For more information

on this celebration open to the public, call (262) 522-4300.

Members of the Schoenstatt Movement will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their founder with a Mass on Thursday, July 8 at 5 p.m. at St. Vincent Pallotti East Parish, 5424 W. Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee.

The event, coinciding with the Year for Priests proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, honors the anniversary of the ordination the founder of the International Schoenstatt Movement, Servant of God Fr. Joseph Kentenich

The Mass and related activities will take place in front of the Schoenstatt Marian Shrine south of Wisconsin Avenue. Archbishop Jerome Listecki will be the principal celebrant of the concelebrated Mass. A reception will follow featuring a Power Point presentation and information about Fr. Kentenich and the Schoenstatt Movement.

Kentenich was born in Gymnich, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1985. He was ordained July 8, 1910, served as Latin teacher in the minor seminary for the Pallottine Fathers in Schoenstatt-Vallendar, Germany, and there in 1912 was appointed spiritual director.  With the outbreak of the World War, he became concerned about the safety and education of the seminarians.

He turned to Mary to entrust them to her care and education. In time Fr. Kentenich called this consecration to Mary a covenant of love. Throughout the war the students remained in contact with one another and with the spiritual director through letters and a published circular. By their lives of service, purity and joy they drew others into their mission thus forming the future Schoenstatt Movement.

After World War I, Fr. Kentenich became well known for his retreats for priests, seminarians and lay leaders throughout Germany. In 1934 alone 2,631 priests attended his retreats.

During World War II, Fr. Kentenich was imprisoned and sent to Dachau concentration camp for almost four years. Even there, he held retreats and gave talks for many of the 2,000 priests imprisoned with him. After his release he visited the places overseas where Schoenstatt had spread — Africa, South America and the United States.

In 1951 he was sent to Milwaukee and lived at Holy Cross Parish (now St. Vincent Pallotti East) for 14 years. He continued to give retreats for priests, seminarians and couples. In 1959 he became chaplain for the German-speaking immigrants in Milwaukee.  In 1954 an exact replica of the Schoenstatt Shrine in Germany was built at Holy Cross.

In Milwaukee families were to ask the Blessed Mother to take up her throne in their homes to educate and form firm, free, priestly personalities. This life-stream gradually spread to other parts of the world. In 1976, just eight years after the priest’s death, the bishop of the Trier Diocese, opened the canonization process of Fr. Kentenich.