Schönstatt - Begegnungen

A Small Shrine – "Home of the Sun"

Cornerstone Laying for the new Schoenstatt Shrine in Araraquara, Brazil, October 22, 2000

The cylindric vessel with documents and symbols is placed in the corner stone
Das zylindirsche Gefäß mit Urkunde und Symbolen wird in den Grundstein eingefügt

Approximately 1,000 persons joined in the celebration
Ungefähr 1000 Personen kamen zur Feier

Nothing without you, nothing without us - the basic "tool" to build a Shrine
Nichts ohne dich, nichts ohne uns - so entsteht ein Heiligtum

The corner stone is laid ...
Der Grundstein ist gelegt ...

Corner Stone

Fotos: Schönstatt, Brasil © 2000

(Sr. M. Vitória, Atibaia, Brazil) October 22 is a special date for the International Schoenstatt Family, the day when, in 1965, the 14 years of the Founder's Exile ended. On that day, the cornerstone was laid for the 19th Shrine on Brazilian soil. The event, with approximately 1,000 people participating, was celebrated with thanksgiving and joy, that soon Araraquara will be the "beautiful place" of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt. This Shrine is a gift of gratitude, marking the two thousand years since Christ's birth and the 500 years of Evangelization of Brazil.

Araraquara – in the indigenous language Tupi – means "Home of the Sun." It is indeed extremely hot and dry there! It is not difficult to transfer this meaning to the small Shrine whose walls already reach up to the height of the windows. Christ, the Sun, with his Mother wants to raise

His throne there, for and with her, to attract the hearts of the people to himself . "It is the meadow radiantly lit by Tabor's sun," the place from where joy is radiated, is the main idea for the mission of the new Shrine not yet defined.

The Longing to Build a Shrine

The Schoenstatt Family of Araraquara is small in numbers but very active. Already in 1980, groups of several branches began as fruits of the periodic visits of Schoenstatt Sisters starting in1979. In 1981 the first Sisters arrived at Saint Gerald's parish. During this period, the Blessed Mother began

sowing fertile seeds, conquering hearts and homes with her eloquent silence and captivating glance.

The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign is very strong in Araraquara; 452 Pilgrim Shrines travel among the families in Araraquara, a total of 1816 Pilgrim Shrines in the entire diocese of São Carlos.

From 1991 to 1993, the land that today forms the grounds of the Shrine and of the Schoenstatt Center in Araraquara was acquired. With the blessing and introduction of the MTA Wayside Shrine on December 13, 1992, this place, located in the neighborhood of the center beside a forest, soon attracted pilgrimages and Covenant celebrations on the 18th of each month.

With the growth of the Movement in the area, the longing for a Shrine grew as well – as a place for the spiritual renovation of the Brazilian people! The cornerstone laying marked the beginning of this dream come true. In preparation for this day, teams were formed to plan the celebration – for decorations, liturgy, feeding, admissions, etc. Everything was prepared with a lot of love!

Araraquara Honored its Name - A Lot of Sun

On the day of the cornerstone laying, Araraquara honored its name! Not the tiniest cloud was to be seen in the blue sky, and the sun burned so strongly that each small piece of shade was crowded. Approximately 1,000 people from several areas of the Diocese of São Carlos were present. The Eucharistic Celebration began at 10:00 AM. The main celebrant was Episcopal Vicar Luiz Carlos Gonçalves, substituting for Bishop Joviano de Lima Júnior who, due to a pastoral visit, could not preside at the festive holy Mass. Father Ottomar Schneider, National Director of the Schoenstatt Movement in Brazil, Father Franz Hörnle, Schoenstatt Father, and Father Morales of the Diocese of São Carlos, concelebrated with him.

The flags of Brazil, of the Vatican, and of Araraquara – with the yellow sun on blue background – were carried. The speaker invited all those present to thank God for the selection and blessing of this place where soon the new Shrine will be completed.

Expecting a Lot From the Schoenstatt Movement

In his homily, the Episcopal Vicar captured the current situation and reminded the participants not to forget to smile in spite of the heat.

Referring to the readings, he inspired all to be of service to their brothers and sisters, like Christ, and to imitate Christ in forming a new world. He said that he is expecting a lot from the Schoenstatt Movement, especially from the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. He said that he is very grateful for the new Marian Shrine in the city because: "Where Mary is, we find God." He also spoke of the beginning of Pope John Paul's pontificate 22 years ago.

For the offering of the gifts, a group of children brought an immense rosary in honor of the rosary month. The Capital of Grace was also brought to the altar and the cornerstone with the inscription: "Cornerstone - 10-22-2000 Holy Year - 500 years of evangelization of Brazil," the cylinder for the document, a small model of the Shrine, and bread and wine.

A Piece of the Roof From the Original Shrine

After the Eucharist, Bishop Joviano arrived – in spite of his full calendar – to personally lay the cornerstone. Father Ottomar received him with the words: "This small Shrine is yours". He explained that from this Shrine, new men, active Catholics, are to be formed, ready and capable to make a difference in all areas of life, above all in the parishes, persons who, like yeast, penetrate the world and renew it from within.

Bishop Joviano expressed his thanks for this presence and emphasized in his greeting the importance of the Mother of God as Missionary. He said that he admired Mary's influence on family life, and reminded all of the Diocesan Conference on November 15, with one topic being the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign.

After his address, the actual laying of the cornerstone took place. A Marian hymn was sung by the choir. The document, signed by the authorities and the representatives of the branches, was read and then placed in the acrylic cylinder, along with several writings and objects such as an MTA medal, a current coin, a piece of the roof of the Original Shrine (sent by a Schoenstatt Sister born in Araraquara who presently works in Schoenstatt, Germany) and of the Shrine of the Permanent Presence of the Father in Atibaia, and earth from Bethlehem brought from the Holy Land. The cylinder was put in a prepared space behind the foundation stone, which was then closed while all applauded. Bishop Joviano gave the Episcopal blessing, and with that the celebration ended.

"The Meadow Radiantly Lit by Tabor's Sun"

In the Covenant of Love with Mary, the Schoenstatt family of Araraquara wants to include the intention that 2000 years after Christ's birth, streams of grace may flow for the construction of a new Christian social order. This Shrine should radiate Christ's glories and help to transform the diocese of São Carlos, the whole central area of the state of São Paulo and all of Brazil into a "meadow radiantly lit by Tabor's sun".

English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA


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