Signposts of Faith, Hope, and Confidence an "Internet of Hope" from the Schoenstatt Shrines
Prayer Solidarity Continues as Air Strikes Began October 11 Day of Prayer
(mkf) Rescue workers have adopted a cast iron cross found in the rubble of the World Trade Center as a symbol of faith. The 20-foot tall cross, consisting of two metal beams, fell intact from one of the twin towers into a nearby building. Since then rescue workers have made pilgrimages to pray or meditate near the cross. A signpost of faith on "ground zero". Lights placed on window sills on Sunday night, the rosary said in community, continued prayer solidarity in the Schoenstatt Shrines and countless home shrines all over the world, prayers, pictures and messages of hope and confidence shared via e-mail and "Schoenstatt Meeting" have created what one Schoenstatt member called an "internet of hope" and "internet of hearts" amidst fear and insecurity as the air strikes began on the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
Laborer Frank Silecchia, 47, found the cross standing almost upright two days after the towers toppled Sept. 11. Some etch messages on it. ``God Bless Our Fallen Brothers,'' reads one tribute. Last week, workers hoisted the cross atop a 40-foot high foundation, formerly a pedestrian walkway. Construction workers, firefighters and police officers stood quietly by as the Rev. Brian Jordan blessed it with holy water. "Behold the glory of the cross at ground zero,'' Jordan said. ``This is our symbol of hope, our symbol of faith, our symbol of healing.''
From our Home Shrine "Eternal Hope and Light"
Like the relatives and friends of over 5,000 persons who died in the attacks on September 11, Tomas and Zulma Cruz, members of the New York Schoenstatt family, visited "ground zero" to pay a tribute to their Tomas' brother Francisco. "As we deal with the loss of our brother Francisco Cruz, who was at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001,"they wrote", we marble at the warm and love that we have received from our Schoenstatt Family around the world. We want to express our sincere thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. From our home shrine " Eternal Hope and light" we pray for Francisco and for all of those who lost their lives at the World Trade center on that September morning. We are certain that our Blessed Mother is holding them close to her heart and leading them to the Father. Once again thank you "
On the National Day of Prayer in the USA, songs of peace resounded at the Metro Center in Washington, D.C., near the White House roses and a Pilgrim Mother picture were placed on the floor, signs of grief and of hope at the same. "I sang 'Make me a channel of your peace' all day," shared Enrique Soros, "And we will continue to sing there, of course always with the Pilgrim Mother!" "We are so sad the the 21st century began that we hoped and longed to be a century of love and peace began with such a tragedy," wrote Jitka Chrová from the Czech Republic, Institute of the Schoenstatt Families. "We feel deeply united with the entire Schoenstatt Movement, specially that in the United States, and pray for the relatives and friends of the victims and for all who now have to suffer. May our merciful Father God render his unending love to all. We here give all our sorrows and fears and uncertainties to our dear Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt that she may intercede and give us peace "
Lights of Hope and Peace on the Window Sills
The Ecclesial Movements of the diocese of Bamberg joined in an initiative to join in prayer and shine hope for peace into the dark of times in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and amidst the concern for world peace. They invited people of all denominations and religions to join in prayer for peace. As a sign for this solidarity in hope, they encouraged all to place a light of peace on the windowsills of their houses on each Sunday at 6:00 PM local time. "On the feast of the Holy Rosary, at the very time when in many houses candles were lit and placed on the window sills as a petition for world peace, a first military strike against terrorism took place in Afghanistan. In the light of practical belief in Divine Providence we sense that this was not coincidence," said Ruth and Peter Fischer, who had shared this idea with hundreds of parishes in Germany as they found it on the Internet.
The Rosary Prayer for Peace
On September 30, John Paul II called for the recitation of the rosary during the month of October for peace and the rejection of violence. "Given the present international context, I appeal to all -- individuals, families and communities -- to pray the rosary for peace, if possible daily, so that the world will be preserved from the dreadful scourge of terrorism," the Pontiff said. The Holy Father reminded his listeners that October is the month when the Church venerates Mary as "Queen of the Holy Rosary". Pope John Paul II also invited all Christians to commemorate October 11 - a month after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as a day of prayer for world peace.
In the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt, the rosary is prayed on each day during October, as well as in many Schoenstatt Shrines all over the world. Tens of thousands of missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Pilgrim Mother Campaign in the Americas and beyond pray the rosary each day, as well as many Schoenstatt members all over the world, following the inspiration and model of Father Kentenich who spoke of the rosary as a help "that the glowing love of Christ and his Mother inflame our weak sacrificial spirit." - "We would like to invite all, " wrote Peter and Ruth Fischer, leaders of the Schoenstatt family movement in the diocese of Cologne: "when we pray the rosary more often in the month of the holy rosary, we should ask the Blessed Mother to pray for the peace of Christ for us and for the entire world." -
Queen of the Universe the message of a small way side Shrine in Switzerland
"I think that in the past weeks we have witnessed the birth of an 'internet of hearts' in the Schoenstatt movement," said a Schoenstatt member from Argentina, "silently, and completely from life, like each lifestream. It reminds me of Father Esteban who always spoke of the 'network of hearts'. I feel that the Schoenstatt family has come closer together, also and specially through 'schoenstatt.de'."
People are looking for visible and tangible hope and faith, rooted in a strong stream of life and grace not in pastoral plans and projects. "For us," says Beatriz Arosemena from Ecuador, "the small wayside shrine in Weesen, Switzerland, where Father Kentenich crowned the Mother Thrice Admirable as Queen of the Universe on October 20, 1946, has become such a symbol. We want to renew this crowning and invite many others to join us on this day or later. Beatriz and Flavio Arosemena were thrilled with their discovery: on October 20, 1946, Father Kentenich asked the "Queen of the Universe" to seal a covenant of love with all peoples of the worlds, especially with their political leaders. Also with the people of Afghanistan. "The little crown from 1955 bears such an impact of hope and security," Flavio and Beatriz say, "we feel urged to share this hope and security with all in this times of crisis and fear."
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