Maria Fischer, Editors schoenstatt.org •
“I think, speak and act not because and how others think, speak and act, but because it is my inner conviction!” A statement by Fr Franz Reinisch whose beatification process was opened in Trier in May 2013. He was a Pallottine Father; he was a Schoenstatter; he was a person who felt obliged to follow his conscience, and who died on that account.
On 21 August 1942 Reinisch was executed in Brandenburg, Berlin. Again this year this important date will be commemorated with a gathering at his grave near the Original Shrine in Vallendar, Schoenstatt. Rinisch’s friends will meet at 8.15 p.m. with the Vice-postulator of his beatification process, Fr Franz Adalbert Kordas ofm, to honour this courageous Catholic priest. Two days later, during Holy Mass at 9 a.m. in the church of the Philosophical-Theological University College in Vallendar, he will preach on Fr Franz Reinisch.
Hardly a meeting of the Schoenstatt Youth in South America closes without the Franz Reinisch hymn being sung with gusto: Let me become an apostle .. It is a hymn for Schoenstatt’s second hundred years. It is also fitting that a room in the new International Schoenstatt Centre in Belmonte, Rome, will be named after him. The picture for this room was seen and blessed by Pope Francis on 25 October 2014, during the Jubilee audience of the Schoenstatt Movement.
Filming of a documentary about Fr Reinisch is almost complete
The diocese of Trier opened the beatification process of this Pallottine Father in May 2013. He found his spiritual home in Schoenstatt, and he is also buried there. Since last year a media team, together with Fr Heribert Niederschlag SAC, the Postulator for his beatification process, have been filming in various parts of Germany, Austria and Italy. By the end of June they had completed his childhood years and years as a priest.
From Vallendar the team went to Bruchsal, then via Immenstaad on Lake Constance to Rankweil, Feldkirch and Salzburg. The third stage of the “Reinisch trip” led the team to the places connected with Reinisch’s early childhood and later years as a priest. Only last April they followed him on his last fateful journey. From the moment he donned army uniform in the barracks at Bad Kissingen he refused to take the Hitler oath. After a break in Bamberg he was transferred to a prison in Berlin-Tegel. Then after some time he was transferred to Brandenburg-Görden where he was guillotined.
After they had documented the last months of his life, and his youth, Novitiate and early priesthood in Innsbruck, Brixen and Bozen, the team next went to Bruchsal. Fr Reinisch was there mainly in 1931 and 1932 to recuperate in the St Paulusheim run by the Pallottines, but he also helped out in the prison or surrounding parishes, and of course, in the St Paulusheim. From August 1932 he was the representative of the Rector in Bruchsal, but only for a month. In September he was sent to Salzburg to complete his studies. In the years that followed he repeatedly stayed in Bruchsal for brief periods.
One of the most important Reinisch scholars is living in Immenstaad on Lake Constance. Fr Werner Weicht SAC, spent many years as Postulator doing research to prepare a solid foundation for the beatification process. Among other things he discovered that Fr Reinisch conducted a retreat course in Schloss Hersberg.
About 75 kilometres away the team visited Rankweil in Austria where Reinisch’s parents, Franz and Maria, were married. The next town is Feldkirch where Franz was born and spent the first months of his life. His parent’s home, the church where he was baptised and the Capuchin monastery bear witness to his earliest days.
The final stop of this “Reinisch trip” was the Johannes-Schlößl in Salzburg where he studied theology. Following his gagging orders Franz was again in Salzburg from August 1937-February 1941, this time on the Mönchberg. Here he was engage in vocation work and as the Vice-rector and prefect of the students.
The film on the life of Franz Reinisch by Angela Marlier and Pascal Nachtsheim will probably be made available on DVD next year.
Detailed information about the sites where filming took place can be found in the diary of the Reinisch-Reisender, which was published last week on the P. Franz Reinisch Facebook page.