“An Apple is an Apple and Life is Life“
Br. Marcus Grabisch SAC received his final consecration
It’s the final “yes“. Both Br. Marcus final yes to the Pallottine Community and the society’s yes to him joining the community. One day ahead of his consecration to deaconate, 32-year old Br. Marcus received his final consecration at Friedberg’s Pallotti Church, the lifelong commitment to the Society of the Catholic Apostolate of the Pallottines.
There was a lot of talk about apples that day. There was talk about joy, happiness, and vastness. Being a sign in this world and even beyond it. And about what consecrated life means. And thus, returning to the apple. As Fr. Provincial, Helmut Scharler during his sermon, showed a red, crunchy, and Edenic example of an apple to the attendees. More than 30 vitamins, trace minerals, calcium, minerals, and many other things, that is what an apple consists of. So, for sure, it is a healthy fruit. “That is all true”, Fr. Scharler said, “but does that describe an apple well? Is it enough to just list its components? But where is the total, the other dimension?
Accordingly, Fr. Scharler asked: What is consecrated life? And he tried giving a holistic answer. Acting for the world and, kind of work-sharing with it, there need to be people who give special attention to the other dimension of life. Consecration, for him, means remembrance. That there is more about the world. That it isn’t just coincidence. That there is a meaning in life. Consecration, as Fr. Scharler said, therefore is a “service of remembrance”. A prophetic service which keeps the “rumor of God” in the world, as pastoral theologist Paul Zulehner put it.
Consecration means dedicating oneself to the divine to make other people aware that wounds will be healed, and desires will be met. A remembrance, showing that all human beings are reflections of God; that they are consecrated to God and to life. But therefore, benchmarks are needed, out of this world. „And you, Marcus, are willing to mediate these benchmarks. And this is also a political statement. The Provincial told the young confrere. “Without God, a society breaks. Neither is there a reasonable society, only a God-fearing society or a stupid society.
For the Pallottines, Vincent Pallotti is a paragon to keep people’s dignity awake. “We Pallottines live from God’s endless love.“ Scharler said. „God is endless love, that is what we have to savor slowly in our hearts.
The happiest day in a Society
And thus, Fr. Marcus Grabisch lay down on the floor, whilst calling upon the Saints, said the consecration prayer, lit his consecration candle and took his certificate of consecration. “It’s the happiest day a society can celebrate“, Fr Scharler said. And as Fr. Christoph Lentz, Rector of the Friedberg community stated in his salutation speech, such a ceremony has become seldom in Germany, quite contrary to Africa.
Three times in advance, Br. Marcus Grabisch had given his “yes“. In 2017, in 2018 and in 2019. He had given his promise to live in line with Vincent Pallotti’s ideals. In poverty, celibacy and obedience. Companions, colleagues, his family and friends had accompanied him on this way and attended the celebration.
“You have left traces”, Rector Fr Christoph Lentz said. Both during his internship year at Friedberg’s „Stadtpfarrkirche“, as well as at the house of Wasserburg, were he lately worked. As well as in Washington, DC, were he received his second consecration. Again, the Jakob Singers accompanied the mass with songs telling of happiness and of the feast of life; the life Fr Scharler had spoken about. “Life is life. Like an apple is an apple. An apple is more than a bucket full of vitamins. And life is more than just a ticking clock.”
Noviciate to open
It was in the afternoon when Br. Bruno Khumburani Mukhupa received his third consecration. A fact Fr. Scharler referred to as “sign of internationality and the interchange between continents” At the same time the Friedberg Noviciate was opened. Referring to both events, Fr Scharler stated that we are all on the way into a new future, on which we will have to prove our sincerity and endurance; as well as showing that this way means something to us. This involves braveness: braveness to change and braveness to leave old thing behind. “I would like to accompany you on this way.” Fr. Scharler said.
About Br. Marcus Grabisch:
Markus Grabisch was born in Ribnitz-Damgarten, a small tow close to Rostock in Mecklenburg Hither-Pomerania in 1988. He also spent his childhood there. Even as a child he showed deep interest in priesthood. He was both altar boy and member of the parish council. Yet, he firstly went for an apprenticeship as electronics technician with Deutsche Bahn, before he went on the journey to become a priest. After that he finished A-levels, studied catholic theology at the University of St. Georgen in Frankfurt/ Main, as a priestly candidate for the archdiocese of Hamburg. It was during a term abroad in Austria where he firstly touched base with the Pallottines in Vienna. The tidings of God’s endless love grabbed him. This is why he continued his studies at the Pallottine University in Vallendar.
Text and photos: Alexander Schweda UAC