Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Each Mother Represents a Family

German Schoenstatt Mothers' Federation Celebrated 50th Anniversary

8. September 2000
Beginn des Festgottesdienstes beim Heiligtum bei Marienland
Beginning of the festive Holy Mass by the Shrine near Marienland
Frau Calleger, Frau Lohaus, Frau Nikolayzik -
three sisters providing chamber music
drei leibliche Schwestern als Kammermusikkreis

Jubilee candle, jar with gifts of gratitude
Jubiläumskerze, Krug mit Dankesgaben

Jubilee Joy
Celebrating the feastday
Congress motto: O Triune God, Receive Eternal Praises. - A candle for each deceased member was placed in the congress hall, and later lit Kongress
Saal und Kongress-Motto. - Für jedes verstorbene Mitglied stand dort eine Licht, das im Festgottesdienst entzündet wurde
Fotos: PressOffice Schoenstatt, mkf © 2000

(mkf) Approximately 130 members of the Schoenstatt Mothers' Union gathered in Schoenstatt for a jubilee congress - this community was founded 50 years ago, on September 8th, 1950. The mothers looked back in gratitude and responsibility, pondering on the fundamental ideas and driving forces that brought the community into being and made it grow. They also looked ahead to the next 50 years and the upcoming challenges for a union of mothers.

The participants of the congress gratefully looked back to 50 years of the Covenant of Love lived according to the Ideal of the Mothers' Union, well aware of the responsibility they had taken on with their decision to form such a community. Each mother represents a family, and represents people for whom she is responsible. During the congress, the mothers looked ahead to the next 50 years and the concrete tasks and challenges for their union of mothers. "Mothers' Union 2050" turned out to be a vision that excited everyone! Besides reflections and considerations, the days of the congress provided fruitful encounters between the different generations - with the oldest participants being well into their eighties! Bazaars and a raffle were part of a multi-faceted program.

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary - September 8, 2000

September 8th, the 50th anniversary of the Founding, was celebrated as a special feast day, prepared for with an all night vigil. Early in the morning, the mothers gathered at the Shrine at Marienland to give thanks and praise. After breakfast, they began their festive holy Mass in the Shrine, starting with a special penitential rite. From the Shrine, they processed to the Adoration Church. "To me, the solemn entrance was impressive – I was moved when we walked up the high stairs and then entered through the main door", said one mother. Father Theo Breitinger, Spiritual Assistant of the Mothers' Union, celebrated the festive holy Mass together with Father Mosbach, who has done so for many years. A choir from the Union Mothers, and a chamber music group – siblings from different courses of the Mothers' Union – provided the music: "I was not sure what I admired most – the festive organ pieces, or the songs by the choir, or the soloist's songs – it was overwhelmingly beautiful!" – "I was touched by the offering of the gifts, it meant a lot to me," said another mother. All of the mothers wwalked ahead and each brought her gift – her personal thanks, written down during the months before the feast. The cards were put into a big jar by the altar. After Holy Communion, the jubilee candle was lit at the light from Bethlehem. Then, all gave themselves anew to be at the disposal of the Blessed Mother for the common mission, and were sent out to the next 50 years. The whole feast day was marked by a joyful and loving atmosphere. It closed with a family-like get-together that night with skits, music, sharing, and ending with fireworks!

English edition: Marlene Peter, Harare, Zimbabwe

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