The Chapel in the Retreat House - a Cenacle for Ecuador
Crowning of the Blessed Mother in View of the Process of Canonization for Fr. Kentenich
(Angela Santos, Guayaquil) The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Ecuador crowned the Blessed Mother, confident that she will act as Queen of the Process of Canonization for Father Kentenich. The crowning took place on January 6, 2001, and the place of the crowning was deliberately chosen in view of Schoenstatt's mission, the MTA picture in the Retreat House Chapel. Father Kentenich always motivated the Schoenstatt family to build a retreat house close to the Schoenstatt Shrine so that the Shrine can really radiate into the surrounding areas as a center of formation and be at the service of the local church.
The simple ceremony took place on January 6, 2001, the feast of the Epiphany. The members of the local Schoenstatt family were invited to participate in the celebration. Approximately 60 persons from different branches joined in this service that began at 7:30AM in the Shrine, "Family of the Father – Home for the World." The Holy Mass was marked by a joyful atmosphere, with Christmas songs accompanied by instruments. At the end of the Holy Mass, Father José Luis Nieto blessed the crown. From the Shrine, the crown was carried to it's destination, the Retreat House Chapel. There the actual crowning took place in a moving and beautiful ceremony. At the end of the celebration, the Sisters invited all who had come for a family encounter; the Sisters served hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. The joy in crowning, the simple and sincere moment of grace, was shared in true family spirit.
Home to Parish Groups, Ecclesial Movements, Social Aid Groups, Priests ...
From the day of its opening, the Retreat House in Guayaquil has contributed in a very fertile way to the mission of the Shrine – actually being "Home to the World." Not only groups of the Schoenstatt Movement and Pilgrims but also parochial groups, students, professors, groups of different Ecclesial Movements, priests, seminarians, and deacons love to stay there. For four years, all of the diocesan clergy have gone there for an annual retreat. Social aid groups and organizations, lay organizations, etc., also choose the Retreat House and have their meetings in the shadow of the Shrine. All have received an abundance of gifts from the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt in her Shrine. In gratitude for all of these blessings and facing the challenge in view of the recognition of Father Kentenich's Marian mission, the Schoenstatt Sisters wanted to give a Crown to the Blessed Mother. The ceremony was carried out in the spirit of the crowning in the Shrine in Bellavista, Chile, that Father Kentenich did on June 5, 1949, moved by his love for the Church. The great longing – that the Blessed Mother will transform the Retreat House Chapel into a small Cenacle for all those who go there, a Cenacle for Ecuador.
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
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