ORIGINAL SHRINE, schoenstatt.org Editorial Team •
The launch or relaunch of a website is like a difficult and exciting birth after a long time of waiting. It is too long to contain the growing expectations and yet too short to fulfill them completely and satisfactorily. In the case of the renewed website of the Pilgrims’ Center it was a pregnancy and a wait of almost 20 years, since the first information of that center for pilgrims seeking their way to the original shrine was published in 2003. —
A couple of days ago the website “Schönstatt Wallfahrt”, in english, Schoenstatt Pilgrimage, was launched in five languages, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish. With a big button in the header it shows the main intention: “Visit Schoenstatt”, that is, to offer help and show options for the pilgrim who is looking for how to get to Schoenstatt, where to find lodging and guidance and, of course, what to do in this place of grace.
By following this link, the pilgrim finds
- Information about the place
- How to get to Schoenstatt
- Holy Masses and prayer times
- Pilgrimage program
Beyond this basic information, there is a section with information about Schoenstatt spirituality, news (mainly) about activities in German or the German Movement on site, a selection of links to community and house pages in Schoenstatt and booking options.
As the schoenstatt.org team, we thank and congratulate the Sisters of Mary of the Pilgrims’ Center for facilitating the visit to the Original Shrine especially for pilgrims coming from outside of Germany.
Let us remember how in 2007, with some young volunteers from Argentina, we began to work for an information section, motivated by requests for help on how to get there and where to go that reached us almost every day. We then looked for what was most lacking in information, we reviewed pages of other places of pilgrimage. One day, in the middle of winter, two young men from Mar del Plata traveled, as part of their volunteer work, from Frankfurt to Schoenstatt according to the indications in our section… What a relief when they arrived! Other volunteers walked from the different houses to the Original Shrine to be able to give this information to the pilgrims. We wrote down the opening hours of the different shrines, the times of Holy Mass, we copied and translated the brochure made by Fr. Sydney Fones about the place of Schoenstatt, its houses, shrines, and wayside shrines, and at the end we also included what should not be missing on a real pilgrimage: where to have a coffee and where to shop… We did this to offer at least something, a provisional….
Nothing lasts longer than the improvised. It is a sarcastic expression towards improvised solutions among DIY enthusiasts, but it is also valid for other things. But now the temporary solution has given way to something new.
We are happy that we have been able to cover this space with this information for all these years from a service vocation, and that over the last fifteen years thousands of people have accessed this content on schoenstatt.org, although, it is not our main mission. Our mission is to share real life stories and we continue to do so. Stories of pilgrims from the Original Shrine and from all the shrines around the world and from every place where someone creates a culture of encounter, a covenant culture and solidarity.
Original: Spanish 2022-11-26. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México