July 25th 1999 - Sonnenhaus in Beuron
On July 25th 1999 the twentieth anniversary of a Christian meditation place in Beuron could be celebrated. The idea to this project had Father Bernhard Scherer SJ, born on May 5th 1931, Jesuit since 1951, ordained priest on July 31st 1962. As missionary in India he had to return to his homeland for health reasons.
There he looked for a possibility to realize his plan of a meditation place. He found it in Beuron at the young Danube. After a Board of Owners had been established he could in 1980 acquire the Sonnenhaus for 550.000 German Mark, and later (1987) House Hildegard from the Benedictines in Beuron. The money was advanced by the South German Province of the Order. This investment proved very soon as productive. The courses are very well visited, and some donations come in by them. It is completely unusual that a retreat house in Germany pays its way, and can still make a surplus for development projects. The reason is probably the comprehensive concept: To meditate and at the same time to learn a simple life-style, and Christian world responsibility. The rooms and the food supply in the house are plain.
The Sonnenhaus Beuron maintains partnerships with village communities in India. Up to now could be built more than 60 villages.
Profit yielding is also the Sonnenhaus bread, a healthy, easily digestible wheat wholemeal bread, which is manufactured by a large-scale baker in Bavaria, and which is sold with one mark extra charge for the mission by a network of distributors in more than 100 cities.
Father Scherer has published a book with 20 exercises from his rich retreat experience. His concern is to include also the body in the religious exercises. This book was published in the Self Publishing House Beuron 1998.