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Chronology of Father Kentenich’s Life


16 November
Katharina Kentenich’s son was born in Gymnich and given the name Peter Joseph at his baptism in the Parish Church of St Kunibert in Gymnich on 19 November. In the baptismal register the 18 November is given as the day of his birth, and this day is mentioned in many documents and biographies. The research of recent years suggests that the correct date is 16 November.


Move to Strassburg and attended the primary school there. (Probably around 29.12.1891 until after June 1892)


12 April
Katharina brought her son to the Orphanage of St Vincent in Oberhausen.


25 April
Low Sunday First Holy Communion

24 September
Confirmation by Auxiliary Bishop Fischer of Cologne in the temporary church of the Sacred Heart in Oberhausen.


23 September
Joseph Kentenich is brought by Fr Savels, parish priest of the Church of the Apostles in Cologne to Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz. He began his classical education there in the Pallottine Mission House.


27 July
Completion of his secondary schooling. Joseph Kentenich received his school-leaving certificate.

24 September
The two years’ Novitiate began with the ritual Clothing ceremony in the Mother House of the Pallottines in Limburg on the River Lahn. The Novitiate ended on


24 September
with his First Profession.

11 October
Reception of the Tonsure.


Brother Kentenich is ill for a long time.


24 September
Second Profession

11 October
Reception of the Lower Orders


24 September
Third Profession

10 October
Ordination as Sub-Deacon


28 March
Ordination to the Deaconate

8 July
Ordination to the priesthood by Bishop Heinrich Vieter, Vicar Apostolic of Cameroon.

10 July
First Holy Mass in the chapel of the Pallottine Mission House in Limburg. Fr Kolb, the Provincial Superior, assisted, and Fr Karl Stehr preached.


18 September
Fr Kentenich appointed teacher at Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein.


8 September
Transferred to Schoenstatt, and from October appointed Spiritual Director at the College in Schoenstatt.

28 October
Fr Kentenich held a talk that later became known as the Pre-Founding Document.


The Missionary Association founded during the Christmas holidays.


19 April
Erection of the Marian Sodality in the College at Schoenstatt.

World War I started.

18 October
Fr Kentenich gave a talk which has come to be known as Schoenstatt’s Founding Document. So 18 October 1914 is Schoenstatt’s day of foundation.


2 April
On Good Friday 1915 the picture of our Lady, entitled “Mother Thrice Admirable”, was put up in the Chapel of St Michael, the meeting place of the Marian Sodality.


18 July
Fr Kentenich relieved of his post as Spiritual Director of the College at Schoenstatt.


Fr Kentenich moved temporarily to the Convent of St Augustine in Engers.


8 July
Celebration of Silver Jubilee of Ordination.


1 September
World War II started.


14 September
After a number of Fr Kentenich’s colleagues had been arrested, Fr Kentenich was questioned by the Gestapo in Schoenstatt.

20 September
Fr Kentenich had to report to the Gestapo in Koblenz. He was questioned and arrested. Start of four weeks of solitary confinement in the dark in the cellars.

21 September
Second examination after Fr Kentenich had requested it. Nothing changed in his situation.

18 October
End of solitary confinement in the dark.

21 October
First letter from prison sent to Schoenstatt.

13 December
First secret celebration of Holy Mass in the Koblenz prison.


13 January
Third examination by the Gestapo.

16 January
Fr Kentenich placed under protective custody and declared fit for concentration camp after a medical examination.

20 January
Fr Kentenich refused to apply for a second medical examination, and hence decided to go to concentration camp.

11 March
Start of transport to Dachau.

13 March
Arrival in Dachau at the Admission Block.

29 June
Taken into the “Disinfection” commando.

23 August
Transfer from Admission Block to the Block for Polish priests.

13 October
Transfer from the Block for Polish priests to the Block for German priests.


19 March
First Holy Mass in the concentration camp.


9-10 March
Punishment in the standing Bunker and examination by a special commission of the Gestapo.

24 September
First of three talks that together make up the “Third Founding Document” in Schoenstatt’s history.

18 October
Second talk of “Third Founding Document” on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Schoenstatt’s foundation.

8 December
Third talk of “Third Founding Document”


6 April
Release from the concentration camp. The relevant document had been signed on 24 March.

20 May
Arrival in Schoenstatt.

15-20 May
First October Week – a Week of Thanksgiving – held in Schoenstatt.


14 March
Fr Kentenich received in private audience by Pope Pius XII.

15 March
After a number of visits to Switzerland between 1945-1947, Fr Kentenich set out for South America – to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. His return flight from Rio de Janeiro took him to Rome on 12 September. He arrived in Schoenstatt on 11 October.

20 October
Another visit to Switzerland, then on 29 December flew from Geneva to South Africa. Arrived in Johannesburg on 31 December.


4 April
Flight from South Africa to South America – to Brazil, then Chile.

4 June
Depart from Chile to USA.

6 September
Return flight from USA to South America.


19 January
Flight from Brazil to Rome.

28 February
After a time in Switzerland returned to Schoenstatt.

8 July
Celebration of 40th Anniversary of Ordination.


17 January
Set off on third visit to South America.

Holy Week
Start of Papal Visitation of Schoenstatt.

17 April
Return flight to Rome

7 May
Return to Schoenstatt.

22 October
Farewell from Schoenstatt, depart for Switzerland, then on

23 November
to Rome


16 January
Visit to Switzerland, then on 17 January flight from Zurich to South America

20 June
Depart from Santiago de Chile for Milwaukee in the USA. Arrival there on 21 June.


3 August
Conclusion of Papal Visitation of Schoenstatt.


18 November
Celebration of Fr Kentenich’s 70th birthday in Milwaukee


24 September
Celebration of Fr Kentenich’s Golden Jubilee of Profession.


Fr Kentenich appointed pastor to the German-speaking parish in Milwaukee. Remained in this office until his departure on 16 September 1965.


8 July
Celebration of Golden Jubilee of Ordination.


18 October
Golden Jubilee of Schoenstatt’s foundation.


16 September
Departure from Milwaukee for Rome. Arrival there 17 September.

20 October
All decisions relating to Fr Kentenich revoked at a plenary session of the Cardinals of the Holy Office. Confirmed by Pope Paul VI on 22 October.

18 November
Fr Kentenich incardinated in the Diocese of Muenster by Bishop Joseph Hoeffner.

18 November
Fr Kentenich’s 80th Birthday.

22 December
Fr Kentenich received in audience by Pope Paul VI.

24 December
Return to Schoenstatt.


13 January – 11 February
residing in Rome.

9 March
Return to Schoenstatt.


16 July
Visit to Dachau concentration camp for the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary and the Family Institute.


Sunday, 15 September, shortly after 7 a.m.
Fr Kentenich died in the sacristy of the recently completed Church of the Blessed Trinity on Mount Schoenstatt. He had just said Holy Mass for the first time in this church.

20th September
Burial where he died.

Marginalie - The Website about Pater Joseph Kentenich, Foundator of the International Schoenstatt Movement.