In the last years of Father Kentenich’s life he returned from Milwaukee to Schoenstatt. A group of the Schoenstatt Fathers took an unusual initiative. They asked Father Kentenich if they could make an imprint of his hand into a block of slowly solidifying concrete. They made a mould which on the one side had the relief image of Jesus and Mary as seen in the Schoenstatt picture of Our Lady. On the reverse side they asked Father Kentenich to press into the concrete and make an imprint of his hand. The idea was a bit different than the film stars on Hollywood Boulevard who are invited to immortalise their fame by making the imprint of their hands on the pavement. Here we had a symbol of the educating hand – the shaping hand – leading those entrusted to him to become like Jesus and Mary. At the same time we had an image of a priestly hand to give blessing to many. Most of his priestly life was spent giving his time and energy to others. When asked he said that he saw his task in helping many to find the God of their lives. Through the Covenant of Love with Our Lady he strived that each person searching for God and his Son Jesus, our Saviour should not only find God in their lives but should have a roadmap how to change their lives so that the countenance of Christ should shine through – whether it be the Child Jesus, or the Teacher or Prophet, the Good Shepherd who gives his life for his sheep or the suffering Servant who gives all there is to give to save the lives of many. Therefore it became a guiding hand.
Schoenstatt is now preparing for the celebration of its centenary. In the run up to this Jubilee Year we celebrate internationally three years of preparation. The first year is the Year of the Father. In the second year we will look at the significance of the Shrine and in the third year we will consider our task to be apostles of the Good News for our time. To mark this first year we will place the Father Hand in the Shrine and invite you to put your hand is his: a Father’s hand which educates us to become like Jesus and Mary. A symbol of our wish for blessing in our lives and in the lives of those we care for. A guiding hand to help us become more and more an apostle of the Covenant of Love with Our Lady who leads us with certainty and love into the heart of her Son.
My Heart in your heart
My thinking in your thinking
My hand in your Hand