From Schoenstatt to Rome
Impressed by the Holy Father's 'intrepid frailty'
(D.V.) On March 31, 2000, 50 pilgrims returning from their pilgrimage to Rome(March 18-31) gathered in the House Chapel of the Adoration Sisters in Schoenstatt, and joined in giving thanks to the Triune God for all his gifts and graces. They represented 6,000 or so members of the Schoenstatt prayer community.
On March 18, 50 members of the Schoenstatt prayer community had set out for Rome on behalf of the Holy Year and the commemoration of their community's golden anniversary. For one year, all of the 6,000 or so members of the Schoenstatt prayer community – associated with the Adoration Sisters in Schoenstatt – had spiritually prepared for this pilgrimage. The motto of the pilgrimage was: "Triune God, receive eternal praises!" The group arrived in Rome – via Einsiedeln/Switzerland, Milan, and Florence, and first visited the Schoenstatt Shrine in Rome. "The bell rang when we arrived. This increased our joy to finally be in Rome!"
The Holy Doors of St. Peter, Santa Maria Maggiore, St. Paul and St. John were visited. The group walked through the doors in prayer. A priest saw the group in St. Peter. He knows the Schoenstatt shrine in Rome and often goes there for holy Mass; he told one of the Schoenstatt sisters the other day: "I saw your group. They are different. They pray!"
Holy Masses with Bishop Cordes, and Bishop Cox, were highlights of the pilgrimage, as well as a baptism renewal in the ancient baptism chapel in by St. John. On Thursday, the group paid a visit to the house with the altar for the future International Schoenstatt Shrine in Rome. In the afternoon, they visited the Carmel in the Vatican gardens and joined a prayer service with the Carmelite nuns – an impressive moment for many.
The encounter with the early Christians in the catacomb of St. Callisto made several pilgrims think about their personal readiness of being a witness of faith.
The feast of Annunciation, the anniversary of incarnation 2,000 years ago, was commemorated by the Schoenstatt shrine. The other day, some pilgrims shared about a helicopter they had heard at night, followed by applause and "horn concert" from Peter's Square – indicating the Pope's return from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.