Schoenstatt Movement in Madison opens Father Kentenich Year Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Sr. M. Catherine Ditto, Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- On September 15, 1968, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, founder of the International Schoenstatt Movement, was called into eternity immediately following Holy Mass in the Trinity Church on Mount Schoenstatt, Germany.

This castle-like church was built as a monument to thank the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt, for her protection during the years when Hitler was persecuting the Church in Germany. This was Father Kentenich’s first Holy Mass in this church, and it set a seal on his fruitful life’s work.

Father Kentenich Year

The Schoenstatt Movement throughout the world is therefore celebrating a “Father Kentenich Year” from September 15, 2017, to September 15, 2018, to honor our founder as we approach the 50th anniversary of his call home into heaven.

Around 25 members gathered to open this year on September 15 at the Schoenstatt Marian Shrine on the east side of Madison.

In a meditation, Fr. Mark Niehaus of the Schoenstatt Fathers focused on our founder’s interesting and varied life, and our wish to answer St. John Paul II’s call to “canonize him” ourselves through our own attempts to live a holy life and by recording answers to petitions.

Our program led to our Madison Father Room, a memorial set aside with artifacts from the time when the founder visited the Queen of Apostles Seminary in Madison. A beautiful display presented an imprint of the founder’s hand — a treasure loaned to us by the Schoenstatt Fathers.

Several other displays in the room are from our founding members in Madison — couples and single professional women — who met Father Kentenich.

While exiting the Father Room, each person then received a picture of Father Kentenich holding a child’s hand, as a reminder to walk in the spirit of the founder during this anniversary year.

Father Niehaus continued with a talk in our Family Room. He reminded us that ideas become experiences which lead to values in our lives. Imitating Father Kentenich’s saintly life and love for Our Lady should not remain only ideas — they should become a value to us, one which we treasure and wish to pass on to others. For instance: Do we study the founder’s ideas and know how to apply his principles and teachings to our modern problems?

Fall retreat

During this Father Kentenich Year, we look forward to getting to know and encounter our founder, who has been recognized by the Church as a Servant of God since the opening of his cause for canonization just eight years after his death.

One opportunity coming up is our fall retreat. We will look at the inspiring example of Father Kentenich, a Marian servant of God, and encounter him through his spirituality, which leads us through Christ and Mary in the Holy Spirit to the heavenly Father.

The retreat will be on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and costs $32. Holy Mass, Confessions, talks, meals, and personal prayer time will be offered.

For more information or to register, call the Schoenstatt Sisters before October 31 at 608-222-7208.


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