That a Stream of Grace May Flow from the Shrine …
25th Anniversary of the Jubilee Family Shrine in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota
(Sr. Marie Day, Mary Lou Hubly )In the shadow of the Jubilee Family Shrine in Sleepy Eye, MN, USA, more than 500 people gathered to celebrate the twenty-fifth jubilee of the Shrine on September 23, 2001. The various gifst of the Schoenstatt family centered around this Shrine – which includes Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming – were an expression of gratitude and attachment.
The Shrine has been a source of strength and comfort and a place of grace for many families and individuals over the past twenty-five years. The Schoenstatt Sisters began working in Minnesota in 1965. From the beginning they searched for a place to build a Shrine. Only in 1974 when the Schoenstatt Family celebrated the diamond jubilee of Schoenstatt’s foundation did the Mother Thrice Admirable show the Minnesota families where she wanted her shrine erected on the prairie. As a gift for the Diamond jubilee the Minnesota families crowned the future MTA picture for their shrine with the petition: "Please show us where you want us to build your shrine, now". Shortly after the crowning, they were made aware of land in Sleepy Eye, MN. It became theirs, a gift from the diocese of New Ulm and on October 3, 1976 the shrine was dedicated.
Gifts in Gratitude for the Shrine
A tent had been erected to accommodate the participants. In the morning, talks were given; the Holy Mass at the end of the day , with Father Niehaus being the main celebrant, was celebrated in St. Mary's Church in Sleepy Eye.
"We want to give our Mother our love and offerings, it is our forward action during these uncertain days in world history," said one Schoenstatt member. In gratitude for the Shrine, gifts were presented to the Blessed Mother for her jubilee! The Schoenstatt girl’s youth presented her with an RTA crown, proclaiming her Lily of Life, Beacon of hope and Mother of all.
"If prayer could be touched or seen ..."
"If prayer could be touched or seen our antependium could be called a visible prayer - so much that is unseen in the hearts of so many - it holds life and love to be sure!" This is what one of the Schoenstatt families shared who had prepared a special gift: an antependium for the Shrine with the words: "Mater et Regina" stitched on it. Only a fortnight before the anniversary the antependium arrived from Schoenstatt, Germany, where it had been worked by the Adoration Sisters. All the homeshrines of the group received the antependium the week before the anniversary. The first reaction of all the children when it was brought to the homes was to touch and admire it. Even down to the little ones sensed a very special gift. Then the reaction of all the parents was first to tell their children "did you wash your hands?!" It did pass successfully through seven families without a single peanut butter and jelly stain! Before, the antependium had been present during a Holy Mass in the Original Shrine –with the families and all Schoenstatt members attached to the Shrine included in prayer-, and brought to the Founder Chapel to receive Father Kentenich's blessing. During the offertory of the Mass all the Fathers of this group took the antependium up to Father Niehaus, offering thus all the longing, preparation and joy of the past months.
The Joseph Engling Stone – A Promise to Work for the Stream of Grace to Flow
The Schoenstatt Family in the shadow of the Jubilee Family Shrine, which includes Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming, presented to the Mother and Queen a photo album of all the homeshrines united around the Jubilee Family Shrine as well as the Joseph Engling stone found behind the shrine. On the Joseph Engling stone are the words:
"I want to invest my whole life’s strength so that a stream of grace may flow from the Shrine…" (Joseph Engling)
"As we journey in this New Millennium," one of the Schoenstatt members said, "we as the Schoenstatt Family here on the prairie want to unite with Joseph Engling and secure the stream of grace from our Jubilee Family Shrine for all families, for our Church and world especially in this time of great need."
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