Solingen Felicitas Marx, Managing Director of the Catholic Youth Agency in Wuppertal, is now the bearer of the Federal Cross of Merit – for decades of ecclesiastical and charitable commitment.
Anyone who talks to Felicitas Marx about her activities quickly feels that someone here is really immersed in their work. Equally, basically and in voluntary work. Among other things, the latter is practiced in the Dusseldorf City Assembly of the Catholic Workers’ Movement (KAB).
As its vice president, she is committed to a wide range of topics: a culture of welcoming refugees and their advice is part of this as much as creating a “caring award” for imaginative work by seniors and nursing homes in the face of the pandemic. In addition, there are concerns such as a basic income for children, a new pension model, affordable housing, and keeping Sundays without work – to name a few.
In Solingen, Velizitas Marx is particularly famous for its holiday pass: as the managing director of the Catholic Youth Agency in Wuppertal, she is as closely linked to the organization of the diverse program for children and youth as she is with the Solingen Clearinghouse. Which supports young people in critical situations.
In mid-March, Marx received special recognition for her work: on behalf of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Düsseldorf Mayor Stefan Keeler (CDU) presented her with the “Cross of Merit with the Ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany” at a town hall reception.
“During her many years of commitment in the Church and the charitable sector, Mrs. Félicitas Marx has received a meritorious award,” he said, citing the justification for the proposal. “You are real, committed and authentic people,” Marks conveyed praise to fellow activists — and in addition to husband Klaus and many supporters, she also admitted to her mother: “Earn yourself,” she once told her. Because the Christian value orientation, as Marx asserts, has shaped it since childhood.
Born in Cassrep-Rauxel in 1960, she was raised as the seventh of eight children of a housekeeper and mechanical engineer in a Christian settler community. When she was nine years old, her father died. “I learned very early on to stand on my own two feet,” Marks explains, and she explicitly asserts, “I have never felt so poor.” Finally, she studied social education and diploma.
Marx has been in the service of the Catholic Church for 40 years now – and it has, in fact, always been about the interests of the younger generation. As a young worker, she joined the Catholic Youth Welfare Office in Dusseldorf, which she later took up as manager. Finally, she came to Wuppertal as head of the Catholic Youth Office – the subsequent Youth Agency, which was active in the entire Bergisch city triangle.
Above all, she values the team spirit in working with the German Catholic Youth Union, among others, she said. She is also pleased with the social support for youth work, particularly from companies in the city of Klingen. Are there any plans for the future? “I’m going to keep it going, trying to listen to what moves people,” Marks says.