National pilgrimage to Ellwangen and Schönenberg

2,400 sausages, 95 kg of meat loaf, 2,750 rolls and 50 kg of bread, 2,500 bottles of drink: that is the balance of the KPE National Pilgrimage 2022, at least from the point of view of the kitchen team. Happy songs around the campfire, dedicated game of history explorations in the city, shining children’s eyes at the candlelight procession, enthusiastic singing at the final service – that’s the conclusion from a scouting perspective. How many trusting prayers from the hearts of young and old reached the Lord ? We gladly leave this calculation to the Lord!

It was the first big KPE action since the beginning of the pandemic. A good 800 KPE members found their way to Ellwangen on Saturday morning. The Cub Scouts explored the old town in the footsteps of St. Hariolf, the Scouts went out into nature (X-Raid) and culture (City Game), and the Wayfarers and Rovers were out and about as “usual”. In the late afternoon, we met together at the Wagnershof on the edge of Ellwangen for dinner and a campfire. At dawn, we set off for the Gothic church of St. Wolfgang. During the atmospheric procession of lights, it was easy to pray for all personal intentions, especially for peace in Ukraine. Those who still had energy could end the day quietly and contemplatively with the Lord: there was Eucharistic Adoration until early Sunday morning.

The heavens were kind to us at the weekend: 14 hours of sunshine on Saturday, 14 hours of sunshine on Sunday. More is not possible. Our pilgrimage group had grown to about 1,000 people by Sunday morning. During the foot pilgrimage to Schönenberg, we sang the Schönenberg pilgrimage canon together:

Our Lady of Schoenenberg,
remember us to Jesus, your Son,
that he bless us and our work!

In between, our scout marching band contributed an upbeat pilgrimage march, so that even tired legs became lively again. At 12 o’clock sharp, all the bells of the Schoenenberg pilgrimage church finally rang out and we entered the church with “Great God, we praise you”. “Our trail leads through thick and thin” – this is the call of the jungle for the Wolfcubs. Jesus wants us to have not only a fair-weather faith, but a through-thick-and-thin faith, Father Mark explained as an interpretation of the day’s Gospel. To ensure that no one came home from the pilgrimage too thin, they had lunch together in the shade of the trees around the pilgrimage church. At 14:40 the last sausage was served – but there was no need to worry: the kitchen had organised enough ice cream. And with that a wonderful national pilgrimage came to an end.

Our Lady of Schoenenberg – pray for us!

Text and pictures: KPE Association