Bergfest, Marienberg,  Bamberg

Posted On 2023-05-07 In Covenant Life

“Mountain Festival” on May 1st – Listening to God together

GERMANY, Renate Siebenkäs •

Since the founding of the Schoenstatt Center on the Marienberg (Schoenstatt Center of the Archdiocese of Bamberg, Mount Mary), the great mountain feast in honor of the patron saint, Bavaria, has been celebrated every year on May 1st. Several hundred faithful come to this feast day with a large package of graces generously given by the Blessed Mother. —

The morning is dedicated to the celebration of the solemn Mass with the celebrant, this year Fr. Martin J. Emge, Cathedral Chaplain, followed by the procession with the Blessed Sacrament over the Marienberg.

The afternoon is dedicated to silent adoration and the first May devotion with the theme: “Under Your Protection and Umbrella – Praying for PEACE with the Knotted Redeemer”. An army of volunteers will take care of the physical well-being. There will also be plenty of time for fellowship.

Bergfest Marienberg

From left to right: pilgrimage picture, Fr. Martin Emge, Fr. Andreas Hornung, retired chaplain from Staffelstein Fr. Thomas Thielscher

Door Opener

Bergfest Bamberg

Grand Entrance: Come, Christians, come to praise

Father Andreas Hornung greeted the numerous guests: “Already on the way here we could enjoy spring in all its colors and facets. In nature, it is now time to begin again.

We are here today to honor the patron saint of Bavaria and the Duchess of Franconia. She is the door opener to heaven. Through her, heaven touches earth. We need this especially in these difficult times.

Winter is felt in many crises and wars. Whole nations, not only the war in Ukraine, but all over the world are fighting against each other. Many springs are still waiting to drive out winter.

Mary helps us to believe in the goodness of man, so that spring, with its renewal, may prevail in our hearts”.

Fr. Martin J. Emge’s homily, “Listening to God Together,” was divided into three parts:

  • Learning the art of listening.
  • Mary Mastered the Art of Listening
  • Listening to God together

Learning the art of listening

The homilist referred to a very interesting book by Hermann Glettler, Bishop of Innsbruck: “Your Heart is in Demand – Spiritual Orientation in Nervous Times”. In a very understandable way, Bishop Glettler explains four aspects of the art of listening.

Mary has mastered the art of listening

The homilist presented Mary as a biblical model. Mary mastered the high art of empathetic and creative listening – as an ingenious listener who hears with open ears and a wide heart, absorbing what moves others. Her listening changed her.

Listening to God together


I wonder if Father Joseph Kentenich imagined the May flowers so concretely – the children were picking in the meadow covered with primroses during the procession. The primroses fit so well with the Blessed Mother because she is the key to the gate of heaven, said Father Hornung

As a preacher, Martin Emge always succeeds in an excellent way to take examples from life and to include current events – what is topical at the moment. In this way, hearing God together has something to do with me personally.

Using current examples, he showed how prejudices can arise and become entrenched through narrow perceptions, and how they can be dismantled through empathetic listening.

Keyword Homosexuality

I can only confirm what the preacher said. My thoughts were wandering, because the principle of guilt and sin had initially taken root in my heart as well. Until, yes, until homosexuality got a face – my niece, my husband’s co-worker and some other acquaintances. I am so glad for this change in thinking. It frees me from narrow-mindedness and pointing fingers. I am grateful that this prejudice has been completely dismantled. Yes, I feel very close to these people who often have to endure very difficult struggles.

Keyword Ecumenism

Here the preacher asked: “How ecumenical am I really? In the Catholic Church it is much nicer: the incense, the veneration of the saints, the tradition…

That is not ecumenism.

True ecumenism asks: What is good about the other? And it really looks without blinkers, expanding the horizon to discover together how rich we are as Christians, to experience together the greatness of our faith.

Keyword: the plight of single parents

I really ask from my heart: how is she? Financial problems are at the top of the list. How much money will we have at the end of the month?

For the single parent, it’s a balancing act between taking care of children and earning money.

I can turn my ears down or be like the grandmother who bought an eight-seater and watches the kids, drives them around town so they are well taken care of and the single mom can go to work.

A mission to believers

Let us let what we have heard pass through our hearts, let us let everything we encounter pass through our hearts. In this way, mercy will be possible and help will come from within.

The door of the Shrine is wide open. Our Lady, the Master of listening, invites us today to an audience in her auditorium, in her school of listening. Let us be grateful that we can open our ears to one another in community. Let us ask God that together we may learn to hear God!


The door of the shrine is open. We may venture a glimpse into the listening school, into the listening room of our listening Master

Sermon by Diocesan Praeses Martin Emge (German)


Original: German. Translation: Maria Fischer


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