With great joy the worldwide Schoenstatt Movement has receive the surprising news that the community of Pallottine Fathers has decided today at their Provincial Assembly to give the Schoenstatt Movement the Original Shrine and the Pilgrims’ Place as a jubilee gift for the centenary of its foundation. When God’s Spirit of Pentecost is at work, he creates something surprisingly new and gets life moving.In the days before Pentecost renewed discussions took place between Schoenstatt and the Pallottine Fathers in order to find a solution to the [ownership/use of] the Original Shrine and the situation in the Schoenstatt Valley. We now rejoice at this most generous gesture of giving us the pilgrimage area in Schoenstatt. We thank the Pallottine community for their good will and see this Jubilee gift as a sign of their readiness to continue to work together with the Schoenstatt Movement here in Schoenstatt in the time to come.Our gratitude is naturally directed to the Triune God who has obviously been at work in this process. And we thank the Blessed Mother who has clearly accompanied our prayers and petitions in the past days and weeks, and who has contributed towards opening new doors and showing such good solutions to this matter.
In joy and gratitude Fr Theo Breitinger Provincial Superior
In what follows we are publishing the Press Release of the Pallottine Fathers about this event:
The community of the Pallottine Fathers is giving the Schoenstatt Movement the pilgrimage chapel in Vallendar, Schoenstatt as a gift for their Jubilee Year 2014. This was decided by the Provincial Assembly, the highest governing body of the community, during their meeting on 22 May 2013 in the Provincial Centre in Friedberg, Bavaria, Germany. Besides the shrine, the gift includes the adjacent Pilgrims’ Place.
After a detailed discussion the assembly agreed to the application of both the Provincial government and Haus Wasserburg to make this gift. Fr Helmut Scharler, the Pallottine Provincial Superior said, “Years ago the Schoenstatt Movement asked for a generous gesture in the pilgrimage area at Schoenstatt. With this gift we want to entrust the Marian Shrine to the Schoenstatt Movement for the hundredth anniversary of Schoenstatt in 2014, and connect with it the hope that many people may experience the closeness of the Blessed Mother and the beneficial and inspirational power of the pilgrimage place in the time to come.” He also spoke of their sadness, because many Pallottine Fathers were fruitfully active in building up the Schoenstatt Movement and the pastoral work at the shrine of grace for many decades.
In 1901 the Pallottine Fathers bought the “Old House” from a private owner in order to build up a house of studies as the cradle of their presence in Vallendar. The chapel, at the time a shed for garden tools, was refurbished and served again as a sacred space, their house chapel. In 1914 a group of students around the Pallottine Spiritual Director, Fr Joseph Kentenich, dedicated themselves here to the Mother of God. The Schoenstatt Movement sees this date as the beginning of their apostolic work (founding act).
In 1964 the Schoenstatt Movement was separated from the Pallottine Society, which had until then made a significant contribution to Schoenstatt’s development and formation, as well as to the place of pilgrimage that had come into existence. The shrine of grace remained the property of the Pallottine Fathers, who continued to serve the place of pilgrimage pastorally, and who co-ordinated the co-operation of the many Schoenstatt communities.
In 2012 it took the first step by handing over the use and administration of the shrine to Schoenstatt. “We wanted to discover how we would be able to co-exist at the place. After all, we Pallottine Fathers run a house for Youth Formation in Haus Wasserburg, as well as a spiritual and therapeutic centre, and our own pastoral work in the Pallotti Church, which serves people far beyond this region. Both parties registered positive experiences, and this has motivated us Pallottine Fathers to permanently hand over the shrine now,” Fr Alexander Diensberg, the Rector of Haus Wasserburg explained.