From Calcutta to Chile - via Schoenstatt, of Course
Looking Around by the Original Shrine on Quite a Normal Day in March
(mkf) Schoenstatt is on the direct route from Calcutta to Santiago, Chile - at least for Marcela and her friends from Campanario. When you come from Madrid, Spain, and want to go home to Chile - especially when you are four months old and your name is María - you also "have" to go via Schoenstatt.
She is four months old and keeps her parents busy, and not only them - a small Mary, who since her arrival in Schoenstatt became the "center of the world." – "We were in Madrid for a year for professional reasons," shared her mother, Carolina Cherniavsky Bozzolo. The 26-year-old historian was in Schoenstatt five years ago with a group of friends; she made her Blank Check Surrender then. "Before we returned home, we wanted to come to Schoenstatt for a couple of days." They drove via Rome, where María received the Holy Father's blessing. For Carolina, the three days in Schoenstatt are important "to live again Schoenstatt's mission in my everyday life, to try again to be like Mary. This was my lifestyle when I was a youth, but now, since María was born, everything is centered on her. Here in Schoenstatt I finally found the points that help me secure my contact with God throughout the day. I learned from Divine Providence - from the,difference between my first stay here and this one. My hours of adoration now turned into minutes, the days are short, María is the center. That means contributions to the Capital of Grace and an insight that she is my little Mary. When I tend to her, I am close to the Blessed Mother."
A Simple Chapel - Origin of an International Movement
Her husband, 28-year-old Francisco Javier Ovalle Barros, came to Schoenstatt for the first time. The industrial engineer is fascinated with the ideal of the "new man." For him, the climax of his stay was to visit the Original Shrine and the tombs of the hero sodalists. "To imagine that from here, from such a simple, small Chapel, a movement originated that is present in the entire world! Even more, to think that Mary from here touches and transforms all those who believe in her might and kindness. What really moves me is the total simplicity of the Original Shrine and the international spirit you sense there." The young family celebrated a Holy Mass with the theologians of Mount Sion and visited the Shrine of the Families. "I loved the pictures of the home shrines," said Carolina. "My husband and I attached a picture of our family and entrusted all of us and our Schoenstatt family group to Mary." Before they left for Frankfurt airport, a final farewell visit was made to the Original Shrine. "For a Schoenstatt member, it is always a special privilege to be where Schoenstatt began – to experience the place that made a big difference in our lives, and to understand anew that Schoenstatt is a work of God. How else can you explain the effect of this small chapel?"
A Place of Joy
Together with this young family, six ladies from Mexico stayed in House Sonnenau for some days, a couple from Guatemala, and Ricardo Gualberto Turbay from El Palomar, Argentina. He wanted to bring his wife and five children along, but that was not possible for financial reasons. So he consciously represented them in Schoenstatt. How did he experience Schoenstatt on this first visit? As a place of joy, he said, the joy of being God's child. The days in Schoenstatt, with a renewal of his personal surrender to Mary, were "like a spiritual retreat. It was so good to walk this holy place in silence. It is a place prepared, protected and cared for by the Blessed Mother." The warm welcome on his first visit to Schoenstatt was a special joy. One day he walked through the Sisters' cemetery. "I watched some sisters working there; their smiles and their songs were a special gift."
Ten Hours Layover - That's Long Enough!
Tuesday morning, on the supermarket's parking lot near the Vallendar station. "Hermana!!!!" Radiant with joy, a young man with backpack and Info-Card ran behind a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary; and as he waved his arms, two other young people approached the scene. They arrived by train from Frankfurt airport, Marcela explained, coming from Calcutta, where they worked with the Sisters of Mother Teresa. "Ten hours layover, our plane for Santiago will not leave until this afternoon – that's long enough to go to Schoenstatt, we thought. But now we have to arrive there!" Marcela knew someone who knew someone in House Regina, but where is this house? "And now God sends us a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary who knows English and has a car," Diego said with a big smile. "So that we don't lose any time getting to Schoenstatt!" Only a few hours, but: "We'll be in the Original Shrine!" For that reason alone, says Marcela, it is worthwhile to travel two hours from Frankfurt and two hours back.
English edition: Joan Biemert, Wisconsin, US
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