Sister Donna Krzmarzick
Director of Consecrated Life
It was April 1945 and World War II was nearing its end. Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, walked out of the Dachau Concentration Camp. By the grace of God and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he not only survived over three years there, but he also helped others to such a degree that one of his companions said, “Through Father Kentenich’s presence, the hell of Dachau became heaven for us.”
The journey home to Schoenstatt, Germany, would take Father Kentenich 44 days. While waiting for the front to pass, Father Kentenich wasted no pastoral opportunity along the way. On one such occasion when he and another priest were traveling, low-flying planes came dangerously close and they had to stop and seek shelter. The fellow traveler, Father Otto Moser, related, “With surprising security, Father Kentenich found a protected place. I lay next to him with the conviction: Father did not come out of the hell of Dachau in order to die a hero’s death in the Swabian Alps. If you lie next to him, nothing will happen to you either.”
His life in danger, father moser drew near to father kentenich. When we are in need, we also draw near to others—a family member, close friend or a professional. Have you ever thought of drawing nearer to a saint? The reason they’re so important is that it only makes sense to draw near to those who are very near god. Their “job” is to help us through their example, inspiration and intercession. Do we “hire” them in our own lives? We can draw near to and find solace in those saints who speak to us personally, perhaps the patron of our parish, or the saint whose name we share, or the saint who specializes in our particular needs. The saints are alive and well and available to us. All we have to do is ask.