Today we celebrate the birthday of our father and founder. We give thanks for his person and calling to found the Schoenstatt Work. The Schoenstatt Press Office congratulates Father Kentenich with a series of witnesses who shed light on their relationship with him in the here and now. These short videos will be posted every Monday on:`

Next week we celebrate Thanksgiving. Many churches and homes are decorated with the fruit of field and garden. The photo on top of this page shows the Thanksgiving altar in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt (in Germany Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Sunday of October). The fruits of the harvest are a symbol for all the gifts we have received in the course of the year.

Holy Scripture reports that the apostle Paul and his companion Silas rejoiced when they were beaten with rods and thrown into prison. In the Acts of the Apostles (16:25) we read: “About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns as the prisoners listened…” (Acts 16:25). Despite their misfortunes they were able to praise and give thanks because they felt God’s nearness and love which sustained them.

Likewise, in the Dachau concentration camp, an environment that didn’t really encourage gratitude, Father Kentenich formulated a prayer of thanksgiving that is well known:

For everything, yes everything, let me give heartfelt thanks, clinging to you, Mother, with tender love. What would have become of us without you and your motherly care.

Because you delivered us from great need and bound us to yourself in faithful love, I will give you thanks, be grateful evermore, and dedicate myself to you with undivided love.

Guided by our year’s motto “Lead from the Shrine with Trust in Divine Providence and Charity to All’ Thanksgiving may be an opportunity for us to ponder all the gifts we have received during the course of the day and past year. Concretely:

  • Each evening, try to discover at least one good gift from God and give thanks for it.
  • Be more attentive to the good that others do for me and thank them for it. In gratitude, return to others small gifts of love.
  • Reflect on difficult situations that, in retrospect, have had a positive effect after all? Did I mature through them? Did I learn something new? Was there perhaps an unexpected solution which emerged? Can I also give thanks for that?

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and praying for your and your intentions in the Confidentia Shrine,

Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary

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