Why do the volunteers of Knotenpunkt – Begegnung verbindet e.V. contribute to its work by investing their leisure time, their organizing ability or their creativity? Here you can read some of their answers.
Maria Groos, Director
What promise does marriage hold? What can help me to live love in a deeper and more beautiful way? When I asked myself these questions 30 years ago in preparation for my own marriage, I got to know several of John Paul II.’s works about love, marriage and family. His sensivity for the deepest, most existential questions of life and the concrete hardships in human relationships have been just as fascinating to me as they have been helpful. It is important to me to have both aspects play a role in my life. That also entailed my voluntary work as director of Support International e.V., a charitable organization that provides humanitarian aid in Africa and the Middle East. Our work in marriage, family and sexuality, essential for the humanitarian projects, led to a cooperation with staff members of the Eichstätt diocese and the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt on the Theology of the Body since 2010. We held joint conferences in 2011 and 2014 and published about the topic. In order to put additional emphasis on the topic, I have been working as voluntary director of Knotenpunkt – Begegnung verbindet e.V. since 2016. In 2013, I completed the study program on the theology of the body at the Philosophical-Theological Academy Heiligenkreuz. I have been a certified TeenSTAR trainer since 2016. My main job as pharmacist for medication information and nutritional counseling is managing a pharmacy.
Sabina Gruschka, board member
As a high school teacher I am continuously in contact with teenagers and their parents. Over the years, I have been observing a growing lack of orientation among young people, often accompanied by the parents’ need for assistance in their beautiful, but not easy task of raising their children. It is often problems in the family or separation of the parents that result in teenagers doubting themselves, exhibiting unusual behavior and failing at school. That is why my wish grew to propose something to young people and their families that would increase their ability to love themselves and others and enable them to live relationships as well as forgive and be forgiven. My experience shows me that encountering beauty opens the heart and awakens the desire for that beauty to shape one’s everyday life and relationships. With that wish at heart I have been involved in youth work for years and completed the TeenSTAR trainer course in 2016.
As a mother of four children and head of several breastfeeding and toddler groups, I have time and again experienced the degree of influence medical staff has.
Gynecologists, midwives, pediatricians and breastfeeding counselors are often among the decisive factors concerning the question whether mothers deal with pregnancy, birth and eventually the baby with trust and confidence, or in an insecure, resigned and often fearful manner. Besides their professional skills, their attitude towards pregnancy, birth and preventive health are critical. The same goes for the way they treat the parents and their offspring. I have largely my midwives and breastfeeding counselor to thank for my ability to live my calling as mother so confidently and full of trust. They accompanied me on my way from pregnancy to breastfeeding and especially during birth. I have learned from them that a mother has everything she needs to accompany her child into life well.
Theresa Miniarti Fehlner
In my studies of art history at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt I am confronted with the most diverse artistic views and representations of the human body. But until recently I had hardly heard of the "theology of the body". It was only the invitation to the joint preparation of the conference that prompted me to deal more and more with the topic.
I am fascinated by the prevailing view of the human body and the "language of the body" in theology of the body, through which the love between man and woman is to be expressed. I'm curious to learn more.
I live a consecrated life. Six years ago I literally got to know the theology of the body through the faces of my friends: On my way back from a business trip I first arrived for the final lectures of the conference in Eichstätt. When I saw the enthusiastic faces of the participants and my friends, I involuntarily asked myself: "What happened? What did they see?" This curiosity led me to participate in the preparation of the 2017 conference. The question I carry within me is: "What can I personally discover here and win for my life?"