Dedication of the Third Millennium to Mary - "Pilgrim Shrine"
October 8, 2000 in Argentina: 4,000 Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the "Campaña"
(Sr. M. Arntrudis Seeger, Buenos Aires) Spiritually united with the Holy Father in Rome and the bishops who dedicated the 3rd millennium to Mary, approximately 4,000 persons surrendered themselves to Mary as co-workers in a campaign that Schoenstatt began 50 years ago as a means of entrusting the world to Jesus and Mary: the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, which reaches out to several million people in over 60 countries.
October 8 was a beautiful spring day, with flowers blossoming everywhere – as if nature wanted to underline the festive character of this Sunday. The people in charge of the preparations for the Jubilee celebrations in Nuevo Schoenstatt expected less than 2,000 people to participate. Then, on Sunday morning, they arrived to honour the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt – delegations from all of the provinces of Argentina, and from Uruguay, the land of the first Schoenstatt Daughter Shrine, and hundreds of people from the neighboring areas, totaling 4,000 by the afternoon. "It's incredible," a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary said. "The Pilgrim Mother attracts so many, it is amazing! I stood by the Shrine and saw a sea of people, and pilgrim shrines eeverywhere, one could not count them. The whole sanctuary of the Church of God the Father was filled with Pilgrim Shrines!"
At 10:00 a.m. a Holy Mass was said to celebrate the patronage of the Shrine of the Father, which was commemorated on the same day. More than 1,000 people from the surrounding areas came, although the main Mass was scheduled for the afternoon. "They just love the Shrine," an astonished sister said.
Exhibition of Schoenstatt's Social Projects in Argentina.
An exhibition of Schoenstatt's social activities and apostolic projects in Argentina was set up in the basement of the church. Displays showed the activities of a shelter for homeless children, run and financed by Schoenstatt members; the project "Taller de San José," a place where young people from poor families can learn a trade, the "Voluntarias de Maria", women who volunteer to take care of the poor in hospitals, the MTA school in Buenos Aires where Father Kentenich's pedagogy is put into practice, the "Apostolate of the ‘Ermitas’", the wayside shrines, and the "Misioneritos", (children who pass on small pilgrim shrines to their class mates). One display was about the process for the beatification of Sr Emilie, who has many friends in Argentina.
A bond uniting directors, professors, and simple workers
At 11.00 a.m. Fr Carmona gave a talk entitled: "She is the Great Missionary, She Will Work Miracles," which was attended by more than 1,000 people. Afterwards, all headed for the park for a lunch break – sharing the food they had brought along. People formed long lines in front of the Shrine, as all wanted to greet the Blessed Mother. An abundance of candles, flowers, letters, gifts, photos, and symbols was placed in the Shrine. "This is the genuine, simple faith of the Argentineans," said one Sister. "They come to the Shrine, because here, they find a way to cope with the hardships of their lives. They tell me, that they find the strength here to carry their burdens. They tell me that they take hope home from here. Their confidence impresses me. They are convinced that the Blessed Mother and Father Kentenich will help them by either solving their problems, or by giving them the strength to keep going in these situations. And they do."
A video about Fr Kentenich's life was presented in the basement of the church, in the area which is called "Place of Encounter with Father Kentenich". Afterwards, many stayed there, kneeling in prayer in the Founder Room.
People from all walks of life, from all social strata, were seen there. Father Kentenich is a Father for all of them. "And that is a bond which unites directors, professors, simple workers, young and old, rich and poor. All come to Father Kentenich, definitely all."
Children performed a puppet show about the life of João Pozzobon – the audience, hundreds of children (and a number of adults among them), applauded with enthusiasm
AVE MARIA of 20,000 Pearls
At 2:00 p.m. Sr. M. Virginia gave a talk in preparation for the climax of the day – the Covenant of Love in unity with the Pope's "Act of Dedication." The Rosary, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament followed. Many of the participants had to stand all the time in the crowded church – and they stayed on for the Holy Mass. Father Angel Strada was the main celebrant, with many other priests concelebrating. The Blessed Mother was crowned as Queen, with the "Misioneros" renewing their promise to bring her to the people so she can work Miracles of Grace in the new millennium. After the Holy Mass, the picture with the "AVE MARIA" ("HAIL MARY") was brought in procession to the Shrine. This picture is the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign's gift for the National Shrine, the "Shrine of the Father" in Nuevo Schoenstatt.
"AVE MARIA - these two words stand for us," said Augustín Badano. "Mary is our leader, and the AVE MARIA is the prayer and welcome we give to her whenever she visits our homes. The AVE MARIA picture is our gift of gratitude and reminds us forever of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign’s attachment to the Shrine." The AVE MARIA, an exact copy of the picture in the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt, is a pearl embroidery – 20,000 pearls were needed to complete it, each one made valuable by contributions to the Capital of Grace. For more than one year, the picture travelled to all of the Pilgrim Shrine groups in Argentina. When the leaders of the Rosary Campaign asked the Schoenstatt Sisters in 1998, whether it would be possible to give this picture for the National Shrine, they learned that for six years, the sisters had had the idea of giving such a picture to the Shrine, but wanted to wait for a life -stream to grow in the Movement. The joy and pride of the families of the Rosary Campaign, donors of this picture, is exuberant.
The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign (which began in Brazil in 1950), was clearly and consciously linked all the day with the "Act of Dedication" in Rome. Each time, the Holy Father or the "Act of Dedication" was mentioned, the people applauded with enthusiasm. They were proud to be linked with the Holy Father – almost to the hour – when they renewed their Covenant of Love and presented the AVE MARIA: entrusting the world, the Church, families, the generations and the peoples to Mary, who has set out from her Shrines to bring Jesus to the remotest places.
the trip. It was a wonderful pilgimage for us.
English edition: Marlene Peter, Harare, Zimbabw
Letzte Aktualisierung: 24.10.2000 16:34 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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