On Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 1945, Father Kentenich returned to Schoenstatt from his years as a prisoner of the Nazis. The war was over, the persecution a thing of the past, and the rejoicing of his spiritual family knew no bounds. Indeed, God had seen fit to return the founder in the best of health. As Father Kentenich said to the [Schoenstatt] Sisters of Mary in Bruchsal along the route of his return:
I can tell you that I feel physically and spiritually better and fitter than at any [other] time in my life. It is apparently a sign that nothing can harm us as long as we remain faithful to the Triune God (May 19, 1945).
With Father Kentenich’s own words we join the whole Schoenstatt Family in thanking God for the great mercy of seeing our founder come back from the concentration camp of Dachau unharmed and ready to continue serving the Church and his foundation. May we also follow in his footsteps and accept all trials with patient endurance, in the spirit of Christ’s childlike surrender to his Father in Heaven (Fr. J. Niehaus, Brushstrokes #4).
I cannot thank God enough for all I have seen. It has been a great blessing, superb training,
And I have to thank everyone
Who sent me to the concentration camp.
Most of all I would love to kneel silently
Before the picture of the Mother of God,
Giving myself up wholly to the vision of the Triune Go,
And, with all of you, simply gaze, love, and praise
From now to the end of eternity.
With these words Father Kentenich and with him, the entire Schoenstatt Family, thanked God and Mary, Queen of the Concentration Camp , for the years in the hell of Dachau, years of shelteredness under [her protecting mantle], years of true inner freedom, and [of remaining totally at God’s disposal.]
Those years were as fruitful and blessed as few others had been (The Father Kentenich House).