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 published: 2006-11-21

About a thousand pilgrims in spite of the rainy weather

November 18th in Schoenstatt: Covenant Day and the birthday of the Founder of the Schoenstatt Movement


Tu Santuario irradia sobre nuestro tiempo...

Your Shrine radiates into our time...

Dein Heiligtum strahlt aus in unsere Zeit…


Peregrinos de Suabia saludan a la Mater en el Santuario Original

Pilgrims from Suabia greeting the MTA in the Original Shrine

Schwäbische Pilger begrüßen die MTA im Urheiligtum


Mons. Gebhard Fürst, obispo de la diocesis de Rottenburg-Stuttgart, en la tumba del Padre Kentenich

Bishop Gebhard Fürst, Rottenburg-Stuttgart, at the tomb of Kentenich

Bischof Dr. Gebhard Fürst, Rottenburg-Stuttgart, am Grab Pater Kentenichs


Coro „Symbolon“, de Blaustein, en la Misa de la Alianza

Choir „Symbolon“ from Blaustein, in the Covenant Mass

Band “Symbolon” aus Blaustein bei der Bündnismesse






En el Santuario Original: Renovación de la Alianza de Amor

At the Original Shrine: Renewal of the Covenant of Love

Beim Urheiligtum: Bündniserneuerung


Fuego de tu fuego…

Fire from your fire…

Feuer von seinem Feuer…

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2006

Album de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum





SCHOENSTATT, mkf. Throughout the world the joy of Covenant Day on November 18th assumed the celebration of Father’s birthday, that was celebrated with gratitude for all he gave us during his life and that he continues to give the movement and the Church, and with the commitment: Father, your inheritance is our mission: We are here, we go with you…taking Schoenstatt to the ends of the world!

In La Plata, Argentina, the youth organized a "Father Kentenich Museum" on this day; in Tucumán, Argentina, a beautiful wayside shrine was blessed on the grounds of the University; in Miami, Florida, an Illuminated Rosary was prayed on the 16th close to Father’s birthday, and in Uruguay, about 15 youth walked 70 kms. To the Shrine of Nueva Helvecia in a "madness of love for Mary"…

One thousand pilgrims from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart in Schoenstatt

Throughout the day the MTA in the Original Shrine enjoyed the visit of a sea of pilgrims. One of them was, Alegria Duran-Ballen, an Ecuadorian, who lived with her parents in Rome for some time. Before departing for the United States to study, she came to Schoenstatt: "I had to come one more time to spend the weekend in Schoenstatt, and I was only able to do it on the 18th, which fills me with emotion". Almost one thousand pilgrims from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, from the region of Swabia, arrived on the 18th with their Bishop, Monsignor Gebhard Furst, who was visiting Schoenstatt for the first time. Buses began to arrive since the morning from all the corners of the diocese loaded with pilgrims, who went directly to the Original Shrine to greet the Blessed Mother. Although the sky was cloudy, it did not rain and the temperature was pleasant for this time of the year - truly a gift from the Blessed Mother for the last large pilgrimage of the year to the Original Shrine! In the afternoon the pilgrims from Swabia had a presentation in a lecture hall of the Adoration Church to recall Father Kentenich’s visit to their diocesan center, in Liebfrauenhohe, 40 years ago. It was a joy to see a brief video of his visit at the beginning of the program, where Father is seen greeting (people) with his paternal smile that characterized him so much.

During the presentation, the different regions from the diocese offered typical gifts to Father. The one that was outstanding among the others was the one that was brought by the representatives from the region of Oberland (Aulendorf Shrine). They have just received as part of the legacy of a priest, a picture of the MTA. This priest was in the same hall of the Dachau concentration camp with Father.. On the back of the MTA picture that belonged to this priest, "She is the great missionary, She will work miracles. MPHC" is handwritten by Father. The people from Aulendorf keep this picture as a special legacy of Father for their region, just as they commented: "We experience the Pilgrim MTA as the Great Missionary who works miracles".

Then, along with their bishop, they visited Father’s tomb, which was decorated with an enormous amount of red roses and was full of letters sent to him from many countries in the world.

A madness of love

The thousand pilgrims from Swabia joined the family from this area, along with the participants of a retreat of the Mothers’ Branch, a Mothers’ Federation, Course, Professionals, and pilgrims from other countries, for the Covenant Mass at 7:30 p.m. at the Pilgrims’ Church. Monsignor Furst presided over the festive Mass, that was accompanied by beautiful songs sung by the "Symbolon" choir from Blaustein.

"What madness…!!! Yes, I totally agree, but you know what? Once in a while it is good to do this kind of madness for Her. Hasn’t Mary done much more for us? Besides it is "only" 75 kms. Walking, and above all…walking with joy. It is not a punishment, nor is it a sacrifice; we proved it last year when we went. Furthermore, since the season for physical activities has just stared, the pilgrimage will be divided into two days…its nonsense!!! Are you crazy! Again, I agree, we are very crazy…that is why we are going to do it. That is what Jesus is asking today: madness; and on November 18th, Mary calls us precisely for this, to teach us how to live this madness. She is a Mother who wants to introduce us to her Son, are we going to say no? Surely we also have many things to say to her, to offer her, to ask for, to express gratitude…This is how Father Franz Widmaier began his homily, awakening even the most tired in the audience! He cited the article in which the youth from Montevideo invited everyone to their walk from Montevideo to the Shrine of Nueva Helvecia. Departing from their example, Father Franz Widmaier invited everyone to allow themselves to be infected by their "madness of love", as it happened at the Wedding of Cana when Jesus asked for something completely crazy…and because the servants carried out this madness that he had asked of them, water was transformed into wine.

Today Jesus is also calling us to do crazy things

Today Jesus is also calling us to do crazy things, he calls us to fill the jars with the water of our failures, joys, fears, worries, so that he can transform them into the wine of love, hope, light, and peace…It is Mary who encourages us to do as he says. At the end of the homily, Father Widmaier summarized his homily in English and Spanish, since this is the Schoenstatt International Center and there are always several people from other countries.

During the offertory procession, the jars that were brought by the pilgrims from Swabia were taken to the altar, along with those from different Schoenstatt Shrines.

One more moment with the Blessed Mother in the Shrine

At the end of Mass everyone went to the Original Shrine praying and singing the names by which Mary is known in Swabia. The priests along with the bishop briefly entered the Shrine. Then, everyone gathered around the Shrine, to renew the Covenant of Love, representing all the Schoenstatt Family.

Afterwards many walked to the bonfire to burn the Capital of Grace, while others took time to once more visit the MTA in the Shrine, to look at Her and to allow themselves to be looked at by Her.

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA

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