Escorted by Youth Carrying Sheaves of Wheat and Lilies
Reception in New Schoenstatt, Argentina, November 18, 2000
(Sr. M. Pilar) Radiant sunshine beautified the feastday celebrated in New Schoenstatt, Florencio Varela, Argentina, on November 18, 2000, where almost 500 persons joined in the reception ceremonies for six young women from the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth who followed the call to be Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary.
At 3:30 PM, the procession of the six novices, in their white bridal dresses, set out from the Sisters' Province House, led by the cross and the various flags of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and escorted by young people carrying sheaves of wheat and lilies. The bells of the Church of God the Father rang jubilantly as the procession headed for the Church.
The main celebrant pointed out that the meaning of the rich symbolism of the ceremony was the call of love to which these young women responded. They felt exuberantly loved by the Holy Trinity, and for that reason they responded with a radical decision, dedicating their lives entirely to the Father Kingdom.
Their Vocation - A Fruit of the Shrines
After the novices received their sisters' dresses and their new names, they left to change. A short presentation on each of the novices was given – all of them coming from the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth in Argentina. One of the girls said:
"Today we want to share with you the joy of being able to give to God for the Father Kingdom six young women of the Argentinean Schoenstatt Girls' Youth with whom we have shared so many experiences and ideals. All six of them made their vocational decision in our midst; they discovered in Schoenstatt a foundation for striving for higher ideals. For that reason, with simplicity and with the conviction that today's gift can be a light for each one of us, we want share something about them and what they and their vocation means for us today."
"María Fernanda Martínez Sindler belonged to the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth of the Quilmes Diocese, and therefore could experience in a special way the grace of the Father Shrine, our national Shrine. She is a fruit of this Shrine; and here she always felt loved by the Father, at home, transformed and sent out. For many years, her heart has been bound to this place;
she matured here as the Father's daughter in her group "Roots of the Shrine." Here she sealed her Covenant of Love and made her blank check surrender. For us, María Fernanda was a reflection of the Mother, especially in her contagious joy and in her readiness to share with all those who needed her help. Thank you, Mater, for the years that we shared with her. Thank you for the privilege of giving her to you today as a lily from the garden of our branch."
"Karina Lizárraga, Belén Rojas, and Valeria Juárez Venditti, come from the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth of Tucumán. The three began their journey towards the Covenant of Love in the Year of the Holy Spirit, in 1998, and sealed their Covenant with Mary on December 10,1998, in the Shrine of Tucumán, then still under construction. This fact made them very conscious of being the founder generation of the Shrine, the newest one in Argentina. The group to which the three belonged has the name "Sweet Soul". With this ideal, they strove to be the new woman, a reflection of Mary. When we celebrated the first anniversary of the Shrine this year, Karina announced to the Family of Tucumán that she had decided to join the community of the Schoenstatt Sisters. The joy was exuberant. Belén and Valeria followed. In the Holy Year, the year of the Eucharist, the three fell in love with Jesus and they followed their call to build the Kingdom from the charisma of Schoenstatt; they are a gift for the Church of the Third Millennium."
"True Witnesses of our ideal: Daughter of the Father, Building Up the Kingdom"
"Of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth of Mendoza, Sofía Castro Vázquez gave us her joy and her strength during four years. She sealed her Covenant of Love in our Shrine; this Covenant was the driving force behind her decision to surrender her life entirely to God. During those years, Sofía, who belonged to the "Rainbow" group, gave all for the Girls' Youth. As our leader, she formed groups, motivated us, taught us countless songs. In the Father Shrine she gave her blank check surrender. We are proud about another vocation from the Mendoza family and today we offer Sofia to you, Mother, as one who lived and loved our ideal: Daughter of the Father, building up the Kingdom."
"Miriam belonged to the Girls' Youth of Oberá. In our Shrine, she sealed the Covenant of Love. She always shared with us Mary's joy and gentleness. She always longed to one day be a Schoenstatt Sister, and today we accompany her in her joy and offer her to the Father as a mature fruit of our branch."
During the offering of the gifts, the parents of one of the novices said a prayer of thanksgiving "for being privileged to be her parents and being involved in her attachment to the Holy Trinity." They expressed their readiness to give their daughter to God, the Blessed Mother, and to Schoenstatt on this day. Jimena Persia, from Mendoza, prayed in the name of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth, "With their radical surrender, with their docile fiat to your desires, they are true witnesses of our ideal: 'Daughter of the Father, building up the Kingdom.' Yes, they have found the place that you prepared for them from all eternity. Each one of the novices will be for us a reflection of our Mother and Queen and their lives her crown."
Encounter of the Girls' Youth with the novices
After the Holy Mass, the novices went to the Shrine to renew their Covenant of Love. Then friends, relatives, and guests congratulated them – cheers, laughter, tears, awe, the whole range of possible emotions was seen in these intense moments. Then the novices shared a lunch with all those present. In a family atmosphere, the youth presented songs, poems and also Contributions to the Capital of Grace offered by them since they joined the postulancy. An exceptionally high number of girls were present because all of the novices came from the Girls' Youth and because the Girls had a weekend retreat in New Schoenstatt, climaxing in the celebration of the reception. On Saturday night, the girls met with the novices whom they knew so well; they shared the process of finding their vocation and gave testimony on what their decision meant to them. It was a profound moment in which the novices expressed their enormous joy and related how their vocation had grown in the Girls' Youth where they had found a home for their ideals. The white dresses of the novices, the great joy that they radiated, impressed the girls deeply, as well as the testimonies of several Sisters on the following day, who shared about their vocation and their apostolate in the professional and social field, in the contemplative life.
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.12.2000 12:27 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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