Keeping the memories alive: A Pilgrimage

KEVELAER — Pilgrimage place of the Founding Generation

Kevelaer is the famous pilgrimage place in West Germany. There is a small miraculous image of the Blessed Mother—“Our Lady of Consoler of the afflicted”—venerated for more than 350 years.

Kevelaer was an important place for our founding generation: Arnold Janssen, M. Maria and M. Josepha. The hometowns of Fr. Arnold and M. Josepha are close to Kevelaer.

Arnold Janssen decided here, after his secondary school education, to become a priest.

For M. Josepha, Kevelaer is a ‘spiritual home’—a place where she is completely at home.

We know from M. Maria that her mother consecrated her to our Blessed Mother in Kevelaer before she was born. In Kevelaer she prayed with all her strength for her vocation.

Therefore, we Steyler until today go in pilgrimage to Kevelaer in gratitude for the vocation of our Founding Generation and pray for perservance for all of us in our calling as religious-missionaries.



GOCH – The Birthplace of Arnold Janssen

*The Birthplace

Frauenstr 8, belonging to the SVD, is now a memorial place/museum with some pieces of furniture from the time of Arnold Janssen.  It was totally destroyed during the war,  but later rebuilt according to the original structure.

*Mary Magdalene Church

Here, Arnold Janssen was baptized, he ministered during the Holy Mass as altar boy, and received his First Holy Communion.

*The Arnold Janssen Church

This Church was planned after the Beatification of Arnold Janssen in 1975.   It was built with modern design—“the tent of God” among his people.   SVDs live and work here. When this new Church was consecrated in 1984, the Mother Church–Mary Magdalene Church– gave as a gift the baptismal font on which Arnold Janssen was baptised.


ISSUM – the home place of M. Josepha Stenmanns

*The parental home

(M. Josepha was not born here. This house belongs to her great grandnephew.)

Here in Issum, after the death of her mother, besides taking care of the family, housework and the weaving, M. Josepha also took care of the poor, the sick and the dying. She was the great benefactress of her home community, and Issum will never ever forget her. The bronze plate next to the door of the house is a reminder of this fact.

 *St. Nicholas Church – the parish church of M. Josepha

Here is the baptismal font on which M. Josepha was baptised second day after her birth. In this church M. Josepha attended Holy Mass daily. With the reliquary beside the baptismal font, M. Josepha, so to say, has returned to her parish church.



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