Leben Pur - Pure life - Pura Vida
 published: 2008-02-29

Ringing the "Urheiligtum" Bell

Pure Life: An unforgettable experience – Alan Shaun Cabello, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Endlich: Alan läutet die Glocke des Urheiligtums

Alan hace sonar la campana del Santuario Original – ¡al fin!

Ringing the Original Shrine bell... finally

Endlich: Alan läutet die Glocke des Urheiligtums


Sommer 2007: im Kreis von Freunden, Bekannten, Voluntären

Verano de 2007: con amigos, voluntarios...

Summer 2007: with friends, volunteers...

Sommer 2007: im Kreis von Freunden, Bekannten, Voluntären

Fotos: Alan Shaun Cabello © 2008


The first time I set eyes on the Original Shrine, the Urheiligtum, was like many others in the summer of 2005. The first thing I saw was the bell tower. I don’t know why I liked it so much, but there was something special about it, and I remember thinking to myself: "hmmm… I would really like to ring THAT bell!"

I had sealed my Covenant on the 18th of February 2004, a week after the passing of my father, but had still not completely grasped the meaning of Schoenstatt and what it represented to the world. On that day in Schoenstatt, I finally did.

With all the commotion from the Youth Festival, it was very difficult to find a moment of peace and reflection inside the Shrine. On the last night in Schoenstatt I waited until 4am, then I finally had the chance to go kneel exactly in the front of the Shrine and pray for the peace and happiness for which I greatly desired. For the past year I had carried many feelings of regret, sadness, and sorrow in my heart and soul.

I remember a group of Boys Youth from Chile, whom I had never seen before, were praying a rosary and singing with their guitars. The music filled the Shrine in a way I had never experienced before, and with the help of their songs, I dug deep into the bottom of my heart and cried out all of the sorrow I had carried for so long. As the Chilean group and I left the Shrine so that another group could take our place, to my surprise, all of them came over to me and hugged me. They took me to the graves of our heroes, and there we sang our last song in Schoenstatt. At that moment I looked up at that bell tower and pondered on what I would have to do to return to this wonderful place.

Summer 2006

In the first week of June 2006, I arrived at Schoenstatt as a Schoenstatt Summer Volunteer, the first one to travel to Germany for this purpose. I spent three months as part of a family under the guidance and care of Father Lothar, who I shall always keep in my heart with great care and appreciation.

The day I arrived, Father Lothar took me directly to the Shrine, and all I could think was, "I did it! I’m here!" I looked up at my bell tower and I was set on the mission to ring that bell!

I was not allowed to do so the first time I asked, but that didn’t break my spirit. I even became good friends with a couple of Pallotine Brothers, but for one reason or another I sadly left Schoenstatt in August without having been able to accomplish my goal.

Summer 2007

In the summer of 2007, I traveled once again to Schoenstatt after having completed a course as part of my engineering degree in Italy and Stuttgart.

Once again Father Lothar received me in his home, and in my old room. I was so happy I could spend a couple of weeks back in Schoenstatt and reunite with some of the members of our Schoenstatt Summer Family: Alexandra, Karolina, Jenny, George (who is now a Schoenstatt Father!), and Sr. Vernita. It was also sad to find myself feeling a stranger in some places I had once felt so at home, and Sr. Lisann’s absence was very terrible. Still I made new friends and met new Sisters and volunteers. The Franz Reinisch House and Father Franz Widmaier are constant factors of welcome and hospitality in Schoenstatt, any one who has been here, will agree with me.


Finally on my last day in Schoenstatt – at 15:55hrs, I ran with a couple of friends from Sonnenau to the Shrine. Just as I started turning into the field, I heard the bell starting to ring. It couldn’t be! Three years and I still hadn’t been able to accomplish my wish! I breathed deeply as I stood next to the man who rang the bell. We turned and looked at each other at the same moment, and in silence I pleaded for the rope. Smiling, he handed me the rope, and I turned back to look at my friends excitedly! It lasted just a few moments, but they must have been the happiest I ever spent in a Shrine. I could not believe that finally I was ringing my bell after two years. I turned around to find a group of women from Puerto Rico clapping silently and giving me the thumbs up! This time as I left Schoenstatt like on past occasions with a sad feelings, but with the joy in my heart to have finally gotten my wish! Thank you MTA!



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