Celebrating the Mother of God on Mother's Day
"May Sunday in Schoenstatt" program with over 500 Participants from the Area
(mkf) The radiant sunshine of this second May Sunday did not only spoil the 1,000 or so pilgrims from the Fulda diocese who had come to Schoenstatt on this day, but also the approximately 500 persons, among them many young families with small children, who had come to a "May Sunday in Schoenstatt", celebrating the Mother of God on Mothers' Day.
Hardly had the busses with the pilgrims from Fulda left Mount Schoenstatt, when "heavy traffic" made it for Mount Schoenstatt – cars and minivans, most of them with license plates from the area around Schoenstatt, soon filled the big parking lot opposite the Father Kentenich House and the surrounding paths. "My neighbors brought me here, " said a woman from Vallendar. "I fell before Christmas and broke my hip, so I could not come for the 'Ten Minutes by the Crib", but now I am here!" Many of the visitors bring flowers – bringing back memories of "May altars" for Mary. "Half of my Mothers' Day bouquet!" – A lady proudly shows her flowers. "They are for Mary!"
Songs and Flowers for Mary, the Mother of All
A group of Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary standing near the MTA picture of the Adoration Chruch provided songs and music. Meditative texts in bible verses and quotes from the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter alternate with songs. The children present are invited to join a procession, and many come, the youngest ones accompanied by their moms and dads. The big picture of the Pilgrim Mother – known from several feasts of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign – is carried forward, accompanied by the children, who then perform a dance, joyfully waving ribbons in all colors to honor Mary. All are invited to write down experiences of God's and Mary's love, and petitions for themselves and their loved ones; the slips of paper are collected by children and will be burnt in the fire after the Covenant Renewal on May 18th.
At the end of the prayer service, a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary brings a bouquet of flowers, thanking for the come 75th founding anniversary of the community. Then, all are invited to bring a flower to Mary and honor her on this day. Roses and forget-me-nots, daisies and orchids, tulips and flowers of all colors are brought.
Time to Share, to Sing, to Play
Afterwards, all are invited to stay and share and enjoy the "beautiful place" created by Mary. Coffee, cake and refreshments are offered. Groups of people sit on the benches outside, sharing and laughing, meeting friends and neighbors and "the Schoenstatt Sister I did not see in years!" A couple from the are of Herxheim drove about two hours to be in Schoenstatt on this afternoon; the husband is glad to meet a Schoenstatt Sister whom he knows from the diocese, his wife meanwhile talks about the dedication of the Shrine in Peru –her home. Some families from Vallendar wonder why they did not come here before.
The children meanwhile – and a good number of adults also – enjoy the various possibilities to play. At 4:30 PM, the highlight of the children's program is announced: a real magician is waiting for them! Sr. Marienhild performs magic tricks, leaving the children in awe and excitement. The "hit" are ballons that can be formed into animals, plants or hats – the "reward" for each child volunteering to assist the magician.
Many of those who came on this afternoon had also come during the Chrismas time. Two ladies from Southern Germany who recieve the Pilgrim MTA are beaming with joy on thier way back to the car. "I wanted to come, although it is hours to drive," said Ingrid Sauter. "Simply in gratitude for the Pilgrim Mother. I am glad to be her instrument - I brought her to my friend, and now I bring my friend to the place from where she came to us, for the first time!" Her friend smiles: "Whenever the Pilgrim Mother comes to me, everything is different. I believe that she works miracles!"
"Will you have this also next Sunday," a couple asks a Sister. Although the answer is "no", the couple is optimistic: "Such a place is a paradise for children, we will come again!" They are invited for Sunday, June 17, when the Corpus Christi procession takes place in Schoenstatt, followed by a varied program for adults and children in the afternoon.
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Last Update: 14.05.2001 0:27 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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