A Network of Shrines
September 18 - Covenant Renewal in Schoenstatt
(mkf) Covenant Renewal in Schoenstatt and in Clifton, Liverpool, Harare: On the 18th of each month, tens of thousands of Schoenstatt members and friends gather by a daughter shrine, wayside shrine, home shrine or pilgrim shrine; and spiritually united with each other, they renew the Covenant of Love with Mary, the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt. In addition, they are spiritually united with those who participate by the Original Shrine and by the tomb of Father Kentenich, the places which are the 'heart' of Schoenstatt. The Covenant of Love creates a network of shrines throughout the whole world.
A beautiful sunset "gilded" Mount Schoenstatt as the participants headed for the Adoration Church at 7:30 PM. Schoenstatt Mothers from various German dioceses who had just arrived for some days of retreat came from Marienland, together with a group of Women's League members from the dioceses of Münster and Osnabrück. Women from these dioceses have come to Schoenstatt around September 15 for about 32 years because in 1968 they had been there and brought gifts to Father Kentenich's apartment on the day before he died. Father Kentenich had sent a thank you note to the ladies, asking them to offer their good works so that wherever they were, heaven could touch earth. On September 15, 1968, they brought one of the first bouquets of flowers. Since then, they donate the lilies and white carnations which decorate the place of Father Kentenich's death in the Founder Chapel each year on September 15. A group of 25 couples came from the House of the Families to join in the covenant celebration. Monsignor Wolf, who led the celebration, especially welcomed a group of priests and lay people from Belorussia, among them the parish priest of the recently blessed MTA church in Grodny, the first church in the whole world dedicated to the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt!
Preparing Now for Our Future: To Live in Relationship in Eternity
The theme of the covenant renewal was "to live in relationships." Monsignor Wolf said that we all ive in relationships, both in our natural families as well as in the spiritual family. "To be a Schoenstatt family means that we notice and value each other in our international family," he
said. "We enjoy seeing and greeting each other when we walk through Schoenstatt. Thus we and others sense that we are a family in which all of the various cultures, histories, and vocations are appreciated and respected by everyone." With the Incarnation that we celebrate this year, we also celebrate Jesus' decision to live in human relationships with his mother, his family, his town, humankind. For 30 years, he lived in a world of interwoven relationships in everyday life, thus sanctifying them. He also wants his followers and his church to be a family, to have family-like relationships. Why? Human relationships are important to aid our understanding of the great world of interwoven relationships we are destined to live in eternity because the Triune God himself is a relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. "Our future is relational, is the eternal covenant of love that we are journeying toward and that we now want to renew."
United in a Network of Shrines: "Mother of Unity", Clifton, Virginia, USA
While meditative music was played on a keyboard, all recalled the joys, sorrows, gifts, losses, hopes and frustrations of the past weeks – contributions to the capital of grace, the expression of being closely bound together in this covenant of love. Bound together in a network of shrines with the small Schoenstatt group in Virginia, USA, who sent greetings via the "Mother of Unity" wayside shrine in Clifton: "On Sunday we had our monthly Schoenstatt meeting. We were a group of fifteen. We opened the meeting by singing 'My Queen, My Mother,' followed by the prayer, from 'Heavenwards', 'God Our Father.' Then Doorothy gave a presentation sh had prepared on the fourth chapter in "Rediscovering the Father". At the end of her presentation she gave us each a holy card with the Magnificat and a sheet with questions we should ask ourselves, at least one for each chapter, to encourage discussion. The discussion was followed by praying the rosary. At the end of the meeting three of us who had attended the "Journey of Love 2000" convention in Waukesha, Wisconsin, shared our experiences and impressions with the group. We closed the meeting again with "My Queen, My Mother."
United in a Network of Shrines: England's last 18th Before the Dedication of the Shrine
In England, the Schoenstatt family had a memorable Covenant Renewal on September 18, as Pat McEvoy, from Liverpool, shared: "A good number of the English Schoenstatt Family enjoyed our last `18th` celebration before we have our Shrine. The meeting that followed was to ensure that everything would go well on our special day," which is October 1, the day of the dedication of the first Schoenstatt Shrine in England!
United in a Network of Shrines: Queen of Africa
In Harare, Zimbabwe, the Schoenstatt family does not yet have a daughter shrine, but they have their "altar shrine" where they met for the covenant celebration. "We celebrated our covenant yesterday (the 17th ) as we have decided to celebrate on the Sunday afternoon nearest the 18th because people are nervous about going out at night. So we gathered at the Arnold home at No 6 Wycombe Avenue, Mt. Pleasant, at 3 PM. Pat and Stella Arnold are our leading couple and founding members who are also the leaders of our family group. The altar shrine is in their home. The converted bedroom is small; and inside besides the altar there are two small church benches and a couple of stools. In the cupboards we keep all the Schoenstatt literature. Our flags from the 1985 centennial are in a corner there and also the visitors' book. Usually when we gather there the room is too small, so some go outside with chairs and sit just outside the window, as happens at other shrines on occasion. Yesterday, after the hymn 'Holy God We Praise Thy Name' and prayers of adoration, Pat presented a meditation on our motto of this past year, 'As a Caring Community of Love, We Glorify the Triune God.' At the end we sang 'God Gives His People Strength' and our 'Queen of Africa' hymn. Of course, we had a lovely Schoenstatt tea afterwards on the verandah."
From Brasilia to Schoenstatt
United with all those who anywhere in the world renewed and lived their covenant of love, all participants in Schoenstatt prayed: "My Queen, my Mother ..." At the closing, Father Reinisch's song, written in jail before his beheading, was sung in German to the melody from South America, so well-known from the celebration in Chile in May 1999. After the blessing, all walked out to the fire, where the slips of paper with the contributions to the capital of grace were burned. A young woman from Bolivia, who was late because she had to work longer, asked, "May I take a paper and still write my contribution and bring it to the fire later?" – "Protect Us With Your Mantle" was sung, then songs in English and Spanish followed; the people from Belorussia sang a Marian song in their language.
A Brazilian priest (who had met with Father Kentenich while he was in Santa Maria) had arrived with his niece in the morning from Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. They were glad to be with so many Schoenstatters from different countries, and shared about the crowning celebration in the Shrine in Brasilia on September 10: "The weather was terrible. One could hardly make it there with the heavy rain! But we had about 100 buses with pilgrims. The crowning of the MTA in the Shrine was shown on TV all over Brazil!"
Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.09.2000 14:29 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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