Unification News for March 1997

In Memoriam Trudi Schenk-Dunser

The Seung Hwa Ceremony of Trudi Schenk-Dunser was held Nov. 12, 1996 in Maarssen, The Netherlands. In the last years of her life, she was an example of faith, courage and determination to overcome pain and depression. She suffered with cancer, but never lost her trust in God and True Parents, even in the most painful and loneliest moments of her sickness.

Her Seung Hwa Ceremony took place in the Catholic Church of Maarssen, conducted by the president of the Family Federation for World Peace, Netherlands chapter, in cooperation with the parish priest, Father Boerkamp. The spirit of unity felt during the ceremony was one of intense joy and gratefulness. Trudi had a strong witnessing spirit, which could also be felt strongly during the service. We remember her when she was healthy and energetic, the way she will be from now on.

One sister had a dream of her the night after she passed into the spirit world. Trudi was dressed in white and looked bright and beautiful. She talked to that sister about her life and asked her to read a poem written by this sister for her at the Seung Hwa. The poem, entitled "The Crystal of the Mountains," brought back to her all the beautiful memories of the high and serene mountains of her Austrian homeland. She asked also for the Austrian sisters to sing her a song, "In die Berg bin ich gern." Trudi did not approach life on earth in a casual manner. She always knew her purpose; she cared deeply for God, True Parents and the Unification Church. She cared also very much for her husband Guus and his company, Tong Il, and was a dedicated mother to their three children.

There is something else significant in her life. It was her big heart winning people over in the church, her homechurch neighborhood and her husband's family. She joined the Unification Church in the early '70s in Austria at a time when government and police often persecuted the Unified Family and its members. She loved Peter Koch, the Austrian national leader, as a father, and tried to follow his example of serving and being a good friend in her position as leader of Voralberg, and then later in the Netherlands. In May 1978, Trudi was blessed with Guus Schenk at the Holy Wedding of 118 Couples in Great Britain, officiated by True Father and eldest True Daughter Ye Jin Nim. Trudi never forgot the sentence in True Father's speech in which he asked the newly-blessed couples: "Please make a success out of your Blessing; then you will witness the downfall of communism!"

Let us remember Trudi with this old English poem: Years can't erase the pleasure that the joy of friendship gives, for friendship is a priceless gift that can't be bought or sold, but to have an understanding friend is worth far more than gold. Friendship is a golden chain, the links are friends so dear, and like a rare and precious jewel, it's treasured more each year.

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