Schönstatt - Begegnungen

In the Shadow of the Future Shrine

Growing Austin Schoenstatt Family discerning the mission of their Shrine

Wayside Shrine, erected on the land for a future Daughter Shrine in Austin
Bildstöckchen auf dem Gelände für das zukünftige Heiligtum in Austin
"We already see our future Shrine!"
"Wir sehen schon unser Heiligtum!"

Clearing the land for the future Shrine
Das Land für das zukünftige Heiligtum wird erschlossen

Building a Shrine is so fun!
Heiligtumbauen macht ja Spass!
Fotos: Hamilton, Austin © 2000

(Cousett Ruelas, Maya Kaogh) On March 25th, the land for a future Schoenstatt Shrine in the Austin area was blessed. Since then, the land has been explored and cleared; a wayside shrine was erected, Schoenstatt members and friends frequently met there. On the evening of the 8th of September, 30 people gathered at St. Michael’s Academy to begin the process of discerning the mission of the Schoenstatt Shrine in Austin.

Father Günter Nieheuser, a Schoenstatt Father from Germany, led the group of individuals, youth and families. The theme for the weekend was "In the Shadow of our Shrine". On Friday evening, the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Mother, the participants gathered to learn more about Schoenstatt, to find what Schoenstatt meant for their lives, and perhaps most importantly, to grow closer to each other as a rapidly growing Schoenstatt family.

Fr. Günter asked that they write on a piece of paper the question that they wanted to be answered by the end of this weekend. Each question was posted across the wall of the room, so that the incredible range of questions could be appreciated, explored and shared. All imaginable topics were spread across the board from "Why Mary?" and "What is Schoenstatt - mission of Schoenstatt?" to "Where is the Church headed in today's society?" The questions were grouped according to topics – the weekend would be determined largely by these clusters of questions.

A Place Where God Touches the Earth

On Saturday, the participants discussed many more questions. During the morning, they came to the questions about the Shrine. "What draws us to the Shrine?" – "What draws us to the idea of the shrine?" One participant summarized: " We came up with an enormous list of many, many ideas, feelings, thoughts and experiences of and about the shrine. We decided a Shrine, whether it be a Daughter Shrine, Home Shrine or Heart Shrine, is a place where God touches the earth, a place of grace, a home, and a link in the network of the Schoenstatt family throughout the world."

The weekend continued in this spirit, the younger Girls youth presented a play about the Shrine, even the youth knew how important the Shrine is to the Schoenstatt Family. Within their play they explored the idea and importance of a Daughter Shrine, a Home Shrine and a Heart Shrine. Those in the Girls' youth and Boys' youth who had the opportunity to be in Schoenstatt and participate in World Youth Day shared their experiences with the Schoenstatt Family. Slowly the participants discussed every topic spread across the board and explored and shared the many experiences and thoughts that burned in their hearts.

What was the result of this meeting? A young woman shared: "We grew so much as a faith community, a family united in Christ and working to build our Schönstatt home here in Austin. This weekend gave us an insight into our individual ideas and how they all fit together in this family, how we build the shrine up as community with our love and commitment."


Group discussion on various topics
Mit Eifer wurden die verschiedenen Theman diskutiert
Group discussion on various topics
Mit Eifer wurden die verschiedenen Theman diskutiert
The decoration of the room had a lot of symbolism of the Shrine
In der Raumgestaltung spielten die Symbolik des Heiligtums eine große Rolle
Middle school girls performed the play about the shrine - and everyone helped out
Jüngere Mädchen führten das Stück über das Heiligtum auf - und alle halfen mit

Fotos: Ruelas, Austin © 2000


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