Even before the construction of the Porta Claudia fortification, the inhabitants of Scharnitz had built a chapel dedicated to our Dear Lady in gratitude for the averted atrocities of war. In 1650, the chapel received an altar. The ‘Mariahilf’ painting on the altar, depicting Our Lady of Perpetual Help, was a gift from Ferdinand Karl, the son of the Archduchess Claudia. At the same time, permission was given by the ecclesiastical authorities for church services to be celebrated in this chapel. The Augustinian Monks from Seefeld Monastery were responsible for the pastoral care. In 1705, the fortress received a chapel of its own dedicated to St. Joseph and a chaplain was hired. As a result the village’s pastoral care was discontinued and the villagers from Scharnitz attended the military church services. This was not, however, to their liking for very long.
The village of Scharnitz came to an agreement with the parish of Mittenwald whereby a priest from Mittenwald (for a fee of 160 guilders), was to conduct church services in the village chapel. In 1786, Scharnitz was granted its own chaplaincy. The first priest was the Capuchin monk P. Pelagius Steinhauser. He erected a parsonage and,