We’ve all heard the allegations. Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids that escaped Church suppression. Even today modern pagans and witches continue to celebrate this ancient festival. Nothing could be further from the truth. The origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety. Halloween falls on the last day of October because the Feast of All Saints or “All Hallows” falls on Nov. 1. The feast in honour of all the saints in heaven used to be celebrated on May 13, but Pope Gregory III (d. 741) moved it to Nov. 1, the dedication day of All Saints Chapel in St. Peter’s at Rome. Later, in the 840s, Pope Gregory IV commanded that All Saints be observed everywhere. And so the holy day spread to Ireland. The day before was the feast’s evening vigil, “All Hallows Eve” or “Hallowe’en.” In 998, St. Odilo, the abbot of the powerful monastery of Cluny in Southern France, added a celebration on Nov. 2. Continue reading “Halloween – The True Story”
Following the year of the Shrine we want to understand more of what the Shrine means. This text from Peter Wolf’s book on the year of the Shrine gives insight into the “Open Door” that Fr. Kentenich saw.
If we are to understand the origin and development of the Schoenstatt shrine, it is particulary interesting and impressive to listen to the founder himself and see how he experienced the steps taken at the beginning. He always insisted that the start did not begin with miracles and apparitions, but with very objective faith in Divine Providence. When he looked back on Schoenstatt’s history in 1950, he bore witness to the way he had been led. Using the Pauline image of the “open door”, he mentioned certain events that took place as he searched for God’s will. His words show us a young priest who was eager and ready to allow himself to be led. He did not start with fixed ideas and plans, but allowed himself to be guided step by step. Even after many years he could recall the stages of the way along which he experienced and used the “open door”. This readiness to follow the guidance of Divine Providence will have to determine the Schoenstatt Movement’s path into the future. Continue reading “The History of the Original Shrine – Extracts from Peter Wolf”
Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in forty years of farming side-by-side. The long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence. One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?” “Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the river at that farm. That’s my neighbour. In fact, it’s my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river dam and now there is a whole river between us running through the meadow. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. See that pile of wood by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence, so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.” The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” Continue reading “The Carpenter”
As you got up this morning, I watched you, and hoped you would talk to me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday. But I noticed you were too busy, trying to find the right outfit to wear. When you ran around the house getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were to busy. At one point you had to wait, fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip instead.
I watched patiently all day long. Continue reading “As You Got Up This Morning”
We find ourselves on the journey preparing to celebrate the Jubilee of the Covenant of Love in 2014. Each year of preparation is unique. This year we celebrate the year of the Shrine – a central part of our life as a Schoenstatt Family. For this year Fr. Peter Wolf – a diocesan priest and member or the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests has collated a book of texts from Fr. Kentenich on the history of teh Shrine and its meaning within our Schoenstatt Family.
Each week we will take a extract from this publication to help us come to know the background and meaningof the Shrine. The full book will shortly be available from the Shrine.
You can download the text (click here) and print it – or read it below….
Please do comment on the text and let us know what you think