May 11, 2024

In Memory of Monsignor Hermann Zimmerer

Schönstätter Marienschwestern, international



Hermann Zimmerer

  *  19. January 1932

  †  03. May 2024



Words of our Superior General, Sr. M. Joanna Buckley,

on the occasion of the funeral ceremony for Msgr. Zimmerer in Vöhringen,

May 10, 2024


We Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary have come today to honor Monsignor Zimmerer and thank him. From 1988 to 2010 he was

Director General of our Secular Institute.

The then bishop of the Diocese of Augsburg – Dr. Josef Stimpfle – released him for service in our community; for this we also owe him our thanks.

As General Director, Monsignor Zimmerer lived in Schoenstatt for 22 years, but this place had become his spiritual home long before that. Already as a theology student, he was actively involved in the Movement, and after his ordination to the priesthood, he joined the Schoenstatt Priests’ Federation.  Firmly rooted in Schoenstatt’s spirituality, he helped many to recognize their vocation and to live their faith.

After 30 years in parish pastoral care, his radius suddenly became worldwide. Sisters of Mary on all five continents were part of his area of responsibility, and at the same time he also shared responsibility for the international Schoenstatt Work through his position in our community.

He inspired us in countless talks and sermons, retreat courses and conferences. It seemed like he genuinely enjoyed preparing sermons. He often divided his talks into three points. And he succeeded in some way always directing our gaze to Mary, as a living object lesson for his remarks. He was convinced that the covenant of love with Mary provides support in the challenges of life. You could feel that he himself lived from it. How often did we see him in the Schoenstatt Shrine in prayer, listening to Mary and talking to her. With his ardent love for Mary, Monsignor Zimmerer has greatly enriched our community.

We are grateful for his valuable inspiration and the clear orientation he gave within our institute and beyond. You could hardly name a book title that he had not already heard or read. Above all, however, he drew from the spiritual wealth of our founder, Father Joseph Kentenich. Understanding the charism of the founder was a motivation and an ongoing theme for Monsignor Zimmerer. He liked to seek contact with those who were companions with our founder, and at the same time he himself was a sought-after and valued advisor in following the founder.

As Director General, he tirelessly set out to visit our provinces in all parts of the world and also to provide orientation in personal conversations. He was remarkably “resistant to the zeitgeist”, as a speaker remarked on the occasion of Monsignor Zimmerer’s golden jubilee as a priest. His principled thinking helped the government of the institute to set appropriate priorities.

With great competence, he accompanied our Secular Institute in a difficult and decisive time on the way to our final recognition by the Church, which was granted to us in 1994. Together with the Superior General, he represented our community before ecclesiastical authorities. He did this with his characterristic simplicity. He concelebrated several times with the Holy Father, Pope St. John Paul II. He also had no trouble conversing in Latin with priests in an international circle. Monsignor Zimmerer found the right tone for everyone: He met bishops and cardinals and ordinary people with the same reverence and humor that was his own. Whomever he had once accepted, he also prayed for. Although he was more than 400 kilometers away from his home diocese, he remained inwardly connected with the people of his former parish and diocese. They had a firm and lasting place in his heart and he did not forget important memorial days.

We can say of him that he did not get bogged down in trivialities, and yet little things were important to him when it came to Schoenstatt’s goals. His interest was in the people and in Schoenstatt. He was firmly convinced that from Schoenstatt, the Blessed Mother has a task for the Church of today. He will continue to work for this mission of Mary.

We thank you, dear Monsignor Zimmerer, for everything you have done and have been and will be for us. Your passing at the beginning of the month of May and on Sacred Heart Friday is a seal on your life. What our founder formulated in a prayer from the Dachau concentration camp also applies to you:

May God’s blessing come upon all those

who have consecrated themselves entirely to Schoenstatt

and bring them happiness and salvation, here and in eternity. Amen. 


Schoenstatt, 05-10-2023

For the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Sister M. Joanna Buckley, General Superior


Fotos: Archiv