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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

In January: Adaptations at the altar of the Original Shrine

By: Fr. Ignacio Camacho

Schoenstatt, December 22nd, 2023

Dear International Schoenstatt Family,

Just two years ago, the official website of the Schoenstatt Movement published the news about the unanimous decision of the General Presidium, after almost six months of conversations, about the adaptation of the altar of the Original Shrine so that it could be moved forward during the celebration of the Holy Mass. In this communication, the criteria for the change were communicated. See the details here.

The process of carrying out this work, entrusted to the Rector and the Shrine Administration (Verwaltungsrat), has been slower than expected. There have been changes of some members of the General Presidium and of the Rector of the Shrine himself.

This year two companies were contacted again for the execution of the works. After receiving the offers, studying the possibilities and feasibilities, the Administration of the Sanctuary, with the approval of the General Presidency, opted for a firm that will carry out the changes at the beginning of the year 2024.

This firm has already carried out the work of separating the altar from the Shrine in the House of the Families and is very conscious of the symbolic value of the Original Shrine for the entire Schoenstatt Family. This assures us that this action will be carried out with the greatest possible respect and delicacy.

At the beginning of January the lower part of the altar will be removed and taken to the company’s workshops. In the meantime a temporary lower part will be left to support the rest of the altarpiece. In this way the sanctuary will be able to continue to function normally.

There are three criteria that determine this work and the subsequent functioning.

  • The altar will continue to look as it does now. It will be moved only for the celebration of the Eucharist. This is the case in the vast majority of places where the altar is movable.
  • The communion pews will not be removed or moved.
  • The historic substance of the altar is retained. Work will only be done where it is deteriorated and to make it more stable and durable.

According to plan, by the end of January, or early February, the work should be completed.

We know that for some sensitivities this has been a difficult process, and we appreciate your openness and understanding.

We invite you to accompany this process with prayer, praying that all will go well and that this change will help in the development and service of life in our source of grace. This is the main objective of this change.

From our Original Shrine I pray for you and wish each of you a very happy Christmas and a blessed 2024.

Fr. Ignacio Camacho
Rector Original Shrine

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