ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE:
ON SATURDAY 12 May, Bishop Peter Elliott celebrated Mass for the Schoenstatt Community at the Pallotine Centre, Kew. The celebration marked the sixtieth anniversary of Archbishop Daniel Mannix’s blessing of the Schoenstatt chapel, built in the grounds of the Pallottine Centre.
Schoenstatt, which means ‘a beautiful place’ is a movement of renewal within the Catholic Church which was founded in Germany in 1914 by Fr Joseph Kentenich.
In his homily, Bishop Elliott paid tribute Fr Kentenich’s spiritual vision, and to members of the movement.
“Through their lives and their wise counsel, these members of the Schoenstatt family have shown me how well Fr Kentenich anticipated, indeed directly influenced, the emphasis of the Second Vatican Council on the essential mission of lay Catholics, working with their priests and religious, to evangelise in the modern world,” he said.
Read Bishop Elliott's homily
Bishop Elliott said the Schoenstatt movement had much to offer contemporary Australia “where we need strong and active Catholics to meet the new challenges of aggressive secularism, indifference, materialism and unbelief.”
I thought I would add at the end: contact details and this information based on the website:
The Schoenstatt chapel at Kew was dedicated to the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt on 11 May, 1952. It’s design is inspired by the original Schoenstatt Shrine in Germany, where Fr Kentenich and a small group of students entered into a covenant of love with Mary.
The Shrine is owned by the Pallottine Fathers and is the spiritual home of the growing Schoenstatt Family in Melbourne. The Schoenstatt Family gathers on the third Saturday of each month at 3-4pm at the Shrine.
For more information about the Schoenstatt movement: www.schoenstatt.org.au
Homily: THE SCHOENSTATT FAMILY, UNDER MARY’S MANTLE
Bishop Peter J. Elliott
Today we celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the day when Archbishop Daniel Mannix blessed this Schoenstatt chapel, built with so much love in the grounds of the Pallottine Centre, Kew. This is one of many chapels that make up the symbolic heart of the Schoenstatt Movement around the world.
The spiritual vision of one man, guided by the Holy Spirit, is the source of the Schoenstatt communities. Born in 1885 near Cologne, Father Joseph Kentenich followed God’s call to priesthood in the Pallottine congregation. Early in the last century, living in the heart of Europe, this brilliant priest and teacher could see the need to form spiritually committed and active laity, clergy and religious in a world that was about to enter many changes and massive social upheavals.
On October 18, 1914, when enthusiasm for the first World War had engulfed his nation, he gathered his students around him not to rejoice in a disastrous nationalism, but to make “a covenant of love with Our Lady” In the chapel at Shoenstatt there began the world-wide Schoenstatt Movement, forming and guiding priests, religious and laity, men and women, young people and especially families to be at the heart of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, which is the Holy Catholic Church.
My first contact with the Schoenstatt Movement was through a remarkable German couple, Norbert and Renate Martin, members of the chosen group of married couples in the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family. At the time, 1987, I had just begun service in the Curia in the Pontifical Council. I soon came to recognize the strong spirituality of Norbert and Renate, their commitment and clear intellectual grasp of the role of a spiritual apostolate in today’s world. More recently I have come to know as a friend and colleague, Sister Isabel Neuman, a Schoenstatt sister who is member of the Faculty of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, of which I am Director.
Through their lives and their wise counsel, these members of the Schoenstatt family have shown me how well Fr. Kentenich anticipated, indeed directly influenced, the emphasis of the Second Vatican Council on the essential mission of lay Catholics, working with their priests and religious, to evangelize in the modern world.
Fr. Joseph Kentenich lived to see the Council, and was he was recognized by Pope Paul VI. He died three years after the Council in 1968, appropriately on September 15, feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. We pray that the cause of his beatification will have a speedy outcome.
Today we celebrate not only his vision, but the movement he founded. Would that it were better known in Australia, where we need strong and active Catholics to meet the new challenges of aggressive secularism, indifference, materialism and unbelief.
Such a witness is not without suffering. Fr. Kentenich knew sufferings in his own life. Two world wars devastated his own nation. He suffered under the terror and oppression of the Third Reich. After the War he was even subject to church discipline which seemed to separate him from the great work he founded. Yet all the while he trusted in God, accepted God’s Will and knew that he was beneath the mantle of Mary, Queen of Schoenstatt. Today we renew our commitment beneath the mantle of her loving care. As she holds her divine Son in her arms, so she holds us as the Mother of the Church.
In this Easter Season we look to her risen Son. In Jesus Christ the Lord we see suffering transformed into joy, death into life, despair into hope, doubt into faith. As the Year of Grace proclaimed by the Bishops of Australia is about to begin at Pentecost, I invite all members of the Schoenstatt family to seek the amazing grace of God, not only for yourselves but for all those families and friends you know and love, placing us all under the mantle of the gentle Queen of Schoenstatt.
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