Covenant Colors: Encounters around the Original Shrine
Visitors from Argentina, Cisjordania, Chile, Brazil, England, Germany
(mkf) Whether they are from Brazil or Cisjordania, from Argentina or England, whether they come for a couple of days or just for one hour – the Orginal Shrine and the tomb of Father Kentenich are the places that make Schoenstatters of all walks of life and from all over the world go the extra mile to once be at the places they know and love as spiritual centers of the entire Schoenstatt Movement.
They were lost on a bike ride but finally made it to Schoenstatt, where one of them had once in his life been, in 1954: four bikers from Southern Germany who arrived in Schoenstatt late in the afternoon, wet and cold but happy to have found the place that for one of them meant a lot - after almost 50 years.
Two Chemists from two Continents Meeting by the Original Shrine
Irene Pinalli de Paseorella, and her husband, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, were visiting relatives in Munich. For one day, they made it to Schoenstatt. They had a print-out from the internet and knew that there were two important places to visit: the Adoration Church with the tomb of Father Kentenich, and the Original Shrine. It is there where they finally find someone whom they can ask how to find the Adoration Church. Irene Pinalli de Paseorella is a teacher of chemisty at a school in Buenos Aires; by the Original Shrine, she not only met a person who knew Spanish, but also a colleague - a chemist from Germany, Barbara Buck, who was in Schoenstatt to prepare a workshop on leadership. Although they could not communicate directly, the joy of both was big.
Three couples from Santiago de Chile, on a trip to Europe, came to Schoenstatt for two days. On their arrival, the Original Shrine was just to be closed. They went there anyway, and simply sat on a bench nearby, looking at the Shrine…
A Memory for a Lifetime
"We come here more often," shared Emily and Nagib Awad, Arab Christians from Bethlehem; they paid a visit to Schoenstatt as they wanted to be in the Shrine again. "We have our home shrines, and we have an MTA picture in the Milk Grotto Church on the Shepherds' fields. It is always a special blessing when we are visited by Schoenstatt people from Germany or other countries; they bring us the graces from the Shrine." They heard about the Pilgrim Mother, and commented: "We would like to invite her to our houses and to our friends!"
"This is a Love Story"
Maria Eliza Percio Pintos from Pétropolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, missionary of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign, came to Schoenstatt on the same day – together with Elsmarie and Lorenz Wüst, from Düren, friends of a priest in Brazil who Maria Eliza Percio Pintos knows; she stayed with them for some time after her visit to her daughter who lives in Switzerland. Only the day before they had found out that they have another common "friend": the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt. The Wüst family have a late relative who was a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary in South Africa. Spontaneously, they decided to come to Schoenstatt. The visit in the Original Shrine and by the tomb of Father Kentenich is a special and unexpected gift for the missionary of the Pilgrim Mother: "I had never expected to get here," she said, "to the place from where the Mother set out to visit us!" In the Founder Chapel, she wrote the names of all persons visited by the Pilgrim Mother, and of all her loved ones, on a sheet of paper, and placed this on the carpet that marks the place where Father Kentenich died.
"When I share about Schoenstatt, I can only share my love story with Mary," said Pat McEvoy, of Liverpool, England. "It is simply a love story. I fell in love with her when I first came to Schoenstatt, and she changed me and my whole life. Since then, I would do all for her." It's the first time since the dedication of the Shrine in England that she and her husband spend a week of vacation in Schoenstatt. "We had a beautiful program," Pat said. "In gratitude for our Shrine in England, we went to each Shrine in Schoenstatt to thank there."
"I'll bring the Pilgrim Mother to the Pope!"
Carmen and Hector Silva, with their daughters Francisca and Trinidad, from Santiago de Chile, spent a couple of days in Schoenstatt, participating in some of the activities of the pilgrimage from Catalania. The two girls are involved with Schoenstatt already since years and now came to Schoenstatt for the second time.
On August 18 she had participated in the feast of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign in Córdoba, Argentina, four days later, August 22 she brought the Pilgrim Mother, her husband, and a couple, friends from Córdoba, to Schoenstatt: Patricia Schaelstrate, missionary of the Pilgrim Mother, used the layover in Frankfurt Airport on the way to Rome to visit Schoenstatt for the first time in life – and to bring her Pilgrim Mother picture to the Original Shrine. They have no more than two hours, but this is worth while the trip from Frankfurt and enough to be in the Original Shrine and by the tomb of Father Kentenich. A bouquet of roses – one of them offered on preceding August 18 for all those present on the feast in Córdoba – still stood in the Original Shrine, when Patricia came there. She placed the Pilgrim Mother in the sanctuary of the Original Shrine; in low voice, she explained to the others the meaning of this Shrine. The same when the small group entered the Adoration Church and Founder Chapel: Moments of prayer and sharing. "It is such a gift to be at the places one has visited spiritually so often!" Not one gift shop is open so the group left by taxi around 6:00PM, without souvenirs but with intense memories and a resolution: "I brought my Pilgrim Mother to Schoenstatt, now I bring her to the Pope when we are in Rome!"
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