A Crown of Flowers for the "Mother and Queen of the Pilgrim Church"
May Crowning of the Hispanic Schoenstatt Family in Waukesha, Milwaukee
(Sr. M. Teresa) On May 6, over 500 persons from the Hispanic Schoenstatt Movement came to the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha near Milwaukee to honor Mary in the month of May, the month dedicated to her in many countries specially of the Northern hemisphere. They wanted to crown her with a flower crown as Mother and Queen of the Pilgrim Church. This was also the day of the re-commissioning of the co-ordinators of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. The "Peregrina Auxiliar", the Auxiliary Pilgrim MTA of the United States was present. In the course of May, several other communities also had their May crowning.
Around 10:30 AM on May 6, 2001, buses started arriving from the Chicago area bringing about 120 people for the crowning celebration at 2:00 PM. They came early because of the distance they had to travel. Sr. Maria was waiting for them with some refreshments. It was really edifying to see their love for the Blessed Mother in their longing to come to offer her a crown. The Hispanic people brought lovely roses, carnations, and lilies.
Pilgrim MTA Pictures and the Auxiliary Pilgrim MTA of the USA
It was also a day of re-commissioning of the Pilgrim MTA. So, many Pilgrim MTA shrines were brought to the Center. After some refreshments and an uplifting talk given by Sr. Maria, lunch was served. By 2:00 PM more than 500 people were gathered outside the main doors of the Retreat Center. It was a very big surprise to see how many people had arrived in that period of time.
A big black pickup truck was waiting outside. On top was enthroned, surrounded by bouquets of flowers, the Auxiliary Pilgrim MTA for the United States.
One of the drivers was Miguel Crespo. He knew Father Kentenich when he was in Milwaukee, and he even sang for him. Later in the day, at Holy Mass, Mr. Cresco gave a big surprise and gift to all singing the Ave Maria. It was most inspiring!
A Flower Crown for the Queen
The Blessed Mother was to be crowned "Mother and Queen of the Pilgrim Church". The procession began at the Retreat Center, led by some ladies carrying a banner made by the"
Hispanic Schoenstatt Movement. Then came the truck with the beautifully decorated Auxiliary, then the Queen (a young lady who was going to crown the Blessed Mother) with her angel and some other children dressed for the occasion. All went in procession towards the Provincial House in which Holy Mass would take place.
There, they proceeded to the House Chapel. Because of the large crowd, some worried that there would not be enough room; but as Sister Maria said: "This is like the Shrine, it is little but we all fit." And this is what happened.
At the beginning of Holy Mass, a crowning prayer was read and the 'Queen' gave the Blessed Mother a small flower crown. Then the angel read an inspiring poem to the newly crowned Queen. This was the beginning of a beautiful crowning ceremony. All the people went forward in procession with flowers for the Blessed Mother. Some sisters assisted, filling a very large wire crown with these flowers. After that, the festive Holy Mass continued. Singing, joy and beautiful prayers made it very special. There was a band that led the singing. As mentioned before, Miguel Crespo delighted all at Communion meditation with the Ave Maria.
A Surprise by the Shrine – the Auxiliary Placed Above the Door
When Holy Mass ended, four men picked up the huge crown of flowers and all processed to the Shrine. There, a big surprise was awaiting the pilgrims - a surprise born from love for the MTA! The Auxiliary Pilgrim MTA had been placed above the door to the shrine. There were
also some clouds above the door. Higher than the picture a crown of flowers was placed. It really looked as if it was in heaven. There was a prayer service and at one point the Pilgrim MTA was crowned too! The crown of flowers that was above her descended to crown her. It was a very special moment.
After that all coordinators of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign prayed the prayer of re commissioning of the Pilgrim MTA.
United as a Family
After that delightful afternoon of grace, music and joy, all were invited for some cake and coffee at the Retreat Center. People who did not know each other shared together. It was a very gratifying experience to see how Our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt, united her family!
This was the first May Crowning of many more in May. On Sunday, May 13, the Filipino Schoenstatt Family had their May crowing, on Saturday, May 19, the Girls' Youth from Wisconsin; Sunday, May 20, the Schoenstatt Movement. May, thus, is a special month, the month of Mary, at the Retreat Center. One can really see the internationality - how each culture in its own unique way shows its love for the Blessed Mother.
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