The Shrine at the Kahlenberg in Austria
Cornerstone Blessing for the New Building and the New Addition
The new building and the new addition at the Kahlenberg in Viena is progressing. It is a true joy! Everything will become new. Again and again many volunteers are motivated to commit themselves to the effort.
A first important milestone in this year 2022 was the impressive celebration of the blessing of the cornerstone on March 18. This was done in connection with the monthly covenant celebration.
Because of Covid rules and regulations only about 20 people could participate in the celebration in person at the shrine, but in the entire country of Austria there were 100s of online viewers, consisting usually of small groups of several people.
Nine families belonging to a course of the federation were together in Austria and were responsible for the music.
After the welcome by Sister M. Gabrijele Tröndle, House superior, Sister M. Siglinde Hilser, Province Council, spoke. She explained the relationship of the house and training center to the shrine.
Cornerstone—made with loving care
Father Felix Strässle blessed the wooden cornerstone that was made with love by the master carpenter Erich Moelzer. It symbolizes the motif of the Holy City found on the cornerstone of the Shrine.
The cornerstone is beautiful, and in the future it will be visible in the entrance area of the Schoenstatt Center. It can even be illumined. Later, small wooden houses will be added, which are striven for in a very original way by individuals/families. Each roof tile, each window, each design represents capital of grace.
Ingeborg and Richard Sickinger, Movement leaders, gave us inspiring thoughts that were based on a text of our founder – a quote from the October Week 1945. Their thoughts were a first response to the questionnaires that they, together with the Sisters, gave to the Austrian Schoenstatt Family already in February 2022.
The questionnaire had three questions for which a response was to be given by the eighteenth of March, the covenant day in March. There were 55 responses.
- The first question was: What meaning does this place, the Kahlenberg with the shrine and the Schoenstatt Center have for me?
- The second and third question: How can I fill these spaces with life?
- And: Would I like to have the cornerstone in my house for a time?
I would like to share three of the many beautiful answers to the first question:
A place of welcome!
I have a fond memory of the first time we arrived in 1995 for the Christmas convention and of the warm welcome we received from Sister M. Arntraude. With our two little children, we sat in the entrance near the manger under the Christmas tree and knew, despite the modest accomodations, that this was the place for us! A sheltering place and a home, safe, relaxing and peaceful. A place of growth—here we and our children have grown in our ability to relate to one another, to people, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to God, to life. A place of encounter with people, with the Mother of God, and with God.
In the shrine we experience: home, transformation, mission
Schoenstatt at the Kahlenberg with the shrine is our second home. The Mother of God is and remains our educator. She has helped us so much already in our marriage and family, and she helps us each day so that our love can continue to grow. We are happy to be guided by the Mother of God. Not everything has been successful in our life but we offer our experiences of contingency to the Mother of God by means of the container in the shrine. She can give to others from it, and time and again we draw from this capital of grace.
A place of new beginning
At that time, in the acadamy of families, it was a place of new beginning but also of finding a home. Here, for the first time we came to know Father Kentenich. And it is a place of refuge from the large city: a place of encounter with the typically happy and friendly Sisters of Mary.
The traveling cornerstone
From now until the dedication of the house on October thirtieth of this year, when we celebrate the fourtieth anniversary of the shrine, the cornerstone will be traveling to all of the people and families who want to receive it during this time. In this way, the cornerstone will be a sign of the bond that exists in Austria from home shrine to home shrine. The cornerstone first “visited” the sisters in Kösching, Germany, who came from Austria or have been stationed in Austria.