Father Johannes Hammer – the new pastor in the home parish of the Venerable Sister M. Emilie, who was from Olpe-Drolshagen – came to Metternich for the first time for the Emilie Day 2023. He gladly blessed the plaques for the new Pathway of Emilie which is next to the Schoenstatt Shrine and offers six impulses inspired by the life of Sister M. Emilie:
- Receive strength!
- Watch for the signs!
- Listen to the voice!
- Do not be afraid!
- Discover your goal!
Thus, Sister M. Emilie encourages hikers and visitors in the park of the “Metternich Schloesschen.”
October—the month of the founding of Schoenstatt and the month of the Rosary
Emilie Day this year.
Mrs. Knaupe brought forty pilgrims by bus from the region of Sister M. Emilie’s home. They were from Drolshagen, Husten, Dumike, Iseringhausen and other places. Mr. Sondermann was the experienced leader on the bus. Other participants came from Bocholt, the Saarland, Pfalz and, of course, from Metternich and the surrounding area. Everyone listened attentively to the presentation of Sister M. Lioba Ruprect, a member of the General Council of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. Based on the motto of the World Youth Day “She set out in haste ….” Sister M. Lioba showed how Sister M. Emilie helped others her entire life while simultaneously being a person of prayer. The Rosary was a part of Sister M. Emilie’s daily life. In October 1955, she wrote this to inspire the praying of the Rosary:
“The Rosary always brings help in time of need; it is always a source of consolation and trust; and it always sets us on the right path if we pray it correctly.
It places the life of Jesus and Mary before our eyes and thus keeps alive in us a sense for the mysteries of our holy faith.”
Sister Lioba’s talk was about the origin of the Rosary, how one can learn to pray it, and whether young people can even be expected to pray it. She let the attentive listeners also participate in the Rosary that Pope Francis prayed in Fatima with the young people at World Youth Day, showing that the greatest effect of this prayer is the transformation of hearts. The inspirations that sister gave were so varied and lively that at the end of the afternoon, Mrs. Knaupe said:
“The people are very satisfied. Some things were familiar, others enriching, and it was never boring. It was a very good day for us!”
Sister M. Manuela who belongs to the provincial council of the Schoenstatt Sisters in Borken related: “Over coffee, I sat across from Mr. Vikar Todt, who is from the same area as Sister Emilie. While looking at her photo, he said that this picture speaks also to us today. When I asked him what he meant, he said:
“When this photo was taken, Sister M. Emilie was already very ill and had gone through much suffering. Yet she is so radiant. Today it is likewise depressing in the Church and there is much suffering. We should also shine like Sister M. Emilie!” I am grateful for this nice comparison.
There was a procession to the grave of Sister M. Emilie. Everyone could entrust their concerns to her and they prayed for her beatification.
At the end of the afternoon there was a harvest devotion. It was arranged, under the direction of Jürgen Boehme, by the church choir of St. Johannes in Metternich. Father Oskar Buehler gave the homily:
“Thanksgiving means learning to recognize everything as a gift from God, everything we have … also and especially that which is the work of people. All things are expressions and signs of God’s wisdom and love.” He pointed out, “We can learn from Sister M. Emilie to be grateful. Discovering God’s wisdom and love in everything that happens in our life was characteristic of her.” Finally, he extended the invitation: “Let us join Sister M. Emilie in her spiritual world. Let us learn from her to live gratefully with all our heart.”
Now is a good opportunity to thank everyone who prepared this day and carried it out.
Mr. M. said to one of the sisters: “The afternoon was very good!