Posted On 2022-11-06 In Covenant Life

The gates of the Holy City opened

AUSTRIA, Martin Schiffl •

October 30, 2022, a day of joy for the Austrian Schoenstatt Movement. The Schoenstatt shrine on the Kahlenberg (Vienna) turned 40 years old, that alone would be reason enough for a celebration, but there was something much bigger to celebrate. The new Schoenstatt Center has become a modern educational house, and the Schoenstatt Movement can now move into it. —

In the last days and nights a lot of hard work was done, many things that seemed impossible became possible. More than 350 Schoenstatters from all over Austria came to Kahlenberg to see the new house, to take possession of it, and to thank the Blessed Mother. In addition, many people followed the live transmission of the celebration from their homes.

No one was bothered that day by the foggy autumn weather. The celebration was held in the new large hall. And everyone had a place. On the faces reflected the great joy and amazement. Everything is really beautiful and spacious. And the highlight: no matter where you are, whether in the conference room, in the dining room, in the foyer, in the cafeteria or in the beautiful new store: everywhere you have visual contact to the shrine.

The celebration began in the shrine, it could not be otherwise. It began with the fire of the youth who offered the Blessed Mother their intentions and desires for a Schoenstatt of the future and the blessing of the symbol of the cornerstone, which will later be placed in the new house. This cornerstone symbol represents in a special way the Holy City, the ideal of the Schoenstatt Movement in Austria. It consists of many small houses built with the offerings placed in the jar. In recent months, many Schoenstatters offered their capital of grace especially for the new Schoenstatt center, symbolized in small wooden houses. The carpenter and artist Erich Mölzer formed the symbol of the cornerstone and placed it in the foyer of the house. Thus, upon entering the house, the visitor is offered a beautiful view.


Joy and gratitude

On a day like this, the joy is naturally immense. The modernization and expansion of the Schoenstatt Center has been dreamed of for 15 years and now the time has come. The gratitude is enormous, especially the gratitude to the Sisters of Mary who invested money there and who maintained their position during the entire construction period in often adverse circumstances. Of course, thanks are also due to the many people who collaborated free of charge in numerous works. And we are especially grateful to the Blessed Mother, who has been acting from here for 40 years and who was also repeatedly present as the Unbearer during the construction period. During the festive mass, all the thanks were gathered and given to God. 

The Kentenich Center

Such a fantastic new house, which offers a lot of possibilities, also needs a meaning, a special use. In the last few months, the movement leaders Ingeborg and Richard Sickinger collected proposals from the members of the movement about what could be done from this place. Many ideas have emerged that are waiting to be implemented.

All these ideas have one thing in common: they must be about Father Kentenich. He has a new vision of reality, a vision that modern man needs in order to exist in today’s world. Therefore, the new Schoenstatt Center should be first and foremost a Kentenich Center. The Sickinger couple spoke of a threefold intention: a Kentenich research center, where research can be done on how Father Kentenich can help us today with his pedagogy, a Kentenich foundation center, where many new initiatives and projects can emerge, and a center where Father Kentenich can be experienced as a father.


Let’s get down to work

Now it is the task of the entire movement to fill this new Schoenstatt Center with life. With the Blessed Mother’s help, many of the ideas will certainly become concrete projects. A big house needs a big movement. On October 30, 2022, the spirit of reaching out was felt. Now the growth can begin. Let’s get to work!


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Original: Spanish 2022-11-04. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México

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