Brief News May/June 2001
From Schoenstatt in USA, Germany, Argentina, South Africa
Florencio Varela: Third Workshop on Bio-Ethics
The program of the third Convention Bioethics in Nuevo Schoenstatt, Florencio Varela, Argentina, taking place on June 30, 2001, is available on the website indicated below. This website also contains information about the previous conventions in 1999 and 2000. The subject of this year's convention is focused on bio-ethical questions of human pro-creation.
Program and more information - in Spanish-: http://www.familia.org.ar
Buenos Aires: Procession through the Streets of the Parish
The missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign of the Pilgrim Mother in the MTA School in Buenos Aires in May organized a procession through the streets of the parish where the school belongs to, heading towards the parish church. The goal was to create closer links with the parish. During the procession, five decades of the rosary were prayed, each one by another significant place: a bakery, the hospital Ramos Mejia, an ice cream shop, in a family, ending in the Santa Cruz Church, where they wanted to join in the Holy Mass. With the permission of the parish priest, the picture of the Pilgrim Mother was placed on the altar. As much time was left until the Mass would begin, they invited all those who were already in the church to join in praying the rosary. At the beginning of the liturgy, Father Bernardo, the parish priest, asked the responsible person for a short explanation of the Pilgrim Mother. After Mass, he invited all to greet Mary in this picture, which he placed in the middle of the sanctuary. The Campaign of the School plans to repeat this and also prepares for praying the "1000 Ave Maria's" in the parish on a Marian feast day.
Sr. M. Arntrudis Seeger
Formosa: Convention of Missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign
On April 21/22, the 5th Convention of the missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in Formosa, Argentina, took place in the "Catechistic Center of the Community of the Virgin of Schoenstatt", in the Fleming quarter of the city of Formosa. They met with Sister Celia Klein, the diocesan assistant of the Campaign. The community of Fleming named their center in this way in honor of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt; soon, a chapel will be constructed there, also dedicated to the Virgin of Schoenstatt. On each 18th of the month, Schoenstatt's Covenant Sunday, the missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign meet by the wayside shrine to pray the "1000 Ave Maria's", no matter how cold or rainy or hot it may be.
Day for Women: "Placed into my Hands – my Female Strengths"
Since March, the "Day for Women", an Apostolic Initiative of the female Schoenstatt branches in Germany, has taken place at several Schoenstatt Centers, with 50 – over 200 women participating in each. Sr. M. Noritz Stogie and Sr. M. Veronica Rachel give talks on basic female strengths and talents, encouraging the participants to develop their specific gifts as women. A meditation and various creative workshops are elements of the program. The "Day for Women" will be offered until November at different places in Germany.
Oberkirch: Day for Men on the Adventure of Faith
The "Day for Men" in Oberkirch, Freiburg diocese, was once again a highlight of the Men's League's activity; more than 300 men from the diocese participated. The subject of the day was the importance of a male spirituality in view of the processes of change witnessed in the church. At the beginning, Father Ludwig Güthlein asked: "Why church in the 3rd millennium?" In view of the already begun multi-religious future he spoke of the church of the 3rd millennium as a "networked reality of friends". A church, filled with men who would "set out from Christ", men who would gain strength from their inquisitiveness and would keep alive the adventure of faith, would attract friends. The challenge for Christian men would be to be priestly personalities, to take responsibility instead of delegating this responsibility to others. The ability for dialogue, he added, would be the basis of the future church – with the unconditioned acceptance of the fellow Christians and fellow persons as prerequisite.
A slide show on Franz Reinisch, the martyr of the faithfulness to his conscience who was beheaded in 1942 by the Hitler regime, confession, sharing, the closing Holy Mass, and the hospitality of the Sisters in the Schoenstatt Sister made for a day of a "healing and freeing" experience.
Berlin: Meeting of Ecclesial Movements
During a meeting of Ecclesial Movements in Berlin, the capital of Germany, Cardinal Sterzinsky gave a testimony on his good experiences with the Schoenstatt Movement. During the panel discussion, back and present problems and tensions between the Ecclesial Movements and parish priests were mentioned. The moderator suggested that this would depend on the how the Movements participate in and contribute to the life of the parish. Cardinal Sterzinsky, agreeing, said: When he began to work in his first parish, another priest had told him: If you need any help, here are some persons who are always ready to help wherever needed. Turning to Dr. Fels (Institute of the Ladies of Schoenstatt), who had spoken for Schoenstatt, he said: "These were the Schoenstatt people!" In order to be accepted by parish priests and parishioners, he emphasized, it would be important to not run one's own show but feel responsible for the parish, to participate and help. Cardinal Sterzinsky knows Schoenstatt from many encounters, like the annual May pilgrimage to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Berlin-Frohnau.
Bamberg: May Opening on the Marienberg
Approximately 700 persons joined in the May Opening Feast on May 1 on the Marienberg (Mount of Mary) near Schetzlitz in the Bamberg diocese. It was the first May pilgrimage since the dedication of the Shrine on October 22, 2000. "Casting out the nets of love from the Shrine" – the motto of the day was presented with a true fishermen's net placed by the Shrine, linking once again the ideal of the "Shrine of attachment" with the "network of Shrines", the focus of the German Schoenstatt Movement's celebration of the Holy Year on the same October 22.
Radiant spring weather welcomed the participants, when the festive Holy Mass began at 10:00 AM. Father Heinrich Walter, chairperson of the German National Presidium, celebrated this day with the Bamberg Schoenstatt Family.
After Mass, the 700 or so participants made a procession lead by a big MTA picture in the form of Pilgrim Mother picture. Four altars were prepared in the wide area that surrounds the Shrine. Various alternative programs were offered after lunch. At 3:00 PM, all gathered for the May benediction. The day ended - appropriate for a Shrine built on the grounds of a former NATO base – with salutes for God and the Blessed Mother.
More pictures: www.marienberg.net
Kiel: Pilgrim Mother for Hamburg
Six Pilgrim Mother pictures in Kiel and other places of Schleswig-Holstein are a reason for gratitude, given the fact that this most northern state of Germany is predominantly Protestant. The Pilgrim Mother is visiting families from Croatia living there. The missionary, a mother of five, has prepared a special gift for the Pilgrim Mother in gratitude for all that she has worked: She wants to bring a picture to Hamburg. "I know how many Croatian families live there. Knowing how the Pilgrim Mother works, I simply have to help her to visit many others!"
Münster: The Feast of the Ecclesial Movements Continued
Mid May, the team that was in charge for the preparation of the feast of the Ecclesial Movements in Münster met in the Schoenstatt Center Mariengrund in Münster-Gievenbeck to review and evaluate the feast. Two committees were founded, one for the Northern German dioceses and one for Münster. The task of these committees is to continue the process of mutual sharing that began with the preparation of the feast. The meeting in May was marked by solidarity and joy in each other's gifts and charismas.
Essen/Oermter Berg: New Leader Families for the Region West and Region North of the Families' Federation.
On May 19, new leader families were elected on a meeting in Essen-Kray for the Region West, and on a meeting at Örmter Berg for the Region North. Each region's leading body consists of three families; their term is six years. The new leaders are Monika and Michael Schulte, Oberhausen (Region West) and Mathilde and Paul Bömer, Greven (Region North).
Johannesburg: Touring South Africa via the route of Father Kentenich
"Essentially Africa" is not just a travel agency but a Schoenstatt project: Cherry Brown, a member of the Schoenstatt Family Union in South Africa, and her partner are arranging trips around South Africa visiting the Shrines and following the footsteps of Father Kentenich when he visited South Africa in 1948. They also include various other places of interest in South Africa. The tours are 16 days in total, and follow the route from Johannesburg to Cape Town and back, via the route Father Kentenich took in 1948, during his stay in South Africa.
Places of interest include the Wine Route, Whale Watching via the Garden Route, breakfast at Kirstenbosch, etc.
Cherry Brown wants to encourage Schoenstatt tourists to visit South Africa also in view of the large unemployment situation in South Africa. There is a great drive to encourage tourism which is the fastest growing industry there at the moment: "Being passionate about our country and Schoenstatt we embarked on this project with enthusiasm.
Dates for the tours are:
Information, itinerary, costs: Contact Cherry Brown: email@example.com
Austin, Texas: Educator's Circle Meets
A circle of educators began studying the pedagogy of Fr. Kentenich in February. Many of the group had visited the teacher's training center and the physical therapist training center in Liebfrauenhohe in December. Many in the group also have extensive backgrounds in education and are very excited by the prophetic pedagogy of Fr. Kentenich. Some were ready to give up their lives to study for two years at the center in Liebfrauenhohe, but for now the studies in this group will have to suffice.
Brownsville, Texas: Home Shrine
Some new Homeshrines were recently erected in Brownsville, Texas. This activity is from the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. For those present, it was a very moving experience. A member of the Families' League: "The faith of these people is incredible." A leading couple of the Families' League subsequently met with two couples that are interested in the couple's branch
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