August 12, 2022

The Bicycle Pilgrimage 2022

Sr. Evamaria Ludwig

On Ways

Led by God


Pedaling hard

Again this year our Marienland Conference Center put out an invitation to a bicycle pilgrimage. Twenty-one cyclers pedaled hard from June 29-July 3. Despite a dubious weather forecast in the beginning, heaven showed its best side and gave us ideal weather for bicycling.

“I am very much looking forward to the days on the road together,” stated one participant a week before the pilgrimage began.

With the traveler blessing

Reiner Eichenberg, as our proven bicycle pilgrimage guide, Sister Evamaria Ludwig, and Sister M. Felicia Hirscher accompanied the group of cyclists. After a joyful start, the welcoming round, and the travel blessing in and around the Schoenstatt Shrine at the Marienland Conference Center, the first short tour led to Niederwerth Island and then on to Ehrenbreitstein.

ER led our group on good paths

“On ways led by God,” was the motto for the four days of our bicycle  pilgrimage. ER led our group on good paths to Bad Ems, Bad Breisig, along the Rhine River, to Kobern-Gundorf, and along the Moselle River.

A proven schedule

The schedule was the same each day: After breakfast and morning prayer, we traveled by car from Mt. Schoenstatt, Germany to the valley where the bikes were ready for departure. The long chain of bicycles then got off to a swift start and  rode on the four mornings through our little city of Vallendar to the Rhine. Before lunch, a short reflection invited the pilgrims to take a breather, reflect, and have a “peace” break, because the impulses of the day always centered on the idea of peace.

Peace think tank

The prayer for peace in the Ukraine and in Europe was very important to the group. Food for thought from the spiritual impulses included: What do we observe in terms of peace? – Peace begins in our own hearts. – What does the bond with each other mean?

Joyful thanksgiving

At the beginning of our days together, during a Eucharistic celebration, Father Werner Unkel set the mood for our group of cyclists for the days ahead. On Sunday, July 3, 2022, the common celebration of Holy Mass also was a joyful thanksgiving for the beautiful, eventful days.

Evenings with a special character

The evenings had their own special character.
It was important for some of the cyclists to take in Schoenstatt as a place; a nice barbecue in the open air provided relaxation. Before the joyful get-together, there was always an evening reflection: an evening praise followed by lingered prayer in front of the open tabernacle in the house chapel.

Lighting of memorial lights

A true highpoint was the lighting of memorial lights on the last evening. The participants could light a memorial light and say which of the impulses of the pilgrimage they will take with them into their everyday life. It was an intensive time of recollection in which special little moments of the day shone. Also the prayer requests for … were visibly supported by all.

 When exactly will the bicyle pilgrimage in 2023 take place?

The four days ended on Sunday at noon after an extended brunch and with a conclusion in the Schoenstatt Shrine at the Marienland Conference Center. A warm farewell followed, coupled with the frequently asked question about next year’s date.

“It’s just fun to be on the road with a troop like that.”

–  One participant explained, “These days of cycling together will shine into my everyday life for a long time to come.”

“The combination of cycling and reflective times allows you to step back, obtain peace, and recharge,” expressed another woman.

–  Reiner Eichenberg agreed to take over the leadership next year. Again and again he said,

“It’s just fun to be on the road with a troop like this.”