From the Shrine Reaching Out to All People…
Tracing the "captivating power" of the Pilgrim Mother's Love and Care
(mkf/mb) An American Airlines pilot has carried a Pilgrim Mother in the cockpit since 1993, when he in Santa Maria received her picture from Father Esteban Uriburu. On September 11, grounded in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the day when American Airlines jets had been used to kill over 5,000 innocent persons, he renewed his compromise to carry her to all the countries and cities. Since Don Joao Pozzobon began the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign in 1950, she has set out from the Shrine – in jets, buses, cars, boats - in the hands of missionary instruments, to visit and bless people …for example in Zimbabwe, Senegal, Argentina, Germany, South Africa, Ecuador, and USA.
On the day before the terrorist attacks, exactly on the 51st anniversary of the beginning of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, a Pilgrim Mother picture was in an airplane of American Airlines, a B777 bound to Brazil.
"I will Continue to Take her to New Lands And Cities…"
The pilot of the jet, Don Blan, wrote: " I am an American Airlines pilot. I fly the B777 internationally. I flew Sunday the 9th to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I arrived here at 7am Monday the 11th. I have been here since then. Many thoughts go through my mind. One that comes to me repeatedly is the contrast between how our American Airlines jets were used. On the one hand our jets were used to bring destruction and the other hand they are used to bring the Pilgrim Mother Thrice Admirable. I've been reflecting on this thought.
Since 1993 I have carried the Pilgrim MTA that I received on our pilgrimage trip to Brazil and Argentina with Fr. Esteban Uriburu. I carry her bless all the cities I fly to in the US and internationally. Since October of last year I have been a first officer on the B777. I fly to London, Paris, Zurich, Tokyo, Osaka, and for the first time to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was at the controls for the flight here. I landed just after the sun came up on the 10th of September, the anniversary of the beginning of the Campaign. To be back here in Brazil as a pilot on this special day was a celebration for me in the Campaign. I recalled many events of our trip and the times with Fr. Esteban. I was scheduled to fly back on the 11th at 10pm. It changed because American Airlines jets were use for a different purpose. I know there are no coincidences in Divine Providence so I told the Mother Thrice Admirable I would continue to take her to new lands and cities. I wanted to share this with you and look forward to seeing you again wherever Schoenstatt brings us together next…"
The Pilgrim Mother Walking the Streets in Senegal
(ra) On March 4, 201, Hellen Otero dedicated herself as missionary in the Shrine in Villa Warcalde, Córdoba, Argentina, and received the Jubilee Pilgrim Mother to carry her to Senegal, Africa, where she was to spend some time with a French-based mission project. This "Jubilee Pilgrim Mother" is one of the 50 pictures that were sent out to fifty new countries from the Tabor Shrine in Santa Maria on November 5, 2000, during the International Meeting of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Rosary Campaign on behalf of the 50th anniversary of its beginning. In a letter to Rosita Alvarado Hellen reports home: "After many challenges and difficulties, on September 13, the Mater began to visit the houses of Arafat (the quarter of Dakar where Hellen lives) in connection with a weekly meeting taking place in different houses. You should have seen the picture on a small desk, illuminated by two candles, in the dark of night, surrounded by young Senegalese: she seemed to smile! I thank the Mater and ask her to not forget about this work of hers, to work miracles on the hearts of those she visits, that the Campaign grows in Senegal, that she makes Senegal her home, her piece of heaven! We have a great task ahead of us, I ask you to pray, as I don't have much time left for the new missionaries…
We would need material of the Campaign in French, some here can read it and could be the educators of the new missionaries. I intend to get some things translated into wolof, the dialect spoken here. GAT we need is simply, basic material for the beginning and then later more specific things. And most of all, we need much, much Capital of Grace. You can imagine, the founding of the Campaign in a country with absolute no Movement to spiritually support them in any way is more than difficult, but God our Father has given us this task – "immense tasks on weak shoulders"!
The Unifying Center of a Multinational Schoenstatt Family
(es) On the second Saturday of each month, the Schoenstatt family of the Washington area meets by a wayside Shrine in Fairfax, Virginia; the missionaries of the Pilgrim Mother renew their dedication. On September 9, like on almost each of these meetings, new missionaries joined to receive their Pilgrim Mother picture. Sister Isabel from New York visited the Washington missionaries in July to share about the Schoenstatt Family Movement; in August, the Schoenstatt family Movement was officially founded in Washington with three groups of ten couples each. The Pilgrim Mother is the unifying center of the multinational Schoenstatt family; those who co-ordinate the activities are from Germany, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and USA!
Unate means "Togetherness"
In July, during a visit to Schoenstatt, Pippa Jarvis of "The Love of Christ" Ministry in Mulbarton near Johannesburg, South Africa, dedicated herself as missionary of the Pilgrim Mother for babies at risk. Not only did she receive the Pilgrim Mother picture from Argentina, "loaded" with Capital of Grace, but also a special prayer support for the prematurely born babies and babies with AIDS that she and her group care for, some of them always struggling for life. Soon after she returned to South Africa with the Pilgrim Mother, two new babies were given to her care: "Unate (meaning "togetherness" in one of our African languages) - he was abandoned on Friday so we got a call from the hospital
to say all the "regular" institutions were closed for the weekend ... can you imagine! The other is a little girl who was one of our babies in 1999, was returned to her mother at 8 months old and now her mother is dying of AIDS and has no one who will take the child. Her name is Dominique and we pray that when we test her we will find miraculously that she is not infected. But we are committed to loving her no matter what. She is very, very sick and neglected." The name "Unate" gave the inspiration for a "prayer adoption"; a missionary of the Pilgrim Mother in Córdoba, Argentina, since then makes sure that these babies are embraced by a wave of prayer! Pippa Jarvis: "As always I am deeply touched by the love and attention so many people have shown towards us and our babies. I would love you to remember our babies, especially our sick ones in the Founder Chapel with Fr Kentenich. I am humbled by the fact that so many people are holding us up in prayer. Things seem to be coming together and we are able to save more babies as a result. I am planning a holiday to the seaside for the children over the summer holidays, so we are busy with fundraising so that I can take everyone who can walk, for a holiday. On the 14 October our Schoenstatt shrine is dedicating / unveiling its Father statue and I have been invited to attend with my Pilgrim Mother and join in the festivities with all the other Schoenstatters. I look forward to it!"
The Pilgrim Mother Pictures that Father Esteban Uriburu brought to Zimbabwe…
(mp) Since 1984, the Pilgrim Mother is visiting families in Zimbabwe; in January, when the small Schoenstatt Movement celebrated the crowning of Mary as Queen of Zimbabwe with over 600 people present, many Pilgrim Mother pictures could be seen. Marlene Peter, who was among the first to get in contact with the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign through Father Esteban Uriburu in 1984: " I'm afraid I feel guilty for not doing much more for the spread of the campaign here. But so very often Our Blessed Mother shows me that she is in charge and very busy when I come across people who have been receiving her in their homes over the years. A few months ago I brought home one of the original pictures brought to Africa by Fr. Uriburu in 1984, in order to replace the glass in the frame, which had cracked. The groups who have been visited by the Pilgrim Mother are very attached to her and have grown closer to Jesus through her. October 12th is the anniversary of Fr. Uriburu's death. I still miss him and his letters. He was a very special priest and person."
Specially on this 12th of October, the anniversary of his call home to the Father, Father Esteban is remembered in gratitude. This "conqueror of the world and second Christopher Colombo", as Father Kentenich called him, had a wide international vision of Schoenstatt that urged him visit many countries of the world to found the Campaign there. Together with Father Kentenich and John Pozzobon he obviously continues to accompany the missionaries from heaven, inciting them to bring the Pilgrim Mother to the ends of the earth.
"Times are urging...", he often said. "Therefore, through the Campaign, the Pilgrim Mother has set out from her Shrines to begin a great 'Visit', showing herself als the Great Missionary who works Miracles."
First Visit of the Auxiliaries to Original Schoenstatt
(mb) One of the most marvelous experiences in my long life as missionary was my visit to Schoenstatt with the Auxiliary of the Blind and the Third Auxiliary being my company, visiting Original Schoenstatt for the first time. Entering the Original Shrine with them and experiencing their presence by the altar during a Holy Mass, sharing with them the encounter with Father Kentenich in the Founder Chapel with this abundance of flowers that turn this place into a "Garden of Mary", to visit the places where he lived and walk the ways he walked, recalling the history – all this is an unforgettable experience beyond words.
Once again I could witness how the Auxiliary conquers all who approach her with an open heart, in gratitude and in the attitude of children before God. Children, young people, adults, old aged persons, men and women of all walks of life immediately felt attracted by her warm motherly care.
People who See her with their Herat – the Pilgrim Mother in a Home for Old Aged People
(mb) I specially remember one moment full of joy! While in Schoenstatt I got to know a German lady, Helene, who is missionary for three Pilgrim Mothers, among them one for the persons with visual impairment in a huge home for old aged people in Vallendar, a complex with over 20 floors and countless habitations. From schoenstatt.de, Helene had learned about the origin and history of the Pilgrim Mother picture for the blind, and therefore asked me to once accompany her representing all the people who, as instruments, had brought such a joy to so many persons.
Never in my life did I walk that much!! While I was tired Helene radiated vitality! Who would think her to be 80 years old? One can't imagine the activities of this missionary! First she got the permission of the director, an agnostic, to transform a billiard room into a beautiful chapel. She is in charge of the services there, the prayer service, the weekly Holy Mass celebrated by Pallottines and Schoenstatt Fathers, and more. Tirelessly, she walks the apartments and wards bringing the visit of the Pilgrim Mother and her own heart to the people. Again and again I understood, thank to the translation: "What a joy", "I waited for you", "yesterday you did not come", "I asked for you". In each place I was welcomed with love and much gratitude once Helene introduced me and said why I was there. Although I did not understand the words, the faces said all. I felt "at home". I did not often experience
Something similarly moving, specially as I realized how many graces and blessings the Pilgrim Mother shared who is expected with so much love by these old people – by healthy and very sick ones, by those who are accompanied by their family and those who suffer loneliness, by people with clear minds and confused ones, by people who, although they are blind, see her with their hearts… When I came back, I was in such bliss that I did not remember my tiredness… A few days later Helene happened to see the Auxiliary for the blind people and asked for her visit to the home so that all could get to know her. She organized a prayer meeting during a whole afternoon in the beautifully decorated chapel. Many persons joined, praying and singing together, or for silent meditation, all deeply touched by the presence of the Auxiliary.
Meeting of Coordinators of the Pilgrim Mother in Guayaquil, Ecuador
(ams) September 14 –16, 2001, the annual meeting of the coordinators of the Pilgrim Mother tool place in Guayaquil, in the retreat center near the Schoenstatt Shrine of Guayaquil. During these days, the missionaries worked for a deeper understanding of Schoenstatt and their special vocation as missionaries of the Pilgrim Mother; several talks by Sister Consuelo and Father José Luis Nieto led them to new insights and joy in their mission! The main objective of the meeting was to prepare for the crowning of the Auxiliary that a group of missionaries had brought from Santa Maria, Brazil, in 2000. This crowning will take place on December 8, 2001, in the Shrine in Quito. Prayer and consideration marked the days; with renewed excitement and mission zeal the missionaries returned to the places where they bring the Pilgrim Mother to the people who she wants to bless and fill with hope and joy.
The Mater in the Metropolitan Police Department of the Province of Corrientes in Ituzaingó, Argentina
(aoc) On July 23 the Mater was enthroned in the Metropolitan Police Department of the Province of Corrientes in Ituzaingó. The parish priest, Padre Teófilo Redes Britez , blessed the picture, a rosary meditation followed. Some days before, the sub-chief of the police of
Ituzaingó asked two missionaries of the Pilgrim Mother, Elisa de Aquino, and Carmen Ferras to organize "any celebration" for the reception of Our Lady of Itatí, next to Our lady of Luján the most popular Marian Shrine in Argentina. The two ladies went to lead the rosary. After the celebration, the sub-chief told them it would be nice to have any picture of the Blessed Mother there. Elisa answered; she would donate one, but the MTA picture. He immediately accepted and asked them to organize a celebration, all police officers and their wives would attend! Elisa did not miss this chance, met with Ana and Oscar Capezio, and Ana María Grance and in shortest time brought a picture, a unity cross, vases, candleholders, candles, and a wooden sill to be fixed behind the picture – ready was a complete home shrine! The chief of the police, a Jehovah's Witness, was absent at the time – and sure mildly surprised to be welcomed by the Mother Thrice Admirable who had "decided" to stay there forever…
"He was only complete when he had the Peregrina on his shoulder…"
On September 22, a group of profession women invited Hermann Arendes, Brother of Mary, to share about Don Joao and his relationship to Father Kentenich. During their journey towards a deeper commitment to Father Kentenich's person and mission they wanted to know about "the only thing Father Kentenich is no model for: how to follow him, how to work for him, how to be an instrument for his mission." Hermann Arendes brought several large pictures of Don Joao and photo albums, and shared about his personal experiences with Don Joao and Father Kentenich's yearning to get the Campaign known. One of the women had been present when Don Pozzobon visited a Schoenstatt Girls' Youth meeting in Schoenstatt in 1979: "I don't remember much of what he said, to be honest, but one thing impressed me deeply: his simplicity, and - that he seemed only complete with the Peregrina on his shoulders. I had the impression, that he was straight when he had her on the shoulder, and like lopsided without her. I thought that he must love her very much and had become one with her."
One comment of one of them after the talk: "It is fantastic, all the time we heard about Father Kentenich although Hermann Arendes spoke about don Joao." Don Joao's motto: "a little bit more", John Pozzobon's patience, his concrete way to bring contributions to the capital of grace, his faithfulness to not change the picture even when he was asked to do so by the local bishop during Father Kentenich's exile, and his unconditioned loyalty to Father Kentenich impressed all. Gabriele Superman, the leader of the group, commented several days later: "What this single person could work because he really believed and simply did not cease to believe when he was not understood. God does not chose the rich and mighty ones; he chooses the small ones, the simples ones. Through Don Joao, Schoenstatt was brought to the whole world, and to be honest – what would Schoenstatt be without the Campaign?"
Contributions: Angie Santos, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Marlene Peter, Harare, Zimbabwe; Elisa de Aquino, Ituzaingó, Argentina; Ana y Oscar Capezio, Ituzaing, Argentina; Don Blan, Dallas, USA; Enrique Soros, Washington, USA; Rosita Alvarado, Córdoba, Argentina; Hellen Otero, Dakar, Senegal;Pippa Jarvis, Mulbarton, South Africa
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