Posted On 2016-03-20 In Covenant Life

A Tomato Seed – a promise for the future – like Belmonte

From Carmen Reinle and Maria Fischer •

A tomato seed is a promise for the future. It promises seedlings and plants, it promises tasty, bright red tomatoes. “Belmonte” is a similar promise. In 1965 the worldwide Schoenstatt Movement promised it as a gift to their founder on his eightieth birthday.  A gift to be gifted to the Church. In 2003/2004 we got there – the forty-year-old promise was finally carried out.

In Rome, the city of the Popes, a Schoenstatt shrine was built. On an icy winter’s day the foundation stone was laid in the presence of about a hundred people. A few months later, in brilliant sunshine, thousands from all over the world celebrated its blessing. For them it is “the shrine of all of us”. Around the shrine a place came into existence that expresses the vision of a new Church. It is a Church that goes out to the people, a Church in which every nationality, every calling, and every lifestyle forms God’s family, where all are brothers and sisters of the same father and Mother. It is a Church in which mercy is the measure of all action. It is a Church after the heart of Pope Francis.

In 2016, the Holy Year of Mercy, the building of the conference house is reaching completion. Then the fruits can finally ripen for the Church, for society, for Schoenstatt.

Everything progresses slowly, but the work has been started again: we are close to completion, even though some things are still not there. We have received small, but generous, contributions that remind us of the widow’s mite of the Gospel. What matters are not the big donations, but the collection of the small contributions of the generous”, Fr Daniel Lazano, the Rector, wrote from Belmonte.


Tomatoes bear fruits: Belmonte tomatoes and financial support for the building

With the above text and photos of delicious tomatoes, as well as much enthusiasm, Carmen and Jurgen Reinle are involved with accepting orders for “tomato plants and Pasta di Belmonte as a set”. At the end of February the long-awaited news arrived, “The noodles have been delivered”, and the first parcels were immediately sent off to Freiburg. The tomato seeds from Belmonte (to be precise, they are in the shop opposite): Carmen Reinle has cultivated seedlings every year that are sold in aid of Belmonte. From this year it is possible to buy the noodles to go with them – the famous and colourful Belmonte noodles shaped like St Peter’s with the shrine in the middle, which have been very popular since the 2014 jubilee.

Tomato plants that bear ripe Belmonte tomatoes can only be bought at the shrine of vocations in Freiburg, or if you visit Mr & Mrs Reinle. You can also get noodles by mail order or at Berg Moriah in Schoenstatt, as well as the Schoenstatt Centre in Wurzburg.


With Ebay for Belmonte

“Mutual inspirations in our battle for our endangered ideals in difficult times”: This was the sub-title of an article published by Fr Kentenich for the first time in the March edition of the periodical “MTA” in 1916. Now we are not in World War I, but in “difficult times” for Belmonte, where the means for completing the house are not assured, so inspirations are a good idea. So the story of the tomato seeds has inspired a number of people. Ida Ziegler wrote:

On the subject “You Need Ideas” I can also make a contribution: I am 74 and have valuables I think will land in the rubbish bin once I am dead. So I searched through my house and gathered together everything I can do without already now. A friend sold them on the internet. She put everything on the website and also posted them off. For doing this she gets 10% of the income, the rest will be donated to Belmonte.

I told Fr Kentenich, “If you want a big donation, see to it that my things are sold for a good price.” This is what happened and there were a number of advantages: My valuables go to someone who will appreciate them. At home nothing “unnecessary” is hanging around and I don’t have to worry any more that something I valued would land in the rubbish bin. My friend gets some pocket money, Belmonte gets a donation, and I have cause to rejoice.


Original: German. Translation: Mary Cole,

Foto above: iStockGettyImages, Copyright: Terry Brooks

Foto below: Architekturbüro Poersch

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