The Schoenstatt Pilgrims’ Center offers special encounters for children in general and for children preparing for communion. In order to become strong personalities in faith, children need a foundation that allows them to grow in their life of faith while providing them with support.

To increase the treasure of faith and thus raise the source of strength needed for life is an important task, especially for our times, which are often quite distanced from God. Children’s hearts are open and hungry, and that is good!

I want to stay
Instruction about the Eucharist in the Original Shrine

5 buses and a personal friendship with Jesus

Five buses with children and catechists from a parish in the diocese of Cologne departed in two groups for Schoenstatt. The Good Shepherd was a popular image that ran through the entire program.

Learning to live the faith in the midst of an unbelieving world, learning to pray, meeting Jesus, telling him what moves us, that is what it is all about. Deepening our friendship with him, because he knows everyone by name: me, personally! To become aware of this reality is one of the objectives of these meetings.

The little ones sang the song of the Good Shepherd walking back from the mountain to the valley. It was very important for them that the image they had made of the Blessed Mother should occupy a place of honor in their homes.

I want to stay
The Good Shepherd attracts our hearts

Profound dialogues

It was moving to see how seriously the children took everything that was new to them. The children’s Stations of the Cross, first in pictures, then with vivid material such as the crown of thorns, Veronica’s veil, large nails and a huge hammer. Everything could be touched and examined.

During the evening walk, the group passed in front of the Stations of the Cross in the compound and immediately their “film” continued flowing: a serious discussion arose among them about why Jesus had to die. And they knew the explanation, the answer he himself had given then to the disciples of Emmaus: “Didn’t Jesus have to die so that he and we could go to heaven?”.

The innocence of the children: scattered, even under the tabernacle

Several buses brought children from parishes to go to confession for the first time, and also to deepen their preparation. They meditated in a place of their own choosing in the church. They took it literally and, before the catechetical team knew it, the children were scattered all over the church: one used the kneeler as a desk for her notes (confession slips), two friends wrote almost lying on the altar steps and were completely absorbed. A boy chose his place directly under the tabernacle. The most beautiful place, indeed.

After confession and thanksgiving, which included ringing the bell of a small shrine, the flags waved joyfully.

During evening prayer, a candle was passed from hand to hand. Each child was able to express his or her thanks. But for some, a single thank you was not enough. They begged for a second round because they had much to say.

Evening review – The round of acknowledgements is never-ending

“I would love to stay here forever.”

We share here some of the spontaneous testimonies gathered from this day with the children:

K.: “These have been the best two days of my life! This is beautiful”.

S.: “I would love to stay here forever. Too bad it’s already over.”

M.: “My older brother told me that they wake us up with guitar songs. Is that true?” – Yes! And also a goodnight song to go to sleep.

E. to the cook at our Sonnenau home, who serves pancakes with cherry jam or Nutella as an evening side dish: “Are you a five-star chef?” – “No, but I like to cook” – “To me you’re a five-star chef!”.

X. reveals that her cousin, who is also here now, is not Catholic but volunteers for the days they are having here: ” In addition to my confirmation class, because I’m told it’s very nice here!”.

A.: “Is there a shrine like this in Italy?

Other children, according to where their families come from: “And in Poland?”, “And in Croatia?”, “And in France?”, “And in the Czech Republic?”, “And in Vietnam?”

They were all astonished when they found out that this chapel exists in 80 countries. And where there is not one made of stone yet, there is the so-called “pilgrim shrine”, made of wood, which travels from family to family, small for the private prayer corner at home.

A mother: “I wish there were more of these events for my children.”

In the Schoenstatt Children’s Ministry, we share how to pray the rosary in a child-friendly way, the Stations of the Cross for children, how to make palms for Palm Sunday, and many other things that help to live the faith in an authentic and simple way, so that the human experiences are interwoven with the spiritual ones, and faith can take root in the hearts.

We are very happy that the children participating in First Communion, school retreats and many others return to Schoenstatt eager to have profound experiences.

Kinder entdecken
The fascination of the diversity of shrines

You can access the updated program of the Pilgrims’ Center for the year 2023 on the web page:, in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Polish.