Posted On 2017-03-25 In Covenant Life

It began 30 years ago… Steiermark’s Home Shrines’ Celebration

AUSTRIA, Alois Konrad via

Thirty years ago, on February 14, 1987, it began in the middle of Steiermark with one brave family together with Sister Elmengard and Father Tilmann Beller…

“Our Homes – preferred places of God’s work: warming – shaping – radiating!”

Summer holidays in Steiermark – hurrah! One last look at the home shrine – and off we went.  We drove through a sunny, almost already spring-like Steiermark and came closer to the monastery in Leibnitz.

We went through the monastery gate with great anticipation – and immediately felt “at home.” Many famous families, individuals, children were there.  They were conversing with one another while enjoying coffee and a tempting variety of pastries and cakes.  The monastery’s large room (refectory) was lovingly decorated with colorful flowers and table decorations of various kinds … simply, homey.

With sensitive words, and a mischievous smile on their faces, Alenka and Ernst Koerbler motivated us to go to the monastery’s new lecture room. In a PowerPoint presentation, we were given a small glimpse into Steiermark home shrines. The Koerbler family told us how they live as well as with their home shrine.  The spectrum flowed from – “The home shrine is also a training place to educate oneself  – that demands maximum achievements.” “Here we can experience security, here someone loves me especially” to “Home shrines are like multiple flying islands in a large world, that are connected to one another through a large network.”  Father Kentenich additionally refined these words.  “The home shrines encourage us to use our own talents and abilities quite generously.” Together we are a large, living Schoenstatt family in Steiermark.

At this festival, the whole person was in focus!  After the lecture, we were treated to “Steiermark Frankfurters,” organic cheeses, all sorts of vegetables and fragrant breads – rounded off with a variety of delicious drinks.

Picture: The book of the home shrines in the shrine at Leibnitz monastery church

A large, supportive network

The impressive covenant celebration at the Schoenstatt wayside shrine in the monastery church strengthens us on a mental and spiritual level of existence.  We thank the Blessed Mother for the many home shrines in Steiermark – a large, supportive network. Children and adults brought their jar gifts to the Mother of God.  Some families have brought their own “home shrine jars” and empty them into the large jar at the wayside shrine – an encouraging testimony of life!

We would like to especially thank Father Josef Kaspersky.  With a generous and welcoming heart, he opened the doors and gates of the monastery for today’s feast – as on every eighteenth day of the month for the covenant of love celebration at a wayside shrine!  This “thriving” monastery, located in the middle of the town of Leibnitz, is simply a pleasure!

Father Josef invited us to the refectory again. We chatted and laughed together… until late into the evening.



Original: German. Translation: Lindsay Burger, Munich, Germany. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA

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