History » 1969 - 2002

Fourth Period: 1968 - 2002

While Fr Kentenich was absent – between 1951 and 1965 – and afterwards until his death in 1968, no further changes took place in the shrine.

After Fr Kentenich’s death dramatic changes involving the whole of Schoenstatt started. It is possible to distinguish three main points: Building work around the shrine; important discussions in the background as to the meaning and purpose of the shrine; and finally changes in and around the shrine itself.


Things had always been going on around the shrine. On 5.5.1954 the shrine of the Sisters of Mary on Mount Schoenstatt was blessed; on 14.4.1963 the shrine of the Institute of our Lady of Schoenstatt (Frauen von Schönstatt) was also blessed. After Fr Kentenich’s return the shrine of the Women’s Federation was blessed on 14.5.1967. This shrine was followed by a series of daughter shrines that were built in the immediate vicinity of the original shrine. Between 1954 and 1995 twelve replicas of the original shrine were built around it. In addition many training and community houses were built. The approach roads from Vallendar were improved and a bridge was built over the Hillscheid brook to divert the main traffic away from the original shrine.

The appearance of the original shrine changed radically when the Sisters of Mary were removed from office as sacristans. They had looked after the shrine without break from 1 October 1926 until 30 June 1967. From1 July 1967 a Pallottine Brother took over the sacristy. Gradually the ancient witnesses of old Schoenstatt’s time as a cloister were removed (walls, barn, houses and factory buildings). By the end of the century only a few things remained: one of the ancient towers and a part of the former wall enclosing the Pilgrims’ Place next to the shrine.

These 30-years of Schoenstatt’s history are too vast to be recounted here, although they indirectly affect the role and importance of the Schoenstatt shrine.


Both the building of replicas of the Schoenstatt shrine all over the world, as well as the separation of Schoenstatt from the Pallottines, gave rise to important discussions in the background. Since the original shrine is the model for the construction of all daughter shrines, it affects the original shrine itself and gives rise to the question as to how much creative freedom still exists, and what is not allowed. These questions have not found a final and satisfactory answer, and do not come to rest. For this reason it should be clear that until we have a greater historical distance from events, it is impossible to document them for the time being.


This refers to the few happenings in and around the original shrine that can be seen as a continuation of previous arrangements, although they also brought about permanent changes.

The documentation that follows can be found in the brief news reports (KN) of the Schoenstatt Fathers, which were mainly written down by Fr Josef Klein.

March/April 1969

Renovation of the shrine

October 1969

Opening wall beside the heroes’ graves

April 1970

Annual springcleaning in the shrine

July/August/September 1970

Work around the shrine

October 1970

Ordering of Pilgrimages to the shrine

June/July/August 1971

Demolition of Kretzer’s barn and further changes to buildings

August and October 1971

Renewal of Symbols

August 1972

Renovation of Old Tower and demolition of Old Wasserburg

April 1973

New and Old

5 April 1974

Spring Cleaning in Original Shrine and removal of Communion Rail

29 August 1974

Fire Damage in the Original Shrine

22 January 1975

Second Burglary in the Original Shrine

April 1977

Installation of Floor Heating

May/October 1978

Information Boards near the Original Shrine

25 August 1984

St Michael's Statue shattered

1 November 1985

New Statue of St Michael

15 March 1987

Altar Carver Ströbel dies

April 1988

Renewal of damp course in the shrine. Return of the cupboards. Common start to the month of .May


Renovation of the Old House

April/June 2001

Centenary Celebrations and Alterations to the Pilgrims’ Place, Report on drilling

Postcard of Vallendar

www.urheiligtum.de - The Website about the Original Shrine of the international Schoenstatt Movement.

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