Fourteen saints – no sooner does a pilgrimage year come to an end than the planning for the coming year begins. That is why on the saturday before the 1. On the eve of the first advent, around 200 pilgrimage leaders from all over france were invited to a solemn service in the basilica.
The entrance was accompanied by a loud chorus of "fourteen holy patron saints" through the well-filled house of worship the pilgrims sang at the top of their voices. The festive thanksgiving service was celebrated by guardian pater heribert arens and pilgrim chaplain monsignor wolfgang witzgall. Father heribert thanked the pilgrimage leaders for their great efforts during the preparation and implementation of the pilgrimage.
In his sermon, the guardian presented the motto "be islands of mercy in the sea of indifference" in the foreground. These are words of pope franciscus. After the service, all the pilgrimage leaders gathered in the "viktor von scheffel hall of the diozesan house for the conference. More than 150 pilgrimage dates from april to november of the coming year were discussed. Father christoph had compiled all the pilgrimage dates for the basilica and the diozesan house and projected them on the screen using a beamer. This made it easy to match up the different groups of pilgrims.
Bernhard schwebinger, press spokesman for the bishopric of wurzburg, presented the pilgrimage leaders with a quartet game about the places of pilgrimage in lower franconia. Playfully the diocese wants to make its pilgrimage sites more prominent. For this purpose, information on a selection of churches was compiled in a quartet of 32 cards. The card game developed by the media house of the wurzburg diocese was well received. Lower franconia is germany's region with the most places of pilgrimage.
Monsignor witzgall pointed out a training course to become a pilgrimage leader. This will take place on 19./20. February in gobweinstein and on 12. March in burgwindheim took place. In addition to theoretical impulses, the focus is above all on practice.
In the last six years, since 2009, the archdiocese has extensively renovated the diozesanhaus. Many of those who regularly stay here have experienced the change from the "old" to the "new" to the "new diozesanhaus experienced, according to the director of the educational houses of the archdiocese of bamberg in vierzehnheiligen, raimund hummer. "The investments were urgently necessary, not only to modernize the guest rooms, but above all to bring the building services, the kitchen, the heating, the entire technology to a contemporary level", hummer noted. As guests, the pilgrims now have three categories: rooms with shower/WC, rooms with washbasin and floor shower/WC, and additional rooms on the top floor. If necessary, folding beds can be set up to accommodate more than 400 pilgrims during ascension day week, he added.