In the beginning was a Pilgrim Shrine - "Source of New Life"
25,000 persons present for the dedication of the Schoenstatt Shrine in Poços de Caldas
(Sr. Márcia Maria) On Sunday, September 17, the Schoenstatt Family of Poços de Caldas, Diocese of Guaxupé, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, saw accomplished a 20-year-old dream. In the Year of Grace 2000, the Shrine "Source of New Life" would be dedicated to the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt.
On March 28, 1999, that dream began to be fulfilled with the ground-breaking for the future Shrine. As Poços de Caldas (poço = well) is a city with many wells, beautiful flowers, many links to all forms of nature, the Shrine received the mission "Source of New Life" - a place granting to all new life, in love, in hope: new life in Christ.
Vigil of Adoration of the Blessed Sacred Sacrament, and Holy Masses
The great day was spiritually prepared for on the three days preceding the dedication of the Shrine. On the first day, September 14, the Schoenstatt Family met for the Vigil of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Each Branch contributed to the beautiful and profound prayers recalling the Jubilee of Jesus' Birth, 500 years of evangelization of Brazil, and which expressed the gratitude for the gift of the Shrine that soon would be dedicated. On September 15 and 16, Friday and Saturday, holy Masses were celebrated. During offertory at the Holy Mass on Saturday, each Branch of the Schoenstatt Movement along with the Movement of the Pilgrim Shrine in the Diocese of Guaxupé – a total of 3,929 images travel to families – , presented the symbols of the Shrine that they had worked for materially and spiritually, so that in the Year of Grace 2000 the Shrine "Source of New Life " could be given to the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt.
2.5 mile-walk to Arrive by the Shrine
On Saturday, the day before the dedication, torrential rains harmed the areas reserved for parking. On that day, the Federal traffic police counted 317 buses, many of which, as well as the cars, didn't get to the parking lot but instead were forced to stay in the middle of the road because the path leading to the Shrine is narrow. Because of this, countless people (among them Bishop Dom José Geraldo of Oliveira de Vale) had to walk 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) to arrive at Shrine.
Even with this unexpected incident, 25,000 people, far more than the 20,000 that were expected to come, were present for the dedication. The program began at 8:30 AM with the welcome of the delegations. At 10:00 AM, the Solemn Liturgy of Dedication began with the entrance of the flags of the Church, of Brazil, of Minas Gerais, Poços de Caldas, and of the Schoenstatt branches. The Entrance Procession followed. The Bishop and several priests processed to the altar on the stage by the Shrine. At the door of the Shrine, flanked by the priests, the Bishop solemnly received the key to the Shrine. Soon afterwards, on behalf of the Schoenstatt Family, the National Director of the Movement, Father Ottomar Schneider, greeted all those present.
Continuing the Rite of Entrance, the Schoenstatt Girls' and Boys' Youth, symbolizing the future generations that will go to the Shrine, together with Marian Apostles with flags in hands, brought the picture of the MTA. The picture was placed beside the altar on the stage that was beautifully decorated with white and yellow flags.
Blessing of the Shrine
In the homily, Dom José Geraldo de Vale spoke about his happiness at seeing the construction of the Shrine completed, which he had awaited for a long time. He reminded all of the beginning of the Movement in Poços de Caldas, the arrival of the Sisters and that from the beginning he supported and motivated that work in his Diocese. He especially referred to the Schoenstatt Campaign of the Pilgrim Mother, that he called "the great builder of the Shrine." His sermon was marked by his sincere love for the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt.
After the Prayer of the Faithful, the actual Rite of the Blessing of the Shrine took place. The Bishop said the Prayer of Dedication, with the request that God bless and sanctify the Shrine. Then he blessed the MTA picture for the Shrine.
After the solemn annointing of the altar with the sacred oil and the rite of incense, all of the candles in the Shrine were lighted, "Christ's light may shine in the Church and lead the people to the fullness of truth." During the Offertory, along with Bread and Wine, the "Golden Book" was brought forward as well as a heart, symbolizing all of the prayers, sacrifices and gifts offered during the long time of spiritual and material preparation of the Shrine. After Holy
Communion, the Blessed Sacrament was carried to the tabernacle of the Shrine. Jesus "moved into" the Shrine, making it his own and offering his presence to all those who would come.
A Rain of Rose Petals
Where Jesus is so also is the Mother. In a solemn moment, the picture of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt, was enthroned in her Shrine, while all sang the hymn " We called you...". An airplane flew over the place showering a rain of rose petals on the Shrine and those who stood outside.
In the end, all united in praying: "My Queen, my Mother ...", in gratitude for the new Shrine in the network of Shrines that began to come into existence on October 18, 1914, and for the first Schoenstatt Shrine in the State of Minas Gerais. Sister M. Marlenis, on behalf of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, thanked all of the people that collaborated in many ways in the construction of the Shrine. After the Blessing and Dismissal, all could visit the new Shrine.
The program of the day was continued with by Father Antônio Maria Borges. An accomplished dream, a new dream. "We hope that starting from this new Shrine our MTA wants to transform humanity, that streams of grace and love 'well forth with might to quench the thirst of the world for love' (Fr. Joseph Kentenich)."
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken/Wisconsin, US
Letzte Aktualisierung: 11.10.2000 14:37 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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