Encounters in Schoenstatt – Shared
(mkf) She came from Bolivia for a Youth Exchange, wanted to go to England and found Schoenstatt, a retired technical officer from Australia showed the land where she was born and Schoenstatt to her grandson, a couple from Vallendar comes every day, and five girls from Poland made their Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine.
Jhilma from Sucre, Bolivia, had never heard about Schoenstatt when she came to Germany in spring with a Youth Exchange Program, nor did she expect anything special to happen when she decided to spend part of the time with in the house of a cousin – who lives in Vallendar. Trying to find a place for volunteer work, she came to Schoenstatt. "When the sister drove me back home at night, I asked a lot of questions, and I liked this Schoenstatt. But I wanted to go to England to improve my English. As I am a student of tourism, English is important for my future work. Everything was planned, a friend in England waited for me at the airport – but the immigration officer would not let me in. Something was wrong with my papers, he thought I was an illegal immigrant. That day, I was scared, and angry. Now I know, he was God's instrument. Without him I would never have made my Covenant of Love, which means a new beginning of my life." Instead of improving her English in England, Jhilma came back to Schoenstatt – where two girls from Ecuador invited her to join a pilgrimage to Dachau with a group of German Professionals. "Already in Dachau I knew, that I wanted to make Schoenstatt my life." On July 9, Jhilma's Schoenstatt friends from Ecuador, Germany and Brazil met with her in the Original Shrine, where she made her Covenant of Love – which was sealed officially in the afternoon during a holy mass in the shrine by Marienland. "When I am back in Bolivia, I will visit the Shrine in Achumani, La Paz! It's a long distance from Sucre to La Paz – and maybe I will never again come to Schoenstatt, Germany, but I feel united with all those in the Covenant of Love!"
Atmosphere of peace
Veronika Pfuhl from Sydney, Australia, walked towards to Father Kentenich House one morning – followed by her grandson Stephen, 9. At the moment, when she found out that the house was closed, a sister, with a bouquet of flowers in her hand, walked out – and Veronika and Stephen walked in. "That's a welcome!" said Stephen, pointing at the flowers. Veronika Pfuhl wanted to show Stephen the country where his grandmother came from, and: "I wanted to show him the place where Father Kentenich lived." They came from Ulm, and stayed overnight. Stephen: "We have the pilgrim shrine in our school!" His mother and aunt were baptized by the altar of the then still future shrine in Mulgoa. "On the first weekend of May, we always have our parish pilgrimage to Mount Schoenstatt, Mulgoa," shared Veronika Pfuhl. Stephen was glad to hear that the video about Father Kentenich will be in English – and that he found the Australian flag in the hall!
Mrs. P.P. Thomas from Chingavanam, Kerala, India visited Schoenstatt with friends from Rohrbach, Germany. Her son worked years before in the office of a Schoenstatt member's brother-in-law, which created a lasting friendship between these families. Mrs. Thomas' son was shown the Schoenstatt wayside shrine – and he recognized the MTA picture: "This picture is in my parish church in India!" He had never heard about Schoenstatt, nor did his mother. Mrs. Thomas: "I know that my mother-in-law brought this picture to our parish, but I have no idea from where she got it." When her German friends visited her family in India earlier this year, they drove three hours to Irinyalakuda, where the new Schoenstatt shrine is under construction. "Years ago, I got Schoenstatt prayers through a sister in Schoenstatt, who was in charge of English speaking visitors. Since then, I have prayed the prayers every day. It is beautiful to now be in Original Schoenstatt." She bought many MTA pictures to share them with others.
Five girls from Poland invited a Polish Franciscan Father from Bornhofen to celebrate a Holy Mass with them in the Original Shrine – where they wanted to make or renew their Covenant of Love. "These girls, and the whole atmosphere gave more to me than I gave to you," he shared afterwards. Girls and theologians from Poland, and the Czech Republic joined and celebrated with the girls.
A couple from Vallendar enjoys every sunny day (rare in this summer!), because: "Then we drive up to Schoenstatt, sit on our favorite bench and simply look at the adoration church. This atmosphere of peace and quiet, the tangible presence of God, and the joy radiating for the faces of those who walk by – that's striking!"
English edition: Marlene Peter, Harare, Zimbabw
Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.08.2000 13:10 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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