From the Original Shrine – a Network of Love
Pilgrimages to 13 Shrines in Schoenstatt on October 22, 2000
(mkf) October 22, 2000 - the German Schoenstatt Movement united in the Shrines. All at the same time, thousands of Schoenstatt members and friends in Germany assembled by the Original Shrine, by the daughter Shrines, in parish churches, and in many home shrines to celebrate the Holy Year, to celebrate Christ's rebirth in the Shrine. In Schoenstatt, a gorgeous fall afternoon underlined the joy and anticipation at the place where the world of Shrines has its origin and center. From there, people set out to 13 different Shrines in this place of grace. They walked silently, with joy from within, and they walked in unity with each other in the different pilgrimages, with the others in Schoenstatt, and with all those in Germany and beyond who belong to the network of Shrines. From a bird's eye perspective, it was a view that illustrated the motto that had been proclaimed earlier in the morning, "From the Shrine - A Network of Love."
The bell of a Shrine could be heard ringing from somewhere, and people gathered by the Original Shrine and on the way listened and smiled, "They arrived by House Mariengart!" Some minutes later, another bell was heard, more distant this time, and then again and again. A young man, with a wide grin, looks at his mobile phone and says, "Hi, the Shrines' SMS". Bells announced this 'short message.' They arrived – the pilgrim groups that started from the Original Shrine, mixed groups from various branches, generations, nations, cities. On this afternoon, the network of shrines was to be erected. The faith was obvious: the Shrine is the place of Christ's rebirth.
Light from Bethlehem
The celebration had begun by the Original Shrine, where all had gotten together – those participants of the October Week who had not joined the celebrations at their Schoenstatt Centers, the local Schoenstatt family, people from Vallendar and the nearby towns who had heard about the celebration by word of mouth, announcements in the media, posters – or walkers who "randomly" join in. Father Rummel, the director of the Original Shrine, and Father Beller, the movement leader, welcomed everybody at the place where the Covenant of Love was sealed on October 18, 1914. Flags with the Schoenstatt symbol were placed by the Shrine. The texts of the celebration were about the Holy Year, Christ's rebirth. Once again, the light from Bethlehem was solemnly brought, and, like the night before, the World Youth Day song resounded, "Emmanuel ..."
Set Out From The Shrine
From the Shrine ... this was the challenge! It's not about withdrawing into the security of the Shrine. The October Week was marked by the willingness to set out, and this happened in a symbolic way. People set out from the Original Shrine to the different shrines with their unique missions, and from there to the places of Christ's rebirth, the family, parish, neighborhood, working place ... The pilgrimages got together at different places, and each one chose a "favorite Shrine." The doors of all of the Shrines were open, special decorations and signs announced to everyone a heartfelt welcome.
The Ladies of Schoenstatt's Shrine had an extraordinarily beautiful flower arrangement and country flags in front of the Shrine. A manger scene and a Christmas tree in the Schoenstatt Sisters' Shrine took some by surprise, but it was true: The Shrine is the place of Christ's rebirth, here and now. The Adoration Church also was part of the network of Shrines. The pilgrims mounted the stairs that were still decorated with flags, ivy, and flowers from the reconciliation service some days before. When the pilgrims climbed the stairway, the door was opened, and festive organ music resounded.
Oneness in the Shrine
"Go with us on our way ..." The Schoenstatt Girls, who extended an invitation to come to their home Shrine in House Sonnenau with the recently crowned Queen, sang this verse and prayed texts from the crowning celebration in August. Monsignor Wolf encouraged the 50 or so pilgrims on the bus going to Mount Moriah to leave the bus by the cemetery in Simmern and walk the remaining way. The brilliant colors of the woods on this beautiful fall day made a statement, "Schoenstatt's Covenant of Love has many colors, and the joy in these different colors is growing."
Children flew kites in the field by Mount Sion – a group of families from Vallendar spent their Sunday there. They were included in the prayers. Anyway, again and again walkers met with the pilgrims. Some joined. The others were taken into the network of love. The experience of oneness was tangible. A special band united all with the Schoenstatt family in Bamberg that, at that hour, experienced the Dedication of their new diocesan Shrine with the name and mission, "Shrine of Bonding," and with all those in all shrines and home shrines, who united at that moment, not only in Germany. The oneness is worked, says Father Schapfel in the Shrine on Mount Moriah, by the Blessed Mother – Covenant of Love, apostolic unity from the Shrine.
By the Shrine of the Federation Families in Hillscheid, Professor Martin recalled the Holy Father's initiative for this Holy Year and encouraged all to unite with the Cor Ecclesiae Shrine in Rome on its 10th anniversary.
Where do you stay?
When John and Andrew followed Jesus, as if drawn by a magnet because they wanted to get to know him, and when Jesus turned to them and asked what they wanted, they said, "Where do you stay?" "Come," Jesus replied, "and see." That was said by the various communities after the prayer service by the Shrines. The professional women knew long before which Shrine and house they would choose: "We wanted to go to House Mariengart to see where our friend is at home now." One from their group had joined the Women's Federation in summer. All of the houses were open. Coffee, cake, and refreshments were offered – but that's not all; it was the specific "flavor" of each community that showed in their houses. The Schoenstatt Girls' Youth invited all to be close to the Queen, crowned with a living crown. Two girls shared enthusiastically about the crowning experience a few weeks ago. The Ladies of Schoenstatt showed their house chapel with the "Holy Door." Monsignor Wolf led all to the tombs of Father Dresbach, Father Engel, and Father Schmitz, to the house chapel with the new tabernacle, and the Dachau altar. Some communities had a souvenir for all; a picture of the founder with his word to their community was the Academics' gift;
in the Pilgerheim, Shrine cookies were served. Everywhere, people shared, talked, and enjoyed getting to know one another, as time flew by. Many questions, much laughter, much joy was shared. Again and again, the hosts expressed their joy over the many people from the other branches who came.
"The bells should have rung again at the departure as a greeting from Shrine to Shrine," someone said. "Today the Shrines were not restricted by walls. Schoenstatt was like one big open Shrine today."
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
Letzte Aktualisierung: 30.10.2000 14:31 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
© 2000 Schönstatt-Bewegung in Deutschland, PressOffice Schönstatt, hbre, All rights reserved