On 1 April, during the Year of the Shrine Current, it has become possible for the Schoenstatt Family to take over the administration of the Original Shrine and the pastoral work at our Movement's place of origin. We thank God for this huge and unexpected gift. Until now the Pallottine community had this responsibility as the owners of the shrine and the land around it. The Pallottine Fathers and Brothers have cared for the Original Shrine for decades and we thank them for doing so. In May the Schoenstatt Fathers, on behalf of the Schoenstatt Family, will begin discussions with them about the possible purchase of the Pilgrim Place around the Original Shrine.
We may all see ourselves as co-operators with the Blessed Mother at the Original Shrine. Our shrine lives from its pilgrims, from their faith and the spiritual contributions they place in the jar. We say: Nothing without you – nothing without us! Whoever lives in or around Koblenz can also help with practical tasks, preparing the liturgy and other services. You can approach the Rector of the Shrine directly in this regard.
However, we also need a circle of friends and patrons who support the Original Shrine financially. This year, 2012, we probably need to raise 180.000 Euros (237.000 US$, or £147.000) to cover the lease to the Pallottine Fathers, for sacristy expenditure, for the staff and upkeep of the surrounding site, as well as to finance some purchases. We are grateful for every donation, either single or regular, to support the shrine.
In order to secure permanent financial support we want to found the International Friends of the Original Shrine. Its aim is to secure the financial basis for the pastoral work at the Original Shrine, and for its upkeep, through regular contributions from all over the world.
You can become a Friend of the Original Shrine by completing the application and making an annual contribution of 100 Euros (EU countries) or 100 US$ (other countries).
Members will receive a regular circular letter with information and spiritual input from the Rector of the Original Shrine. Mr Fellhofer has agreed to take over the administration of the International Friends of the Original Shrine for this year.
In the Year of the Shrine I again realise how much the Original Shrine is our common centre. Through the covenant of love with Mary at the source of our Movement we form a single Family even before we begin to belong to a definite community, section of the Movement, or group. When we are united around the Original Shrine we become even more a Family at the start of the second century of our Movement's history.
Fr Heinrich Walter
Chairman of the General Presidium
Schönstatt-Patres-International e. V.
Vaterhaus - Berg Sion 1
Bank: DKM Darlehnskasse Münster eG
Account number: 3 16 16 02
Bank code number: 400 602 65
For international transfers:
IBAN: DE60 4006 0265 0003 1616 02