed outwardly." (John Paul II., TMA) This jubilation became experiential in the Adoration Church on Mount Schönstatt, where Monsignor Hermann Zimmerer, the general director of the Schönstatt Sisters of Mary, celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. The festive liturgy and choir songs, as well as the themes of the introductory celebration, led to the central point of the feast: 50 years a priest – 50 years as an instrument in the hand of the eternal High Priest! 50 years instrument in the hand of our dear MTA! 50 years a priest and a blessing for the Church!
All of this is reason to give thanks. The Schönstatt Sisters of Mary have given their gratitude worldwide form. In fifty Holy Masses, which were celebrated around the globe, gratitude and petition for the jubilarian united themselves from province to province and continent to continent with Christ’s great sacrifice of thanksgiving. All of this found expression in the jubilee Mass.
Monsignor Zimmerer’s opening words were full of gratitude. He pointed to the sudden death of Pater Paul Vautier of the general council of the Schönstatt Fathers and said: "We are all deeply moved and wish the family of the Schönstatt Fathers the particular nearness of heaven. Yesterday we attended the burial of my very dear brother in the community of the federation priests, Bruno Hoss. I am that much more grateful to be allowed to celebrate this jubilee and with Sr. Emilie I declare:‘Praised be divine providence in my life.’"
A life in the covenant of love and for the covenant of love with the MTA of Schönstatt
How deeply divine providence had bound his life with Schönstatt and had made it fruitful for Schönstatt became clear in the feastday sermon given by Pater Rudolf Mosbach. This year’s motto of the Schönstatt Family is applicable to the life of Monsignor Zimmerer: "You lead us out into the open—our message is the covenant of love."
Roots in a home
With these words P. Mosbach directed our gaze to the natural home and to the Catholic and Church-centered home of the jubilarian as well as and above all to his Schönstatt home:
Already in the seminary, the student of theology Hermann Zimmerer was actively engaged for Schönstatt. After his ordination he joined the Priests’ Federation. As a young priest he invested his strength in many ways to the building up of the Schönstatt movement during a most difficult time for Schönstatt and its founder. Especially the Schönstatt Family Movement, but also the diocesan center in Memhölz owes much to the work of Monsignor Zimmerer. At the same time he carried out his parish work intentionally with a parish-ideal, erected a parish shrine in a side-chapel of the parish church, and saw to it that Schönstatt groups could develop in his parish. A second part of the sermon centered on the
Leading out into the open
After thirty years of parish work Monsignor Zimmerer was given the office of general director in the institute of the Schönstatt Sisters of Mary in 1988. "Now he has a ‘world-parish’: he is responsible for people in five continents," a community with many of its own educational, apostolic and charitable works and institutions, such as schools hospitals, and kindergartens, with many diocesan and national centers and places of education of Schönstatt, apostolic initiatives and projects. His position in the institute of the Schönstatt Sisters of Mary thus includes co-responsibility for the international Schönstatt work.
Pater Mosbach encouraged those attending to join the jubilarian in gratitude for all that he could experience through God’s providence and in the covenant of love with the MTA. In a third part he considered the
Gift of Grace
That a vocation to the priesthood signifies. One look at the jubilarian makes it clear to us how important prayer for a Marian priest is, "who can call a deep Marian devotion his own." (J. Kentenich)
As a member of the Schönstatt Priest’s Federation Monsignor Zimmerer directs our attention to the significance of the priests’ communities for the Schönstatt movement, which, according to a statement from Father Kentenich "must rest on the shoulders of the diocesan priests for all times."
The feastday sermon concluded with a prayer of Father Kentenich directed
toward the Mother of God:
At the end of the holy Mass Monsignor Zimmerer thanked all those who had contributed to this feastday and had prepared for it in prayer.
Many expressions of gratitude at a family-like celebration
After the feastday Mass, the members of the general presidium, fellow priests of Monsignor Zimmerer from the Schönstatt Priests’ Federation, representatives of the Sisters’ Family as well as further guests gathered for a festive dinner in the motherhouse of the Sisters of Mary. After the gratitude for Monsignor Zimmerer in the Holy Mass, this was an opportunity to express thanks to him directly.
In the name of the Sisters’ family the general superior, Sr. M. Jacoba Kesselheim, spoke heartfelt words of thanks and concluded with the wish: "May the unconquerable confidence in our Mother thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schönstatt continue to be a source of strength and blessing for you in the sense of the motto of this feastday: ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running waters’ (Is. 17:8)."
In the name of the international general presidium, the general director of the Institute of Schönstatt Priests, Monsignor Dr. Peter Wolf expressed heartfelt congratulations and wishes for blessings.
Pastor Rudolf Ludwig did likewise as national leader and course brother in the name of the Priests’ Federation, as did Pastor Heinz Künstler in the name of the federation group of the jubilarian.
Renate and Prof. Dr. Norbert Martin, as representatives of the international family federation, concluded the list of congratulatory speakers with words of heartfelt and personal gratitude towards Monsignor Zimmerer.
"It was an experience of family celebration," summarized one guest in reference to the atmosphere of the feast. The gratitude to a vocation to the covenant of love is something that each one can take home with them from this day.
Translation: Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Mutterhaus, Berg Schönstatt