History » 1901 - 1912

The Chapel of St Michael from 1901-1912

The arrangement of periods in the history of the original shrine follow that of Fr Heinrich Hug in his book: The World History of a Shrine, which was published by Patris-Verlag, Schoenstatt.

Fr Hug drew the information about the history of Schoenstatt and the original shrine in the years from 1901-1912 from various sources, for example, the house chronicle of the Pallottine College in Schoenstatt. The house chronicle reports on the purchase of the ancient convent at Schoenstatt, alsong with the Chapel of St Michael in 1901 by the Pallottines.

Other important sources are reports by Fr Schulte und Fr Kolb.

To start with the Pallottines took over the chapel in the way it had been furnished by the Dorsemagen family. The years that followed they changed and completed the interior. Soon after the purchase a tabernacle was put onto the altar of the chapel of St Michael, because, according to Fr Kolb's notes, the Blessed Sacrament was reserved there very soon after the purchase, although this continued only until September 1901.

When the property was bouth, the altar of the Doresemagen family stood at the front, so the Fathers were able to use it from the first. However, it was soon removed and taken to the old house, so then there was no altar in the chapel. In autumn and winter Holy Mass was celebrated in the new house chapel of the old house. At this time the chapel was not being heated, so it wasn't suitable for use in winter.

In April 1902 a Pallottine Brother constructed a new altar for the chapel. It was a very simple construction. Later its primitive state was often mentioned, in particular by Fr Kolb. Hoowever, it did its duty until it was replaced in 1934 by one in Baroque stile. The old altar was pulled apart and the wood was stored in the attic of the old house where the Sisters of Mary were living, in particular the Adoration Sisters. One of them later discovered a label that was attached to one of the pieces of wood. It was a proper document that stated:

This altar was made on 2 April 1902
by Reverend Br. Josef Funken PSM
(Signature:) Br. Anton Amon PSM.

At the back of the piece of paper the following could be seen:

The Fathers and Brother at present are:

Fr Zeus, Rector (and then as a list:)
Fr Gerchsheimer, Fr Lucas, Fr Bührle,
Br Giesler, Br Helmprecht, Br Funken,
Br Amon, Br Falk, Br Schmitt, Br Steudter,
Br Mesius, Br Dörner und 23 Studenten.

The altar removed from the chapel in 1901, which then served as a second altar for Holy Mass in the house chapel of the old house, was carried upstairs in the new house to the infirmary chapel.

In the corners of the chapel corner cupboards have been fitted to right and left. These survived through time and were used by the Dorsemagen family. They were taken over by the Pallottines in 1901 and remained there until the big renovation took place in April 1977. They were removed and sold to an antique dealer. The Sisters of mary bought them in 1982 from him. In 1988 the Sisters returned the corner cupboards to the original shrine as a "loan", so that from then on these ancient mementos again stood where thy had originally come from.

Mr Dorsemagen had made one special item, a sort of prieudieu that served as a communion rail. It had a history of its own.

In 1940 Mrs Huisgen, nee Dorsemagen, related the following:

On Sundays the family was in the habit of going for a drive into the surrounding countryside in a horse drawn carriage. During one such drive, Mr Dorsemagen discovered a "beautiful old piece" in an attic or in the barn of a village church in the Westerwald. It was a sort of wooden board with Baroque carvings. He bought it and took it home. He had a carpenter give it a support so that it could be set up as a sort of Communion rail.

The Pallottines found it and also set it up as a Communion rail. Actually it was only a stopgap, because only two people could kneel at it and receive Communion at a time. Nevertheless it remained where it was until 1934 out of repect, because it came from the past. to put it more precisely, in keeping with the way things were said at the time, it came from the time of new Schoenstatt's foundation and the hero sodalists of the First World War had seen it.

Looking back later, Br Joseph Viedenz (1866-1946) had something to tell.

In 1902 the chapel of St Michael was again mentioned in the house chronicle. In 1903 there is a report on the laying of cables for electric lighting. The cables connected not just the house, but also the Chapel of St Michael, as can be seen on contemporary photographs. The house chronicle does not report on this, but former pupils have repeatedly related how these fixtures challenged some of the boys to create a short circuit in the chapel. Fr Alexander Menningen also described these incidents.

After the records made in 1902, the Chapel of St Michael is not mentioned again until 1919 after the First World War. There are many reports on all sorts of construction projects - in the farm buildings, the ablution block, in the gardens and in the surrounding wall. However, the Chapel of St Michael is not mentioned, not even in the fateful year of 1914.

Around 1900 the chapel had no bell.

Priedieu with coat-of-arms of two families. Today part of the altar.

Former convent buildings of the Augustinian Sisters.

From 1903 electric lighting

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