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Apostolic Movement

75 years later, history was filled with music, life, and color

By: Sister Clara María Bercetche

Reenactment of Father Joseph Kentenich’s arrival to New Helvetia, Uruguay

On May 9, in New Helvetia, the yellowing pages of history became alive, with music and color. The same staircase, the same door of the school which received Father Joseph Kentenich in 1947, was decorated to receive him again – by his representative – on this occasion.

A Ford model 1937 began to go up the hill towards the school at 10:00 am. Through the window an arm and a black hat were waving. The children waving their Uruguayan, Papal and German flags could not contain their curiosity and excitement. Father Kentenich was on his way!

Yes, Father Joseph Kentenich – in the person of Venancio Waller, a former student of the school who, with great enthusiasm, immediately accepted the role of representing him – was coming to visit. They had been preparing for this moment for several weeks and the massive turnout that filled the streets was proof of it. Parents, grandparents, teachers, Sisters of Mary, neighbors, all gathered around the place where the car would stop.

There is a language we all understand

As he climbed the steps of the school, “Father Kentenich” greeted everyone cordially. But as he expressed it 75 years ago, “he did not speak Spanish”, so a teacher transmitted his message: “there is a language that we all understand: it is the language of love, of love for our Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt and that love unites all of us today. Nobody should be able to surpass us in this love.”

An emblematic place for the city of New Helvetia

The Helvetic Cinema was the place chosen for the celebration. This historic and majestic cinema with more than a thousand seats, built a few years after the town was founded, also witnessed Father Kentenich’s visit in 1947 when he gave a conference and attended a performance by the students of the school.

A celebration for the children and for those who have a childlike soul

75 años

The different groups of students demonstrated their skills in song, dance, and oratory before concluding with an interpretation of the Hymn of the Shrine of New Helvetia, composed for its 50th Anniversary Jubilee. The school’s Sisters of Mary also joined in with a song as part of the welcoming greeting.

The “Alegres Alpinos“, a Swiss folk dance group, performed, as they normally do, a couple of typical polkas which filled the place with music and color.

75 years

The much-awaited visitor enjoyed the show and had to play his part by posing with those who wanted to take a picture with him and handing out candy to all those present.

And in this way, the celebration ended, leaving in the hearts and souls the sweetness of an unforgettable day.


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