Marist College Chapel Mindelheim built 65 years ago
The Marists have been in Mindelheim since 1926 and from the beginning have had their own chapel within the Internat and School buildings. Before the Second World War the Brothers had planned to build a larger chapel for the Internat, school and the people of the neighbourhood. Due to the expulsion of the Brothers by the Nazis in 1937 the building could not be put up until after the Second World War. In memory of the Sacred Heart Juniorate in Arlon, the diocesan Bishop Joseph Freundorfer dedicated the church to the Sacred Heart on 27th June 1950.
The celebration of the services at the church was in the hands of the community chaplains and Brothers who were also teachers of Religious Education at the school. Relics of Saint Peter Chanel are inserted in the altar stone.
In 1998 priestly service was taken over by the Parish of Saint Stephen in Mindelheim. The Brothers looked after the church till 2013 and now it is cared for by a group of volunteers. The upkeep of the church in previous decades was borne basically by the Brothers’ community and the Internat.
In honour of the jubilee Brother Heinrich Schamberger has produced a leaflet on the history of the church and its artwork.
An extract from the leaflet:
The College Chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
The Chapel was named in memory of the first Juniorate (Formation House) of the German Marist Brothers in Arlon, Belgium in 1909 which was named Sacred Heart Juniorate. It was closed shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and was transferred to Furth bei Landshut in 1915 and then in 1920 to Stein an der Traun before being set up in Mindelheim after the foundation of the Brothers’ community there in 1926. The Juniorate remained here until 1931 and then, due to lack of space, was moved to Munich till 1st April 1935. Then it returned to Mindelheim for a short time before the expulsion of the Brothers by the Nazis in 1937. On 2nd April, 1946 the Juniorate was re-opened at Furth bei Landshut.
It is worth mentioning that relics of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist Brothers, have been honoured by being inserted in the new altar of Saint Stephen’s Parish Church in Mindelheim.