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A Hidden Gem in the Redlands

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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 1:15 am

   On a visit to Center State Bank, Princeton Branch, Customer Service Representative Norma Moreno told Patty and I about the Schoenstatt Mission, a little church with a gigantic history.

   When we arrived at 22800 SW 187th Avenue at 4:30 pm, Sisters Veronica and Diane were were very welcoming and informative. Though this quaint shrine was built in 2010, it is modeled after the original that still exists in Vallendar, Germany. This little twin is centered in the middle of an avocado grove with surrounding grounds beautifully landscaped.

   It’s story dates back to 1914 when Father Joseph Kentenich restored the original chapel into a meeting place for a group of students at the Pallottine Seminary. Later that year, he and his students started the Schoenstatt Movement, a covenant of love with the Blessed Virgin Mary thus founding a Marian Congregation.

   The movement expanded rapidly after WW I. By 1926 Father Kentenich founded the Sisters of Mary. With the threat of Nazism, it didn’t take long until the Sisters were sent to South Africa plus parts of South America for their safety and continued works. In 1941 Fr. Kentenich was arrested by the Gestapo. As prisoner #29392, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp for over three years. First, he was confined to a small concrete cell without light causing his health to deteriorate. Destined for the gas chamber, Block Chief Guttmann, impressed by the starving Father for sharing his food, he hid the priest saving his life. At the end of the war, Fr. Kentenich took his movement world wide. In 1948 he visited the United States. The Sisters would follow in 1949. Today there are over 200 Schoenstatt Shrines world wide. Eleven of those missions are in the United States with their headquarters in Wisconsin. Residents from Homestead, with roots in Wisconsin, were instrumental in the South Dade location.

   We walked up the pathway with Sister Veronica following footprints embedded in the cement. It was explained, “this path leads to the light and the way.” Our breath was taken away as the front door opened to the ornate altar honoring Mother Mary and Jesus. We learned that “the Schoenstatt Movement includes branches for priest, consecrated and single men and women, couples, mothers, university students and youth.”

    Sister Diane told of the many programs and activities that occur at this location…too many to list. This coming July there will be a women’s retreat in Waukesha, Wisconsin. For activities and times see schoenstattmiamiusa.org. Don’t forget to visit this little gem in the Redlands and if you are a Believer, take a moment to enter the chapel and say a prayer.

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1 comment:

  • kritter posted at 11:39 pm on Fri, May 25, 2018.

    kritter Posts: 18