Joy of life, openness, credibility and a welcoming attitude: the visitors to the Sacred Heart Priests’ booth have repeatedly expressed these aspects on the 102nd Catholic Day at Stuttgart.
The German Dehonian Province was also represented with a stand at the 102nd Catholic Day event held at Stuttgart. Students of theology from Freiburg were almost always present each day. Visitors were also able to meet the new provincial, Father Stefan Tertünte SCJ, the rector of the Freiburg formation house, Father Marcio Auth SCJ, and Brazilian Father Maximiliano Delfino Cândido SCJ, who studied in Freiburg and will work in Vienna in the future. Bishop Heiner Wilmer SCJ of Hildesheim also visited the stand twice.
When the young Dehonian religious took up their guitars and played music with rhythm instruments, people stopped, sang and danced. Even then, many young Catholic Day visitors could be seen.
Outside the “music times” there were also many conversations and meetings. Young Dehonian religious spoke about their lives, their vocation and their motherland; postcards with the words “Walking is praying with feet” served as a starting point for conversations, as did wooden crosses with open hearts in the center.
The topics of conversation were varied: As a whole, the Priests of the Sacred Heart were interested to present their locations and the focus of their work in Germany and around the world. But there was no lack of very personal debates and (faith) conversations about the world and the Catholic Church. It was always a series of meetings characterized by great seriousness and respect.
Despite the seriousness, however, there was a good atmosphere at the pavilion, because of the dynamism especially on the part of the students, which made many people smile.
Mostly, meetings ended with the promise, “See you in two years at Erfurt”. In 2024, the 103rd German Catholic Day will be held there. Dehonians will participate in the event again due to the extremely positive experience at Stuttgart.