Father Joseph Kentenich in Gymnich

Josef_Kentenich2.jpgRodrigo Díaz. As we are on the verge of the celebration of the 100 years of the Covenant of Love, everyone in Schoenstatt works hard so that the pilgrims who come to the jubilee can have the most beautiful experience possible. The idea is that along with the experience of visiting and getting to know Schoenstatt and the Original Shrine, pilgrims get the chance to visit other important places in the history of the movement and the life of our Father and Founder.  

For some pilgrims it is important to know the history of the places they visit so they can understand their development and how they have influenced the events in history and how the Schoenstatt family is today.

Between the places that pique the interest of pilgrims, there is one that is of vital importance in the history of the Schoenstatt movement, the birthplace of its founder, the town of Gymnich. And because it is the birthplace of Father Joseph Kentenich, it is also the cradle of the most important thing that God wanted to gestate through his Schoenstatt work for it is the environment in which Father Kentenich’s childhood took place. 

In this context, the book “Father Kentenich in Gymnich” was published. With it, the author, Hubertus Brantzen, wants to give the experience of visiting and getting to know all the important places of the founder’s home town, but in a way that allows it to be an experience of encounter and connection with him. 

This way, according to every pilgrim’s time and availability, there are various alternatives so that the visit to Gymnich can be a spiritual experience, even without a guide. While what it is offer isn’t meant to be a touristic itinerary, the author is concerned with every detail and gives specific indications on how to get to each place so that pilgrims don’t get distracted or lost. 

The book offers three different possibilities to visit and walk through Gymnich: A half-day, a one-day, and a two-day visit, depending on how much time the pilgrim has. Among the things that you can see in Gymnich are the home of Father Kentenich, the parish church, St. Antony’s Chapel, Gymnich’s Castle, the former school, the Marian Pillar, Nepomuk Bridge and St. Anne’s Chapel. All these places are linked to Father Kentenich’s childhood, a defining stage in every person’s life, according to the author himself: 

“It is as if someone stamps an image or sign in wet clay. As long as the clay is still wet, you can work on and change the images. But after it’s dried and heated, the image becomes permanent. 

It is similar with the childhood of a person. Those experiences, which a person has during the first years of one’s childhood, including the nine months of pregnancy, give the person’s life direction. Expressed in another way: In this time, the script of one’s life is written…” 

Certainly Hubertus Brantzen not only wanted to give us the chance to meet and visit landmarks of Father Kentenich’s childhood, but also to introduce us to his history and to evoke all those momentous events where they took place, so our visit can be more than just touristic, but an experience that allows us to connect ourselves more with Father Kentenich and Schoenstatt’s roots. 

“Now about 130 years after his birth, we know what has become of this child. His biography, considered from today’s perspective, leaves us astonished as to what a person can make of ones life and vocation when they recognize their roots and hand over their life to God… 

So we are invited to follow those footprints Father Kentenich left behind in his hometown and at the same time to reflect about our own vocation.” 

To order a copy of this book please contact:
Fathers of Schoenstatt
Berg Sion 6 – Provincial House
D-56179 Vallendar
Telephone: 0049-261-96322-29
e-mail: provinzsekretariat@schoenstatt-patres.de