Moriah, the Shrine on Hilltop – Leading Above
Over 100 priests concelebrating Mass of Thanksgiving on the 25th Anniversary of the Shrine on Mount Moriah
(mkf) When 25 years ago the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests prepared for the dedication of the Shrine on Mount Moriah, and to move from their former home in House Marienau in the valley to "the hilltop" of Mount Moriah, they were inspired by the idea of moving above and leading above. On October 17th, over 100 priests from the four Schoenstatt Priests' branches concelebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for 25 years of this "topographically highest" Shrine at the place of origin, Original Schoenstatt.
A foot pilgrimage in the morning, from the Original Shrine and House Marienau above to Mount Moriah opened the feast day for the over 70 priests of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan priests and about 30 League priests who had come to celebrate together the 25th anniversary of their Shrine.
The Symbol of the Priests' League in the Shrine
The skies were overcast, but it did not rain when at 2:30 PM the priests from Institute and League, together with some Schoenstatt Fathers and Federation priests, processed to the Shrine on Mount Moriah for the festive Mass of Thanksgiving. Members of the General Presidium were present as well as some friends and the Sisters who work in the House.
The Schoenstatt Priests' League had prepared to attach their "League Symbol", a bronze plaque, in the Shrine. Father Paul Kirsch explained the symbol – a large Styrofoam model visualized the explanation – that reads: Diligimus ecclesiam, we love the Church. The center of the symbol is the Moriah Patris Shrine:
The bronze plaque was attached on the left side wall of the Shrine, visibly representing the League there in one-anotherness with the Institute in their common Shrine.
From the Narrowness of the Valley to the Width of the Hilltop
The move from the valley to the hilltop – this was the leitmotif of Monsignor Wolf's sermon, the narrowness of the Schoenstatt valley as well as the wide views given from the hilltop of Mount Moriah serving as symbols for a mission and vision: to help Schoenstatt rise from the catacombs to a new awareness of its missions, to grow into the width of the international, to leave behind the exile-time-caused inferiority complex. Father Kentenich, Monsignor Wolf said, had not been affected by the humiliations of exile, he had lived to his proud mission zeal all his lifetime, but Schoenstatt, especially in Germany, has been severely affected up to a certain degree of being paralyzed still today.
Schoenstatt should walk ahead, without fear of future but with the willingness to actively model the face of this future, he said, and the Priests' communities should, strengthened by the graces from this Shrine, help to lead Schoenstatt above, "to the hilltops".
The Shrine, as the source of vocational grace, should also inspire all to count on new vocations and to work for vocations for the Schoenstatt priests' branches and all Schoenstatt communities, for without vocations Father Kentenich's Schoenstatt mission cannot be fulfilled. The mission for the church, he added, would encourage and urge the Institute of Diocesan Priests to keep working for the International Schoenstatt Center and Shrine in Rome.
The intentions and wishes for the future were expressed in the prayer of the faithful. The festive Holy Mass ended with the Renewal of the Covenant of Love.
The Shrine on Mount Moriah was dedicated on October 17, 1976, and is the Shrine of the Schoenstatt Institute Priests, and the Schoenstatt Priests' League.
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