Close this search box.

Apostolic Movement

350 youth participated in “Night of the Shrine” at the Original Shrine

Heinrich Brehm

The Schoenstatt Youth Celebration of Faith, – Night of the Shrine 2022 – ended with an outdoor Mass on Sunday, September 4. Since Friday afternoon, about 350 German-speaking youth and young adults – present for the first time after the pandemic – had gathered around the Original Schoenstatt Shrine in Vallendar. With the motto “WEunite – dare to live today”, the Night of the Shrine set a tone for greater unity in the Church and society and for the strength that lies in the “we”.

Embracing the uncertain with love

At the Holy Mass concelebrated by Father Lothar Herter, Pilgrimage Director at the Original Schoenstatt, together with six fellow brothers, Father Felix Geyer, in reference to the day’s readings, encouraged the youth to dare to have more “competence in the face of uncertainty” in these unsteady times. Especially in these times, he said, everyone is called to contribute with their respective abilities, as Paul expresses in the Letter to the Romans (Rom. 12:6), and to really commit themselves to others. But, he added, it is not a matter of creating polarization, but of “being curious and amazed in understanding the radical diversity of others”. Regarding the competence of uncertainty, Pope Francis speaks of “embracing uncertainty with love”.

Lieblingsort Gottes
Homily: P. Felix Geyer ISch (Foto: Nele NdH)
Photo: Nele NdH

Not praying and waiting but rather doing what is possible

The radical discipleship suggested by the Gospel of the day (Lk 14:25-33) is, in his view, an indication that the world and what it comprises is God’s favorite place. This fundamentally changes the perspective: “God does not call us outside this world, but in the midst of it,” the Schoenstatt Father expressed.

“When we give ourselves fully within the community, we are a living Mass.” To perceive that which is new, the life in Christ, one must – as radically as the Gospel speaks of “leaving father and mother” – commit oneself completely to it. In times of challenges – be it the question of choosing a profession or a career in one’s personal life, be it the climate crisis, or the question of whether committing oneself to something, even to Schoenstatt, provides meaning and makes sense, it is about sincerity and authenticity and doing all that is humanly possible as an individual. “God does not call us to pray and wait, but rather calls us to pray and to do what is within our reach.”

Geyer encouraged the young participants to continue learning in everyday life “to embrace that which is new in every moment with love and to take seriously the radical nature of God’s favorite place, because God’s favorite place is us, the world, exactly as it is.

Evening program “Light and Shadow”

Photo: Anna NdH
Photo: Stefan NdH

There was a colorful and varied program on Saturday afternoon with workshops ranging in the creative, athletic, and spiritual areas, with the opportunity to exchange ideas in discussion groups about climate, the Church or Schoenstatt, or simply to get to know others and relax.

The highlights of the Night of the Shrine included the evening program “Light and Shadow”, and finally the Covenant Night.

Due to a brief, heavy rainstorm, the outdoor evening program had to be postponed for 30 minutes. Imaginative, creative, and witty contributions from the fields of music, theater and comedy were staged by the technical team with high-quality lighting effects, excellent sound, images, and videos. Then, the music band “7 for HEAVEN” (Instagram: @7forheaven_ndh), founded especially for Night of the Shrine, played a medley of all the Night of the Shrine theme songs since 2006.

Procession of Lights and Covenant of Love Renewal


Nacht des Heiligtums
Photo: Stefan NdH


The Covenant of Love Night began immediately afterwards with a Procession of Lights, which departed from four different places and culminated in the Original Shrine. On the way, silence reigned and there was a chance to reflect on one’s own life situation, personal faith, and doubts.

During the wonderful celebration in the Original Shrine, which was accompanied by great music, and which despite its length was a very intense, meditative, and spiritual experience, the youth were able to write a ” Covenant of Love Letter”. After the renewal of the Covenant of Love and a time of silent adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, they were able to present the letter to the Blessed Mother in the Original Shrine in a sealed plexiglass container.

Night Adoration and Cultural Evening

Those who wanted to spend some personal time with God in the Original Shrine, in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, had the opportunity to do so. The “Cultural Evening” went on until 3:30 a.m., inviting people to gather, share and dance.

Photo: Stefan NdH

Source: Schö 


with your loved ones

Related articles that may interest you