What if there was a way to know Father Joseph Kentenich?
Brushstrokes of a Father Vol. 5: an insight into the life of our founding father.
By: Luciana Loyola.
For all of us who are part of Schoenstatt, we know that discovering the Shrine and getting to know the Blessed Mother have been fundamental moments in our lives, but the desire has remained for us to also know the creator of this work! Father Joseph Kentenich. What would we give to have a talk or conversation with him and to be able to clarify many doubts about our spirituality and formation. What if I told you that there is a way to know Father Joseph Kentenich?
With the new publication of the book Brushstrokes of a Father Vol 5. which was launched last month, we have the opportunity to get to know the Founder of Schoenstatt from fresh perspectives and with valuable details. But what are the Brushstrokes of a Father?
In essence, Brushstrokes of a Father is a series of seven books created by Father Jonathan Niehaus (+), in which he shares stories about Schoenstatt’s founder. This editorial project allows the reader to paint his own image of Father Kentenich from these stories of witnesses who knew him. After the death of Father Jonathan Niehaus, his siblings, Father Mark Niehaus and Sister of Mary Sister Deanne Niehaus, continued the work of concluding this editorial piece which offers numerous stories of witnesses from the time of J.K. in Milwaukee from 1952 to 1965. “In this book, Sister Deanne and I, used Father Jonathan’s notes as well as other sources to share how Father Kentenich encountered many people and helped them through these encounters to understand themselves and God better.”
Father Mark Niehaus, Schoenstatt Father and administrator of St. Patrick’s Parish in Whitewater, Wisconsin, tells us that this series of books seeks to help the community study Father Kentenich’s principles, live our Schoenstatt way of life in a tangible way, and build a personal bond with him, thus providing real and dynamic answers to the problems we face today. Father Mark, shares that this joint work with Sister Deanne was an adventure in which they are happy to have participated. “This was a wonderful project to work on together. Neither of us are historians but both of us knew our brother well. That allowed us to puzzle through his notes, look for precise sources and add some things we thought would be helpful. It was a real gift to be able to work as siblings together on this!”
This Vol 5. Accompanied by a Father, from the book series brings many new stories about our founding father, and gives us the opportunity to get to know him better from stories that bring his personality to life and inspire a divine lifestyle.
Father Mark Niehaus says that some of the stories impacted positively in the structure of the project, and that some of the testimonies became his favorites:
“What impacted me, curiously enough, was Father Alexander Menningen’s talk from October 1968 that became the framework of Volume 5 (pages 243-246). To discover the many rich types of relationships that Father Kentenich had was invigorating. In particular, the first section on Father as a “Generous Companion” opened me to understand him in new ways. The story of Sister Eileen’s discernment process (pages 61-63) is one of my favorites. Father Kentenich was a companion to her in her process of looking for a religious community, to which God was calling her. He brought to life the selflessness needed in ministry to love those God sends.”
Brushstrokes of a Father is a great opportunity to begin to know and deepen the anecdotes and stories of Father Joseph Kentenich. Vol. 5 of this series of books is already available in the Schoenstatt book stores in the USA and online (English original language only):