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Jubilee Gift Honors Legacy of the Founder: Number 1 in Series of 3

Jubilee Gift Honors Legacy of the Founder: Number 1 in Series of 3

On July 12, 2014, the Schoenstatt Family of Texas gathered in Corpus Christi to celebrate the Jubilee with the unveiling and blessing of the Father Joseph Kentenich Memorial.  The bust of our founder which commemorates his arrival in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas in 1948 is a jubilee gift of the Texas Family. 

Father Joseph Kentenich’s visit to America in 1948

Schoenstatt’s founder visited the United States from June 5 to September 6, 1948.  The founder himself was responsible for bringing the gift of Schoenstatt to America on his quite fast-paced, three month journey to plant the seeds of Schoenstatt in our American soil.  Father Kentenich made the sacrifice of traveling thousands of miles across America for the love of Schoenstatt and the mission of our Blessed Mother.  He came to “fish” for American hearts – to win American hearts for Mary’s mission.  His visit was essential for the future development of Schoenstatt in America.

Schoenstatt entered the post-war years with a strong international drive.  It was no longer just a German movement; for it had taken root all over the globe.  This came from a deeply rooted spirit that Father Kentenich called “the urge for world-wideness” – for an international dimension.  The founder connected this urge with the story of Saint Peter’s conversion after the miraculous catch of the fish, “At your word, I will lower the net…”  These words of Saint Peter never left Father Kentenich – they were a holy compulsion.  Throughout his journey to and through North America, the words:  “At your word, I will lower the net!” echoed in him.  To lower the net for Mary, the Mother of God!  He wanted to see how this world power, the United States of America could be placed in her service.

Father Kentenich’s words:  “Since January 20, 1942, it was simply a matter of course that I, in the name of the family, take Peter seriously, so I traveled to South Africa and South America, and as soon as the door opened to the United States, I was ready to go.”

In Dachau Concentration Camp (1942-1945), Father Kentenich had the opportunity to get to know the soul of the peoples of Eastern Europe.  He was given the chance to take in the Western soul and he was ready to do so in order to conquer the world for the Mother of God, the Mother Thrice Admirable.

The founder considered that if Schoenstatt wanted to realize its holy mission, then the movement had to be taken to the two present world powers, Russia and the United States.  What was the mission for which Father Kentenich consumed himself?  The mission was the building of the Marian Kingdom of the Father for the renewed Church, the renewed country and the world.

“…if we succeed in establishing Schoenstatt there (North America), the MTA with her great mission for our time, the MTA as educator of nations, her hands filled with riches, will more easily and surely set out on a march to victory throughout the world…” (J. K.)

Father Kentenich could foresee the strength and power of America’s world-wide influence on the growth of the international Schoenstatt Movement.


Bowlin, Patti, Presentation, “Father’s Journey to America, a Brief Overview”, 2013

Niehaus, Fr.  Jonathan.  Visit to America, Waukesha, 1999




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