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Apostolic Movement

Austria celebrates the inauguration of its new Schoenstatt Center in Kahlenberg

By: Martin Schiffl

October 30, 2022, a memorable and joyous day for the Schoenstatt Movement in Austria. The Schoenstatt Shrine in Kahlenberg is 40 years old, and that would be reason enough for a celebration, but there is something much bigger to celebrate: The new Schoenstatt Center has become a modern house of formation and can now be used by the Schoenstatt Movement.

During the last days and nights, a lot of work was done, many things that seemed impossible became reality. More than 350 Schoenstatters from all over Austria came to Kahlenberg to see the new house, to take ownership of it, and to thank the Blessed Mother. In addition, many followed the live transmission of the celebration from home.

The autumn weather and fog did not bother anyone on this day. It was possible for the celebration to take place in the large new hall, and everyone could fit in there without any problems. The great joy and amazement are reflected in everyone’s faces. It really has turned into something incredibly beautiful and spacious. And the best thing: it doesn’t matter whether you are in the conference room, in the dining room, in the foyer, in the bistro or in the beautiful new store: you have visual contact with Mary’s Shrine everywhere.

Holy Mass in the new hall – Photo: Simon Pilshofer

The capital of grace should never be missing

Thus, the celebration begins, as it should, in the Shrine with the fire of the youth, who brought to the Blessed Mother their intentions and desires for a Schoenstatt of the future and with the blessing of the symbol of the foundation stone, which is then placed in the new house. This foundation stone symbol represents in a special way the Holy City, the ideal of the Austrian Schoenstatt Movement. It consists of many small houses symbolizing this offering.

Many Schoenstatters have gathered their contributions during the last months especially for the new Schoenstatt Center and have symbolically decorated small wooden houses with them. Carpenter and artist Erich Mölzer assembled the foundation stone symbol from them and placed it in the foyer of the house. This is a beautiful sight for any visitor upon entering the house

Foundation stone symbol with houses – Photo: Martin Kräftner

40 years that look forward to the future with gratitude

The joy is naturally immense. For 15 years the modernization and expansion of the Schoenstatt Center has been a dream, and now the time has come. The gratitude is equally great, especially the gratitude to the Sisters of Mary who have invested money and who have lived through the entire construction period in circumstances that were often adverse.

Of course, thanks are also due to the many helpers who have collaborated in many tasks as volunteers. And thanks are due to Our Blessed Mother, who has been so active from here for 40 years already, and who has also been quite active as a knot untier during the construction period. During the festive Mass, all thanks were summarized in thanksgiving to God.

Foyer with the foundation stone symbol – Photo: Felix Mayer

A Kentenich Center: Father’s pedagogy, his impulse and paternity are the trademark of the place

A magnificent new house that offers so many possibilities also needs a purpose, a special purpose. In recent months, the national directors of the Movement, Ingeborg and Richard Sickinger, have compiled suggestions from the Movement about the purpose of this place. Many ideas have emerged and are now waiting to be implemented.

All these ideas have one thing in common: that it should be about Father Kentenich. He has a new vision of reality, a vision that the modern man needs in order to exist in today’s world. That is why the new Schoenstatt Center should be first and foremost a Kentenich Center. The Sickingers speak of a threefold goal. It should be a Kentenich Research Center, where research is done on how he can help us today with his pedagogy; a Kentenich Foundation Center, where many new initiatives and projects are created; and a Center where Father Kentenich can be experienced as a father.

We are ready to launch ourselves to fulfill our renewed mission

centro de schoenstatt
Entrance of the youth – Photo: Martin Kräftner

To fill the new grand Schoenstatt Center with life is now the task of the entire Movement. Together with the Blessed Mother, many of the ideas can certainly become concrete projects.  A big house needs a big movement. On October 30th, the mood of a Schoenstatt on mission could be felt in our hearts. We are ready to set out to fulfill our renewed mission!

centro de schoenstatt
The new house with the fog – Photo: Simon Pilshofer

Aditional pictures (german site)


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