Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Not the Time to Talk but to Pray – Hope and Solidarity amidst the Pain

Memorial Service in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt – Worldwide Prayer Solidarity

Father Dr. Michael Joh. Marmann: "We want and we can pray in this international solidarity of prayer."
Pater Dr. Michael Joh. Marmann: "Wir können und wir wollen beten in dieser weltweiten Solidarität des Gebetes."
More than words could express: Symbols of solidarity and confidence
Mehr als Worte sagen können: Zeichen der Solidarität und des Vertrauens
Approximately 500 persons participated in the Memorial Mass in the Adoration Church
Ungefähr 500 Personen nahmen am Gedenkgottesdienst in der Anbetungskirche teil
Interview with the regional TV station TVT1
Interview mit dem Regionalfernsehen TVT1
Team of the regional TV preparing for the interview
Team des Regionalfernsehens im Press Office
Fotos: Brehm, PressOffice Schönstatt © 2001

(mkf) "This is neither the moment nor the situation for many and great words," said Fr. Dr. Dr. Michael Johannes Marmann during the Memorial Mass for the victims of the terror attacks in the United States. "Where words fail we direct these unsaid words to God and pray." The Adoration Church was filled to the last seat when on September 13, at 7:00PM, Schoenstatt members from all over the world together with many people from the area remembered the victims of the terror attack, their relatives and friends, and the entire American people.

A small American flag lies on the carpet in the Founder Chapel, where Father Kentenich died and is buried; since September 11 a simple non-verbal expression of solidarity and prayer. From 7:00AM to 7:00PM on Thursday, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was held in the Adoration Church, guaranteed by the Adoration Sisters. All over the world, Schoenstatters join in the prayer solidarity for America, with vigils, rosaries, adoration, prayer services.

International Prayer Solidarity

The international Schoenstatt family experiences a spontaneous and strong solidarity in mourning and prayer. The many notes in the "Schoenstatt Meeting" – from Australia, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, England, Scotland, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA – are a message of its own, as well as numerous e-mails that arrive day by day in the PressOffice in Schoenstatt. "The solidarity of our International Schoenstatt Family gives us hope, joy, and confidence," wrote Carlos Cantu of LaFeria, Texas. "What a treasure we have in Schoenstatt. We have a lesson for all in our experience… One Father, One Mother, One Home… It all comes together for us in Schoenstatt, no matter where we live, which language we speak, or what color we are. We are one family united in the Covenant of Love."

"The Best Answer we Can Give"

Teachers and students of the MTA School in Buenos Aires on September 12 joined in the worldwide prayer chains. "We know about the continued prayer in Shrines, churches, in the home shrines and in the silence of our hearts. The Pilgrim Mother is on her way comforting and strengthening the people," wrote Sr. Arntrudis. "As school, we joined in this chain of rosaries, prayers and petitions. We began together, and then, during the whole morning, the groups took turns. Children and young people united in prayer, sending waves of prayer to heaven, for the victims, the families, and the politicians in their decision, that they decide according to God's will." Schoenstatt priests from several countries announce that they will have Masses and prayer services in their parishes. A family from Austria is among the first ones to react already on September 11: "A candle is lit in the home shrine. We pray." – Eileen Wallace: "Our deepest thanks for reminding us of the best response we can make"

Signs and Symbols Instead of Words

Where words fail, symbols begin to speak. Spontaneously, Schoenstatters brought (or asked to bring) sings and symbols of their solidarity and confidence to the memorial service: a map with the shrines and countries where the Pilgrim Mother Campaign is erected, roses in barbed wire, a unity cross (Ladies of Schoenstatt), the Auxiliary of the Americas and the entire world who in October 1994 visited the Shrine of Light in Staten Island, New York; she is present as sign of solidarity and hope, brought in the name of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign in Argentina, in America and in the name of all those who were and are visited by her in any way. Prints of the e-mails and notes on are placed there, and finally a scepter: Mary is asked to be Queen of peace, Queen of the hearts, Queen of hope and confidence.

"May God our Father give strength and comfort to you. May our Blessed Mother be very close to you at this sad time… ", wrote Pat and Bill McEvoy from England. "Since four years I am in Washington, and the Pilgrim Mother is on her way here, also today, on September 11. She is here. Thank you for your prayer."

Prayer – a Religious and Political Act

Eleven priests from the Schoenstatt priests' communities celebrate the Holy Mass; coming from Germany, Chile, and Argentina, they represent the international Schoenstatt. On the day after the attack, Fr. Marmann –chairperson of the General Presidium- says, many words have been said, words of revenge, of panic, of terror. Realizing the terrible energy of the attack – an attack on humankind -, many would ask whether God had given up. It would be difficult, he admitted, to understand these events in view of a good and merciful God. "But we can pray and we want to do so in this international solidarity of prayer that we experience in these days; we want to pray for those who died, for the many, many who died; for those who suffer and who are injured, for the relatives and the entire American people, and also for those who committed this terrible crime." Such a prayer, he said, is a religious and political act.

Mary, who stood under the cross, would now give strength to those who break down under the cross.

"Do you do all that because Schoenstatters died?"

Since September 11, reporters from newspapers, radio and TV stations kept calling PressOffice Schoenstatt for information about the prayer solidarity. Some reporters asked, whether many Schoenstatters were among the victims. The answer is simple – "We don't know. But for Schoenstatters, each place in the world is a 'near' place because we know that people live there who belong to us in the Covenant of Love; and their friends are our friends. Schoenstatt means – we are involved. Schoenstatt means – the events of every day life and events like this are seen and answered to from a spiritual background."

"Read this prayer in my heart..."

The petitions in the memorial Mass are taken from the numerous prayers posted on the Schoenstatt Meeting or sent in e-mails, like this one written by a former student of the MTA school in Buenos Aires: "Lord, bless each person who died and each one who mourns. Prevent the consequences of this catastrophe be worse than this catastrophe. Lord, unite us in faith amidst this darkness; unite us in prayer for the people of the USA. Read this prayer in my heart and place it in the heart of someone who now suffers and mourns all alone."


Prayer solidarity:

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Last Update: 14.09.2001 16:03 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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