In the MTA magazine Nr 11, 2nd year, 15 January 1918, there is a survey of what happened in 1916. It records:
“Our little shrine is more attractive than usual at Christmas. It exudes a holy magic. A small Crib mad by the Senior Sodality (Fr Provincial kindly placed the figures at our disposal) adorns the room. Everything to the least detail in order. ‘The sacristans are working in an exemplary way.’ Those were the words of a soldier Sodalist on 28.12.1916 after a visit he made here during his leave.“
Looking back after decades it is possible to realize that this Christmas Crib in the shrine was not only an idyllic Christmas decoration, but also a telling symbol. The shrine was understood as making the Biblical places of the Holy Land present. So it was increasingly experienced as a new “Bethlehem” where Christ is born again through the MTA. In the course of the decades Fr Kentenich used his Christmas talks to proclaim this present-day Christmas mystery.