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Apostolic Movement

Bienvenue à Cambrai – Welcome to Cambrai

By: Sister Mirjam Metzler

On October 4th, two Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Sister M. Resia Käppeler and Sister Mirjam Metzler, have settled once again next to the Unity Shrine in Cambrai, France. On October 8th, this new beginning was officially celebrated in the Archdiocese of Cambrai and placed under God’s blessing with a solemn pontifical Mass in the church of St. Géry, with Archbishop Vincent Dollmann.

The Sisters of Mary based in Vallendar-Schoenstatt, Germany, were represented by Sister M. Anke Rechtien, Provincial Superior of the Dynamic Province, and Sister M. Aloisia Levermann, a member of the Provincial Council.

Archbishop Vincent Dollmann receives the Sisters before the Solemn Mass at St. Géry Church, Cambrai (Photo: Brossart)

Joseph Engling, a model who lived Christian values radically

When the four sisters enter the church, people greet them, “Bienvenue, bonjour mes sœurs!” Archbishop Dollmann also comes forward to greet them. The choir in turn sings to the congregation, contributing in their own way to the solemnity of this Holy Mass. The faithful’s singing also testifies to the vitality and fidelity of the Church of Cambrai. In his homily, Bishop Dollmann highlighted Joseph Engling as a man who lived the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance in an exemplary manner. Father Kentenich’s accompaniment had helped him to cultivate them even in the most difficult situations.

From left to right: Sr. M. Aloisia Levermann, Sr. M. Resia Käppeler, Sr. M. Anke Rechtien, Sr. Mirjam Metzler (Photo: Brossart)

Bishop Dollmann expressed his joy that two Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary had returned to work in the pastoral ministry of the Shrine of Cambrai and to place themselves at the service of the people and of Joseph Engling. At the end of his homily, he expressed his gratitude for the “Unity Shrine” that is located in his diocese of Cambrai.

Sister M. Resia briefly introduced Schoenstatt and the International Schoenstatt Movement and invited those present to visit the Shrine.

Hospitality at the “verre de l’amitié” (“cup of friendship”)

All were invited to the reception in the parish hall to welcome the new sisters in the “verre de l’amitié”, -the cup of friendship-, to greet them personally and to interact with each other. Many accepted the invitation, and there was a very warm and open atmosphere.

About 50 people attended the reception at the community center (Photo: Bruniaux)

With Joseph Engling in the Unity Shrine

On the afternoon of October 8, 2023, women, men and children accepted the Sisters’ invitation to visit the Unity Shrine for adoration, praying the rosary and having coffee and cookies. It was evident in the joy, gratitude, and genuine unity: the new stage has begun!

Already on the first day of their presence in Cambrai, on October 4, the Sisters, along with some French Schoenstatters, walked the traditional Joseph Engling “walk of death” from the Eswars cemetery to the Unity Shrine. In doing so, they expressly placed themselves at the service of the Blessed Mother, who wants to work from here and attract many hearts to herself.

In the future, small groups of the international Schoenstatt Family will be able to stay overnight near the Schoenstatt Shrine and follow in the footsteps of Joseph Engling. But before this can happen, work still needs to be done on the house and the grounds surrounding the Shrine. Paul Hannappel (+ 2013), Schoenstatt Brother of Mary and promoter for decades of the encounter with Joseph Engling and the building of a German-French friendship radiating from the Unity Shrine, liked to stress: The Blessed Mother in the Shrine not only needs capital of grace. She also needs capital of money. Above all, financial resources are needed to be able to carry out the plan to repair the dormitory and the single and double rooms in the house. In addition, it is essential to realize the fire protection work that is necessary from an operational point of view. “If you want to support us in this adventure, we say from the bottom of our hearts: ‘Merci’ and ‘A bientôt à Cambrai avec Joseph Engling!’ (Thank you – and see you soon in Cambrai with Joseph Engling)” say the two sisters who set off on this new beginning.

For more information, please contact

Donation account: Schönstätter Marienschwestern, IBAN: DE03 7509 0300 0000 0582 70 . BIC GENODEF1M05, Stichwort: Josef Engling. (Spendenbescheinigungen können auf Wunsch ausgestellt werden.)

Address: Sanctuaire de l’Unité – Foyer de Schoenstatt – 1, route Nationale – F-59141- Thun-Saint-Martin

Contact the Sisters:

Website of the Schoenstatt Center in France:


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