The Cathcart Shrine was the first shrine built in Africa and was blessed in 1949. It is often referred to as the “Mother Shrine of Africa”. It is built in the semidesert and is in a very rural and missionary area
On 18th January, Fr. Kentenich’s last day in Cathcart, he told the people; “Now I want to tell you a secret .... the sisters have promised Our Lady that they will build her a shrine here at Cathcart, and ask her to come down here so that she can always be with you and help you in all your needs ... but she will not do so unless you do your share. Our Lady will not come down to you unless you co-operate. You must help by offering your prayers and sacrifices.”
Fr. Kentenich had urged the people to support the Sisters and everyone truly helped. When the Cathcart Shrine was being built, they had to use dynamite to break the rock for the foundations. The woman and children would come and break up the rocks into little stones for the foundations.
Many years later we can say that those little stones and little sacrifices have truly become diamonds and a fountain of grace welling up from this first Schoenstatt Shrine built on the African continent.
Many people from the Eastern Cape find a spiritual home here bringing their cares and petitions to Our Blesses Mother.
Cathart has also been an inspiration for the foundation of Schoenstatt in Burundi.