"This sodality chapel will become for us the cradle of our sanctity"
THE SCHOENSTATT SHRINE is a special place of grace, a Marian place of pilgrimage. It is the center and origin of the Schoenstatt work. In the Shrine Our Lady is venerated as “Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt”. Those who visit this Shrine feel that she really is present in the shrine. All visitors also receive three special graces – the grace of a home, the grace of a mission and the grace of transformation. Countless people receive answers to their petitions and experience Mary’s motherly care, guidance and education.
Shrines in South Africa
Cathcart Mother Shrine of Africa
This Shrine was the first shrine built in Africa and was blessed in 1949. It is often referred to as the “Mother Shrine of Africa”.
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.”
Many people from the Eastern Cape find a spiritual home here .
Address House Schoenstatt
22 Rhodes Street
Cathcart, Eastern Cape
Tel: 045 843 1145 or 045 843 1156
Villa Maria - Ver Sacrum Shrine
This Shrine is unique in South Africa because it was blessed by Fr. Kentenich even before it was built! When Fr. Kentenich visited South Africa in 1948, he stayed at the Sisters’ house which still stands on the property. This was when the founder encouraged the Sisters to build a shrine.
So intent was he on the need for daughter shrines that he blessed a spot at the bottom of the garden for the proposed Shrine, together with a foundation stone. This stone was broken into smaller pieces and one piece was placed inside the other shrines built in the country.
Although the Shrine was eventually built closer to the house, it is situated under the magnificent Table Mountain and close to South African parliament. It was blessed on 18 October 1952 by Archbishop Owen McCann.
For many it is an oasis in the bustle of the city, living up to its mission to be Ver Sacrum – a Holy Springtime. It is also one of the few places of prayer in the city with is normally open all day. Unfortunately during this current Covid-19 Pandameic people are asked to pray outside the Shrine. Address
1 Kloof Nek Road
8001 Cape Town
021 423 8136
Mass Times: Monday to Friday at 7am in the main House Chapel
Sunday 7:30am in the main House Chapel
Covenant Mass on the 18th of the month is currently suspended.
Constantia – Solidarity in the Covenant of love
The Constantia Shrine was the third Shrine built in South Africa. It was built during the time of Fr. Kentenich’s exile. During this time, the Church was investigating whether Schoenstatt was God-inspired and so it was very difficult to obtain the necessary permissions to build the Shrine.
Nevertheless, it was built on foundations of the great faith that the conditions demanded and it was blessed on 19 March 1960, on the Feast of St. Joseph (And Fr. Kentenich). It also became a gift for the Golden Jubilee of Father Kentenich’s ordination to the priesthood. Today, it is a home for many pilgrims. It is a place of solidarity where people from different backgrounds have always been able to come together to share, to pray and learn from each other.
It is also the central Shrine for the movement in Cape Town and many of the various branches’ activities take place here. The Sisters hold daily adoration and many people also come in during these hours to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The Shrine is open daily.
This shrine is an oasis of hope in a stark landscape. Situated in Hannover Park, in the Cape Flats, the Maryland Shrine was built in 1974 during Apartheid to give the people of the area sense of dignity and worth.
During the 1960s, the then Apartheid government forcibly removed people from the Cape Town city centre under the Group Areas Act, and resettled them on the outskirts of the city in desolate areas, cutting them off from their homes and the vibrant communities from which they came. The Shrine became a home for those who were felt abandoned and betrayed. Through the graces of the Shrine, the Blessed Mother came to their need.
The Shrine not only provides spiritual support, but the Centre alongside offers literacy classes, assists the children from the impoverished area and creates caring groups for those who are hurting from the suffering that comes with poverty as families are torn apart by drugs and crime. Various religious groups also use the centre for their activities.
P.O. Box 24604
Lansdowne, W. Cape 7779
Tel: 021 692 1180
Johannesburg - Aurum Patris Shrine
It is fitting that the only shrine in Gauteng, the economic powerhouse of the country and home to the gold mines that gave it its claim to fame, should also carry the name Aurum Patris – Gold of the Father. Its name comes from a comment that the Schoenstatt founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich made when he visited South Africa in 1948. Upon seeing the gold mines that lined the Johannesburg landscape, he looked at the fledgling Schoenstatt community and said: “These are my gold mines!”
Dedicated in 1975, the Aurum Patris shrine was built by the members of the Schoenstatt Movement. Not only did the members come together every Saturday for a year to lay the bricks and plaster the walls, but they also built the shrine with their own financial contributions, and more importantly, with many spiritual sacrifices, offered so that it this could become a place of grace for many.
This shrine has as its mission: “build from here a better world” – better world by promoting the values of family life, by providing a meaningful contribution and service to the Church and working towards a society that honours the dignity of each human person and fosters Fr. Kentenich’s vision of the “new person in the new society.”
Find us at 33 Florence Avenue, Bedfordview or phone 011 455 5146 for more information.