Schoenstatt Shrine has busy Year of Mercy Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
The Schoenstatt Founder Shrine in Madison has one of three Doors of Mercy in the Diocese of Madison during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which continues until November 20. (Photo (c) by Robert J. Arntz)

MADISON -- It has been a busy year at the Schoenstatt Founder Shrine in Madison, primarily because the shrine was designated as a Door of Mercy during the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy.

During the Year of Mercy, the Diocese of Madison designated three Holy Doors. The other two sites are at the Cathedral Parish: St. Patrick Church and Holy Redeemer Church in Madison.

Place of pilgrimage

The doors provide a place of pilgrimage and they bear with them a plenary indulgence granted by Pope Francis.

The possibility for an indulgence comes under the usual conditions: a person must be in the state of grace, make a sacramental Confession, receive the Holy Eucharist, pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, and have the interior disposition of being detached from sin, including venial sin.

People have until November 20 to take advantage of this opportunity to pass through a Door of Mercy.

Busy year

According to Sr. M. Catherine Ditto, Schoenstatt Movement coordinator in the Diocese of Madison, “It has been a busy year at our shrine. About 550 people each month have visited the shrine from different parishes, schools, and organizations.”

She noted that the shrine is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Interested persons can drop in throughout the day. There is a prayer card available inside the shrine.

Formal closing

On Sunday, Nov. 13, there will be special activities for the formal closing of the Door of Mercy. The day begins with Confessions at 8:30 a.m., followed by Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the Schoenstatt Shrine. A procession with the closing of the Door of Mercy will be held at 10:30 a.m. followed by a presentation on the Year of Mercy at 11 a.m.

A catered pasta bar will be held at 12 noon. Reservations are required by going to

Year of Mercy

During the Year of Mercy, an average of 550 pilgrims entered the Schoenstatt Shrine each month.

There were 14 groups from Catholic parishes, five school groups, and 13 groups from Catholic organizations in the Diocese of Madison.

There were 32 Schoenstatt Movement pilgrimage groups. Of these groups, six groups were from other countries: three from Germany, two from Chile, and one from the Dominican Republic. Seven groups were from other states: two from Florida and one each from Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Minnesota.

There were also 21 Schoenstatt Year of Mercy activities bringing 632 people to the shrine.

Fall retreat

There will also be a fall retreat held at Schoenstatt Heights, 5901 Cottage Grove Rd., on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The theme of the retreat is “Everyday Sanctity: Work, Life, and Prayer Balance.” Presenters will include Sr. M. Catherine Ditto, Schoenstatt Movement coordinator in the Diocese of Madison, and Louise and Ted Ramey from the Schoenstatt Family Federation.

The retreat will include Mass, Confessions, presentations, discussion, private prayer, and Rosary in the shrine. The cost is $45 for meals and $25 extra for overnight stay. For reservations, call 608-222-7208 or go to

The Founder Shrine in Madison was dedicated on June 20, 1953. It is the first Schoenstatt Shrine built in the United States. There are over 180 replica shrines around the world modeled on the original shrine in Germany.



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