"Mary has to Reach the Entire World!"
Pilgrim MTA Reaching out to Senegal - from Santa Maria, Brazil via Córdoba, Argentina
(Monina Badano, mkf) On March 4, 2001, Hellen Otero of Córdoba, Argentina, dedicated herself as missionary and received the "Peregrina Jubilar," the Jubilee Pilgrim MTA for Senegal. This is one of the 50 pictures sent out from the Tabor Shrine in Santa Maria on November 5, 2000, during the International Congress of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign commemorating the 50th anniversary. On September 10, 1950, the "poor deacon and pilgrim," João Pozzobon, "small student of the Father and Founder" and "the Mater's donkey" (as he loved to call himself) assumed this mission, carrying it out in faithfulness for 35 years up to the time of his death.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Campaign, the Brothers of Mary had donated 50 pictures for 50 new countries. Their offer was accepted with enthusiasm. During the final Holy Mass on November 5, 2000, in the shadow of the Tabor Shrine, these pictures were entrusted to the representatives of the countries present. As the names of their countries were announced, they walked ahead to receive the pictures that they had previously chosen. Some took up to five. Beforehand, they had decided to which countries these pictures would go. On March 4, 2001, another step was taken to achieve this goal – the Pilgrim MTA was sent out for Senegal, a country in Western Africa. Already in January, the Jubilee Pilgrim MTA for Turkey had arrived in Izmir, Turkey.
Santa Maria 2000: The Goal and Vision
The first paragraph of the final document of the Congress in Santa Maria, Brazil, declares the goal and vision – Mary has to reach the entire world; the Pilgrim Mother should reach all countries of the world by 2014, the centenary of Schoenstatt's founding. Fifty years ago, João Pozzobon was the first one to be sent with the Pilgrim MTA; in 1984 he sent out the first 25 international Pilgrim MTAs. The participants of the International Congress, in his name, wanted to climax their encounter by sending out 50 new pictures to 50 countries where the Campaign is not yet present. They pledged contributions to the Capital of Grace so that the pictures would reach the countries designated to receive them. They will also make every effort, during the initial period, to ensure that the Campaign is secured in that country.
Sent out from the Shrine in Villa Warcalde, Córdoba
The Holy Mass of Mission was celebrated by Father Pedro Kühlcke with the assistance of Deacon Lorenzo, of the Order "Punto Corazón," a missionary group from France that organizes missions in Latin America and Africa. Hellen Otero will go to Senegal as a volunteer with this group. All the members of the Schoenstatt Boys' and Girls' Youth from Córdoba wanted to be present for this special occasion. Hellen Otero was leader of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth in this Archdiocese. The Youth provided songs and music for the Mass, setting the tone with songs about decision and mission. Also present were representatives of the other branches of the Schoenstatt Movement in Córdoba, participating in the event with much joy and emotion. The Schoenstatt missionary for Senegal is an 18-year-old youth, leader of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth in Córdoba. She shared: "God willing, I'll go to Senegal with 'Puntos Corazón.' I'll live in a marginal neighborhood called Arafat Grand Yoff, in Dakar. It's a very simple place but the people there follow Jesus in their poverty. Father Juan José Riba shared about the Pilgrim MTA that came from Santa Maria, the land of João Pozzobon, the Tabor land. He suggested to me that I could be the one to carry it to the place of it's destination, first with my deeds and then with her motherly picture." Rosita de Alvarado, responsible for the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in the Archdiocese of Córdoba, met with Hellen Otero to discuss the possibility, and soon it was clear: The Peregrina Jubilar had found an instrument, ready and willing to carry her to the people in Senegal.
Preparing the Way for the Jubilee Pilgrim MTA
A group of professional women meeting in Schoenstatt, Germany, heard about the Peregrina Jubilar for Senegal to be sent out on March 4, 2001. "We had been asked to provide songs and music for the Holy Mass on Saturday night in the Adoration Church," shared Martina Rasch, who had this idea. "We used this opportunity to include a petition for all the people in Senegal who would receive the Blessed Mother. On the evening before the sending, more than 150 people in the Adoration Church joined in prayer. Of course, we also lit a candle in the Original Shrine on Sunday. During our retreat, we said a decade of our rosary for the same intention - in the sense of our mission and ideal of the 'Open Shrine,' the Shrine not restricted by walls." Hellen Otero: "I enjoyed knowing that those who will receive the Pilgrim MTA already now are covered by prayers coming in from all over the world."
The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign is present in approximately 80 countries; millions of families receive the Pilgrim Mother once each month.
Rosita de Alvarado, and Hellen Otero, Córdoba, contributed to this report
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
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