February 8, 2020

Brother Jacob goes first!

from Sister M. Theresiana Berger and Sister Antje-Maria Wunderwald

Always at hand!

02.02.2020   For us Sisters of Mary as well as for the regular visitors to the Mass in our Adoration Church, we cannot imagine life without him: Brother Jacob Boos, member of the Men’s Federation and resident with the Schoenstatt Fathers on Mount Sion. Whether at normal Sunday services and devotions, at Corpus Christi processions or reception ceremonies: Brother Jakob is simply part of it – and has been for 50 years!

The first Sunday in February, on which we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord this year, is the day of the golden “Jubilee of Service” of Brother Jacob. It goes without saying that it is a matter of concern to our Sisters’ Family to thank the jubilarian and celebrate him.

For 50 years always at hand!

Already during the morning Mass, Dr. Biberger, as General Director of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary and Rector of the Adoration Church, thanked Brother Jacob for his faithful service and took his intentions into the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. As on most feast days, Brother Jacob also today performs the altar service together with Mr. Schilling – for many years now, both have been a well-rehearsed team.

Gift of divine grace and human faithfulness

The actual anniversary celebration is in the afternoon. It begins with

Vespers in the Adoration Church.

After the reading of the Scriptures, Dr. Biberger addresses a grateful greeting to the jubilarian, spiced with humor. He recalls that Sister M. Anneluzia – the sacristan at that time, who is among the guests today – asked Brother Jacob 50 years ago to take over the altar service in the Adoration Church. Brother Jacob gladly said yes! At that time, both hardly suspected that Brother Jacob would carry out this service for 50 years – and hopefully many more. Dr. Biberger calls it a special gift of divine grace, but also of the human faithfulness that made this possible.

We sisters are well aware of the only three reasons why Brother Jacob does not take up his ministry from time to time, because when Dr. Biberger enumerates them, we see a smile and nod of agreement:
1. Brother Jacob is on vacation in his beloved Switzerland.
2. He takes part in the annual meeting of the Men’s Federation.
3. He is hindered by illness.

The peaceful center

In all these years, Brother Jacob has maintained a deep inner joy and a watchful eye for the liturgy. In view of the fact that the celebrants change more often, Dr. Biberger calls it an invaluable advantage that Brother Jacob knows about it. He is the peaceful center that radiates security. When a large crowd of concelebrants is present and excitedly asks how the entry is proceeding, a single word is enough to reassure the confreres: “Brother Jacob goes first!

Dr. Biberger thanks Brother Jakob personally and in the name of the Sisters’ family for his untiring service, his unshakable loyalty, for his natural willingness, his willing co-responsibility and his dedicated commitment over the past 50 years and wishes: “May God reward you with rich blessings and stable health. We would be pleased if you would continue to celebrate the liturgy with us for a long time to come and contribute to its dignified  arrangement”.

Coffee at the Motherhouse

The celebration continues in a cheerful, family atmosphere with a small coffee party. Brother Jacob spontaneously shared the story of his vocation and life, which led him from Switzerland to Schoenstatt in 1969. Not only through his service in the Adoration Church, but also through the many photos that he took of Schoenstatt, especially of the Original Shrine, he became known to Schoenstatters from all over the world.

In between, a group of Sisters delighted us with two pieces of music, performed with piano, guitar and flute. As an outward sign of gratitude, Dr. Biberger presented Brother Jakob with a certificate and an “order” with the Adoration Church. In addition, the jubilarian will receive a gift basket, which – as is fitting – is filled not least with Swiss specialties!