The Virtual Shrine at the 100 Year Anniversary of Schoenstatt

On October 18, 2014, the worldwide Catholic movement: Schoenstatt, celebrated its 100th Jubilee. The center of this jubilee celebration was the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt, Germany. The place where Father Kentenich, with some of the school boys, founded the movement by sealing the first Covenant of Love- which is also the core of Schoenstatt’s spirituality. 

Preparing the Virtual Shrine
The Virtual Shrine was dedicated in 2006. In 2009 there was an important re-launch. However, in the next 5 years the only virtual Schoenstatt Shrine got a bit obsolete - it was too confusing, too complicated, and too outdated. That’s why we took on the idea of giving a special gift to the Blessed Mother for Schoenstatt’s 100th Jubilee: the new Virtual Shrine - completely reworked and refocused on: 

  • the Virtual Jar (for contributions to the Capital of Grace): Here is the action! This is where the Covenant of Love becomes active and alive on the internet. It is the core and the unique part of the Shrine. It is what makes the Virtual Shrine into an online Schoenstatt Shrine.
  • the Shrine: Here is peace. It is the place of honor that we are giving to the Blessed Mother on the internet, in the same way that Father Kentenich once described the Home Shrine, “Give the Blessed Mother a place of honor in your house…” Here you can relax online, pray, and recharge. 
  • the place for inspiration: Just as there is some sort of meeting place with helpful material in each real world SChoenstatt Center, there is also such a place online: shrine here, inspiration there. There are podcasts, articles based on practical life experiences, and a forum for everyone who wants to exchange those experiences. It is here that everyone can find inspiration and encouragement for their lives. 

We are gifting the new Virtual Shrine to the Blessed Mother
On Thursday, October 16, 2014, thousands of people from all over the world brought gifts to the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt. We were prepared at 0:00 am, the beginning of the day, to have the first gift: our new Virtual Shrine was launched online! 

The Virtual Shrine at the jubilee celebration in Schoenstatt
From October 16-19, 10,000 Schoenstatters from all continents celebrated the great jubilee. The virtual shrine was represented in the Church Tent. Stefan Keznickl showed all those who were interested and curious what many didn’t know yet: that there really is in fact a Schoenstatt Shrine online! 

Das VH in Schönstatt beim 100 Jahre Jubiläum

Foto: (c) Stefan Keznickl

Das VH in Schönstatt beim 100 Jahre Jubiläum

Foto: (c) Stefan Keznickl

 

The virtual shrine at the jubilee celebration in Vienna/Austria Schoenstatt at Kahlenberg
In Vienna, we celebrated with summer-like weather outside. After the celebration Mass we invited all friends of the Virtual Shrine into the Shrine in Kahlenberg. There we gifted the new Virtual Shrine to the Blessed Mother in the form of a notebook with the website address written on it and placed it on the Altar.

Father Kentenich once said, “Every generation must found Schoenstatt anew.” For us those were groundbreaking words when we first thought of the Virtual Shrine many years earlier. At the beginning of the project Father Beller was there to accompany us every step of the way and soon became a very good friend. Before he passed away he told us, Christine and Gerald, that he would take care of us and of the Virtual Shrine from Heaven. Afterthought: “but that will not always be pleasant.” Short and sweet: He kept his word in every way. It didn’t surprise us that it took several intense days (and short nights?) before the Virtual Shrine would be finished. But it was done and we prayed that Father Kentenich and Father Beller would rejoice with us and renew the dedication of the Virtual Shrine from Heaven.

Next we took the time to read together the founding document of the Virtual Shrine from August 6, 2006. The founding document contained the petition to the Blessed Mother make her home in the Virtual Shrine and to work from there. After that we prayed the dedication prayer of the Virtual Shrine where we - with renewed spirit! - placed ourselves at the service of the Virtual Shrine.

It was an intense moment as we gifted the virtual shrine anew to the Blessed Mother in the Shrine in Kahlenberg on October 18, 2014. The sun shone intensely through the stained glassed windows of the shrine- colorful, almost heavenly. Our thoughts wandered … heavenwards.

Das VH am Kahlenberg beim 100 Jahre Jubiläum

Foto: (c) Gerald Karner

Das VH am Kahlenberg beim 100 Jahre Jubiläum

Foto: (c) Gerald Karner