History » 1914 - 1919 » Period of Development » The War Memorial

Development of the Shrine1914-1919

The War Memorial becomes a reality

The First World War ended with an armistice on 11 November 1918. In the following weeks those soldiers returned to Schoenstatt who needed to improve their academic studies – especially in Greek and Latin, etc – before they could enter the Pallottine Novitiate and seminary.

The MTA magazine (Nr 1 of 15 January 1919, 4th Year, p.8) again raised the idea of putting up a War Memorial.

We have no further information about the process of deciding the issue. However, the intention soon became a reality. On the occasion of a celebration of welcome on the following Low Sunday, 27 April 1919, the marble tablet, which still exists today, was solemnly unveiled in the original shrine. In the MTA magazine, Nr 7/8 of 15 June 1919, there is a detailed report of the celebration. A footnote to the marble tablet with names gives the following information:

Designed by Fr Albert Rexter PSM, made by Pabst, a Koblenz business. It cost 800 Marks.

(Note about Fr Rexter: Fr Albert Rexter, *20 July1873, Profession 6 October1901, Ordination 3 July1905, +25 May1960. In 1919 he was a teacher in the College. Fr Rexter had been connected with the newly purchased propert in Vallendar since 1901. His name appears 15 times in the house chronicle, and elsewhere tribute is paid to the practical skills and musical services of this Limburg philosophy student during the Summer vacations.)

In the course of Schoenstatt’s history, Fr Kentenich took a stand to this War Memorial, this Honour- and Memorial Tablet , in the shrine on a number of occasions.

Despite all their weaknesses, the First World War generation of Sodalists co-operated in building up a work that was to survive them all. For this reason the generation of that time, and each individual member of it, deserved a memorial.

Obviously it was not possible or fitting to engrave on the memorial all 198 names of the Sodalists who were members of the Marian Sodality on 11 November 1918, Armistice Day. So the decision was taken to mention only those who belonged to groups outside the College. So 109 Sodalists are mentioned on the memorial. The other 89, who still belonged to the Sodality at this time, were not mentioned, although they really should be.

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