A Warm Farewell to Sister M. PetraBy Sr. M. Deanne Niehaus
The funeral, final visit to the International Shrine of the Father Kingdom, and the procession to her burial place can be viewed in the following short video. We experienced in the beautiful sunny day a little piece of heaven on September 21, 2020. Walking together with Sr. M. Petra and the Schoenstatt Sisters reminded me of a little story Sr. M. Petra shared that is found in the Brushstrokes of a Father, Volume 5 – Accompanied by a Father.
Sr. M. Petra shares about Father Kentenich and his “Perfect Shoes.”
Father Kentenich’s attentiveness to others’ basic needs can be seen in the following story:
One time when the Schoenstatt couples were in the shrine and Father made a genuflection at Mass, they noticed that the soles of his shoes were cracked and broken. Both of them! One of the couples said, “Father Kentenich needs a new pair of shoes. We must get him a new pair of shoes. How will we do it?” Well, they didn’t want to ask him and tried to find out more or less his size by comparing, by looking. Finally, they bought a pair of shoes. They brought their gift to Father very proudly – happy to have noticed that he needed a new pair of shoes. … Father accepted the gift and was very grateful.
He said, “Yes, you are very attentive, you are really kind. Thank you so much for your kindness, for your generosity, for buying me a new pair of shoes. Thank you so much! I am truly grateful.” He thanked them over and over again. And they were very proud – you know how it is. And they told their friends in the group about how Father accepted it and how elegant he would look in his new pair of shoes.
The next morning the shoes were not on his feet. Nor were they on the morning after that. And so on! Father kept on walking with those broken shoes. The couple was uneasy. “What has happened? Maybe they were the wrong size.” They finally got the courage to go to Father Kentenich and ask him. “Excuse me; were the shoes the right size?” “Yes, exactly the right size.” “Did they fit?” “Perfectly!” “Were they the right color?” “They couldn’t be better. Thank you very, very much. You made me very happy.”
They looked at him and were doubtful. “Well, let me tell you the truth. You know, my confrere” – that means another priest in the house – “his shoes were in worse shape than mine. So I gave the shoes to him. And can you believe it? They were exactly the right size! They fit perfectly. And he is so happy with those new shoes. Again, I thank you so much for your great generosity.”
(Sr. M. Petra shares in a talk to the Schoenstatt Boys Youth High School Camp, July 22, 2004.)