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The time in Strassburg

At the end of 1891 Katharina Kentenich moved to Strassburg to her brother Peter Joseph (11 April 1856 - 24 November 1945). He had lived there from the time he married his wife, Lisette (12 November 1859 - 25 December 1891) on 9 June 1882. At Lisette’s death he was left to care for their three children. Three other children had already died. Katharina was asked to take over the housekeeping for her brother, so she moved to Strassburg and took her child with her.

Peter Joseph had been a blacksmith even while living at home in Gymnich, and he continued in this business in Strassburg, working for the army. The family lived close to the cathedral. The house still exists today.

The move meant that Joseph Kentenich had to change schools – from the village of Gymnich, with its small preparatory school, to the city and a large school for boys. He was a good and honest scholar, and he was also popular with the other children. Nevertheless he did not like school. In Gymnich this was probably because the teachers were not really qualified for their job, but also because of their educational methods that depended on physical punishment and all sorts of other punishments. In Strassburg conditions were probably better, because the teachers were better trained.

According to Fr Kentenich’s own testimony, he learnt French at one time. This is often associated with the months he spent in Strassburg, however French was also a regular subject on the curriculum in Ehrenbreitstein. In addition, we find an item “French” on a schedule he drew up for himself for the holidays.

Peter Joseph married again on 25 June 1892. His second wife, Victoria, took over the running of the house, so Katharina’s time in Strassburg came to an end shortly after the wedding. It is not possible to discover exactly when she returned to Gymnich with her son. - The Website about Pater Joseph Kentenich, Foundator of the International Schoenstatt Movement.