Marists in Germany
News from the schools in Cham and Mindelheim
In the last few weeks there have been a number of events in Cham and Mindelheim which we report below.
Mindelheim: Opening and blessing of the new craft rooms at Marist College
In a short celebration, the newly established craft rooms were handed over to the teachers and pupils by Rector Maria Schmölz. They are evidence of the Marist integrated approach in the three areas of manual, academic and emotional education. Together, this triad represents the formation of hands, hearts and minds.
Brother Michael Schmalzl and the chaplain called down the blessing of God on the craft rooms and their users.
In the course of this event some pupils demonstrated examples of their finished work, for example, a piano of wood and cardboard. Others used metal or other materials for their work.
The pupils expressed the value of the hands on approach to technical education, “We are proud of the work of our hands.” This is a fine motto for the technical subjects in Marist College, Mindelheim.
Brother Heinrich Schamberger
Cham: Welcome Mass for the new intake
The first Eucharisic celebration for Class five was under the motto, “How do I become Marist?” It soon became clear to the pupils that the term “Marist” has something to do with Mary, Mother of Jesus. In the homily the question was put to the pupils as to who is the most important person in their lives, to which each gave the clear response; their mother. It was no different with Jesus. On the one hand, God could only take on human form because Mary had said her “yes” and on the other hand, there was no human person nearer to Jesus than his mother. It is because of this that Marists have taken Mary as their example in the following of Jesus. This imitation of Jesus leads us to the question, what kind of person do I wish to become – a generous spirited one or a mean spirited one, a loveable person or a hateful one, one who forgives or one who holds grudges? A Marist chooses the first in each case. It is in the example of Mary that he seeks to imitate Jesus. He seeks to live a life of ever more love. It is for this reason that “To Jesus through Mary” is the motto of Marists. The decision of a pupil of the Marist Realschule to become Marist is entirely his decision. Naturally the school community rejoices in many new Marists who join them on life’s journey.
At the end of the homily, Mr Staudner, responsible for the spiritual life of the school, put in front of the pupils their welcoming gift – a valuable key chain and in the middle of the chain is a faceless woman. This was intended. When the pupil decides he will live his life as Mary did then he will come in this world to the living face of Mary. This symbolic and practical gift is one which should accompany the pupils throughout their school life and afterwards.
At the end of the Eucharist celebration the chaplain blessed the key chains and the Head Teacher of the school, Mr Maier, handed over to the pupils with his good wishes, this symbolic gift.
Cham: Marist Motorcycle Pilgrimage to Bolzano
The destination of this year’s motorcycle pilgrimage of the former pupils was the Benedictine monastery Muri-Gries in Bolzano. The pilgrims set out from the school with a prayer of blessing by the organiser, R.E. teacher, Hans Staudner. The pilgrims travelled to Penser Joch via Munich, Mittenwald and Brenner where they met up with Father Otto Grillmeier who had entered the Monastery there in the South Tyrol. Father Otto is a passionate motor cycle rider. He led the group along complicated roads, so narrow and steep that several riders were wiping the perspiration from their brows. After seeing to their rooms, Father Otto led them to the Monastery. The circa 800 year old construction was originally a castle. It has a vineyard of 7 to 8 acres. Between the wine and fruit growing the 11 monks easily manage financially the work they undertake in the parishes and student accommodation. Before supper, the pilgrims joined the monks in evening prayer of Vespers after which their host led them to some tasting of the monastery wine.
The following day the weather was rather patchy so that the group started off in the rain going over the Mendelpass in the direction of Lake Garda. Unfortunately, on the way the bikers had to deal with some unhelpful Italian road surface. Freshly laid tar plus rain with no warning of dangerous road conditions led to the frontrunner, Father Otto, falling off his bike and the R.E. teacher close behind becoming acquainted with an uncultivated field. Once the wounds had been attended to with first aid and the cycles proclaimed roadworthy, the cyclists went on to Lake Garda and through Arco back to the monastery. The accident had taken up so much time that the planned Mass fell through. But in the evening the cyclists were able to hold their revue of the day in the monks’ winter chapel. The devotion ended with a prayer of thanks and a blessing. Concluding the evening after that was some lively discussion about the pilgrimage and the life of the Benedictine monks.
In the morning sunshine Father Otto said goodbye to the pilgrims with a morning prayer. But the journey home was characterised by winds and rain. Nevertheless everyone was glad to have taken part and the experiences of these days will remain with some for a long time.