(mkf) Part of the program was spent together with a group of pilgrims from New York. "Language was not a barrier," said one. "We are a family. Yes, I really experienced Schoenstatt as a family, young and old. We just belong together in a spirit of generosity." "The internationality in Schoenstatt is striking," adds her friend. "We learned a lot from the New York pilgrims. What really impresses me is that although we have differences, the spirit is the same. Nobody will sacrifice their individuality, and we feel united anyway."
A couple from Mexico joined the groups from New York and South Africa on their trip to Gymnich near Cologne. "The husband works in Germany, she is in Mexico. She came here to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They renewed their vows, and we feel like their 'godparents' now." Already on their first full day in Schoenstatt, the South African and Zimbabwean Union mothers met German ladies from the Mothers' Union. Some of them had met each other two years ago, others were prayer partners. "Meeting our prayer partners from the German 'Mütterbund' was a highlight for me," said one pilgrim. "My partner is 91 years old and she came with her daughter. She greeted me like a long-lost sister/daughter and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. Her testimonies about meeting with Father Kentenich were really moving and helped to deepen our Schoenstatt spirituality." On July 9, the South African and Zimbabwean mothers met with German Professional Women. Two years ago, these two groups had gotten to know each other on a pilgrimage to Dachau. "When we met with the young women it was extremely moving - the stuff memories are mad of! It was as if we had never been away, and being able to take part in Jhilma's covenant was really special." Jhilma from Bolivia had taken part in a Dachau pilgrimage of the Professionals a month before and decided to make her Covenant of Love. With her and other young women who had been in Dachau with this group, Schoenstatt members from three continents and 10 countries joined in singing and sharing food, memories, experiences and joy. "Four different languages were spoken in the cafeteria, and we all understood each other!" The climax of this day was an English Holy Mass in the Marienland shrine, celebrated by Father Devakumar SAC, from India - with the sermon
in German and English, songs in three languages, and the Covenant of Love in Spanish. A German participant: "When we all prayed the consecration prayer - My Queen, My Mother - together with Jhilma, it really hit me: We are one in this Covenant of Love. We prayed the well-known text simultaneously in German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Croatian. I'll never forget that."
To Set the World on Fire
What is the result of these days in Schoenstatt? "Before I came to Schoenstatt, I knew about it but had not experienced Schoenstatt, the place of our foundation. I am grateful. It now means much more for me. I feel closer to our founder now." —"I have a great love for Father Kentenich," shared Barbara Kern of Johannesburg. "This was enhanced and broadened by talks by Sister Petra, sermons by Father Vega, educational insights by Sister Romelia, and brisk business-like facts from Sister Thomasine. I could go on and on. I'll just be thankful and feel privileged to belong to my Schoenstatt International Family!" Sheila Coleman of Harare prayed for a shrine in Zimbabwe in each shrine she visited. Her summary of the time spent in Schoenstatt: "Schoenstatt is truly a beautiful place, a home away from home. I have had many beautiful encounters with our Blessed Mother these last days – an awakening of my senses and a call to love and service for our Mother
Thrice Admirable. To set the world on fire. A renewal of my commitment to our Beloved MTA. May God bless all who keep the home fires burning."
English Edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken/WI, USA
Letzte Aktualisierung: 25.07.2000 18:02 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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