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About Our Founder Father Kentenich

fatherFather Joseph Kentenich was born in Gymnich near Cologne, Germany on November 18, 1885. He began his priestly life as a gifted teacher and educator in the Pallottine House of Studies in Schoenstatt, Vallendar. An extraordinary bond of trust developed between him and his students. They made his love for Mary their own and through his message learned to see her as a bridge leading to a deep, fervent love of God.

Alert to the signs of the time and listening attentively in order to perceive God’s will, Father Kentenich, together with a small group of students - entered into a covenant of love with Mary in the chapel (now known as the Original Shrine) at Schoenstatt. This was the beginning and the lasting foundation of today’s worldwide development of the Schoenstatt Movement.

In 1926, Father Kentenich founded our community, the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, to be the soul of the Schoenstatt Movement. He allowed himself to be guided by everything the Holy Spirit worked in the individuals and groups of our community. Our form of life, our structure, the values and goals of our institute——everything unfolded gradually from inspirations that Father Kentenich took up and creatively developed.

During his lifetime our founder indentified himself with our sisters’ family to such a degree that he could say: “The family is my extended self.” We experience ever anew that our connection to him gives us creative strength and at the same time an authentic foundation for our being and mission. Throughout his life as founder, Father Kentenich gave his followers a deep experience of God’s fatherhood and led them into his own profound love for the Church. In this way he became a bridge for us toward a living relationship with the Triune God.

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