Posted On 2017-06-21 In Covenant Life

Your Future – We are the New Generation: Celebrating the 70th Anniversary blessing of the first daughter shrine in Ulm-Soeflingen, Germany

GERMANY Georg Schick

On the afternoon of the weekend celebrations, Carolin Ankenbauer’s song, “We are the New Generation, Your Future,” was the one the Girls’ Youth spontaneously requested after the “Take me” concert. It was also the Girls’ Youth that began construction on the shrine in Ulm, Germany during the war years.  At that time, Fr. Kentenich often stayed in Ulm and spoke about the grounds for a future shrine, with views of the cathedral, and that from this place, history would be written. This is how the first daughter shrine on German soil was blessed 15 May 1947.

A daughter shrine of importance for all Schoenstatt

The celebrations of the 70th jubilee began on Monday, 15 May, because the blessing of the Shrine was exactly on that day. The space inside the Ulm Shrine is much larger than Schoenstatt Shrines built as exact replicas, but even so, it was not large enough to accommodate all the guests. Friends of the Shrine and members of the Ulm Schoenstatt Family attended. Fr. Josef Lang celebrated Mass, and recalling its history, he placed special emphasis on the importance of this Daughter Shrine for the entire Schoenstatt Movement. Two witnesses of the era evoked their memories about the construction of the Shrine, then there was a champagne toast for the Jubilee and the soft spring afternoon beckoned those in attendance to the gathering. The Boys’ Youth spontaneously showed its connection with the “little chapel” through a human pyramid, including a construction stone of the shrine.

A novena also began that day; it was distributed each morning, and for the first time, also via WhatsApp, duly put to music. Martina Gruel related historic texts of loyalty regarding the Ulm Shrine with the texts and songs of the Wilfried Röhrig’s concert “Take me.” On the afternoon of 27 May the concert opened the weekend of the celebrations.

Into the night singing, rocking out, spontaneous dancing, and regional pride

The open-air concert began with excellent summer weather in the Ulm Shrine Square, where there was not a single empty chair. Wilfried Röhrig, Carolin Ankenbauer, and Armin Jan Sayed captivated the audience, and as it was said before, “Your Future: We Are the New Generation,” had everyone singing along.

At the request of the Girls’ Youth, it was the Boys’ Youth who sang Wilfied Röhrig’s  “camp song” “Be Light and Build Together.” The musicians rocked the stage in front of the Shrine bathed in a warm light and many of the participants could not resist dancing from their seats singing at the top of their voices. There were many encores outside the actual concert “Die Trumpbahn.” The event ended with the canon, “Growing Together.”

The celebration continued in the tent installed, as usual, by the Boys’ Youth, and at the Girls’ Youth bar. Some came from far away and others from nearby. All the guests enjoyed a delicious kind of pizza with bacon and onions and selected drinks at the Girl’s Bar.

At midnight, the Swabian hymn was sung before the bell inviting all for prayer. The Shrine, illuminated in colors, had the Easter candle with the region’s new logo out in front. During the prayers, the historic texts of the Shrine of Loyalty were mentioned once again deepening the metaphor of trust in climbing with a safety rope. After the blessing, they continued singing in front of the Shrine from the famous “blue songbook,” before the youths began their own celebrations close to the bonfire during the night vigil.

The founder’s footsteps

After the Mass, the “celebration of the little chapel” continued in the tent with coffee and cakes. An inflatable castle was installed and the children’s program began. This year the Girls’ Youth painted the region’s logo on children’s faces. There was a trivia contest about the shrine and the region. This contest provided a lot to talk about, since no one responded well to the key question: Which shrine was Fr. Kentenich in first? Answer: Fr. Kentenich visited the Vocation Shrine in Ehingen first. The majority believed that it had been the Loyalty Shrine, in Ulm or the Father Shrine, in Ennabeuren.  Once again, they talked about the founder’s footsteps in the Ulm region.

A detail that came from two young musicians during the Delegates’ Gathering in Schoenstatt, the song, “Kennste Kentenich?” (Do You Know Kentenich?), which the Boys’ Youth from Ulm created for the Night of at Shrine, had been publicized. In the tent, everyone sang the Kentenich song together and the two young composers showed the best of the camp with lyrics from songs they had composed.

The “Käpellesfest-Band” (the little chapel’s celebration band), musically accompanied the final prayer, and after the burning of the capital of grace, the priests present offered an opportunity to receive an individual blessing.

The celebration began to wind down toward the afternoon with barbeque sausage and pizza.

Helping out

With the help of volunteers, the founding generation of Ulm’s commitment was repeated 70 years later, since this was the only way to carry out this festive schedule. The Boys’ Youth with their camp storage tent and strong hands were available for any task – even night watch. The Girls’ Youth collaborated at night in the bar and in the afternoon with face painting for children. The Regional Council, the Regional Association, and the Celebration Organizational Teams could depend on the Swabian Schoenstatt branches for planning as well as for development and hospitality. Thus once the celebrations ended on Sunday night, everything was back in order around the Shrine, a shrine filled with history that can begin its everyday life once again. Visit the highlight of the Shrine of Loyalty in Ulm.


Original: German, 7 June 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX

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