In Times of Insecurity - Security and Hope in the Love of God the Father
October Weekend in Gauteng, South Africa – Erection of the Father Eye Symbol
(Sr. M. Joanne) The Schoenstatt Family in Gauteng, South Africa held their October Weekend from 12 -14th October 2001. The highlight was the blessing and erection of our Father symbol in the Shrine by Fr Michael Hagan. Once the Father symbol was installed, everyone formed a big circle around the Shrine and sang the most appropriate hymn - "Our Father!"
The Father symbol was carved by a local artist, from South African yellowwood, bought in the beautiful forested region of Knysna in the Cape Province. The date of the purchase of the "raw" wood was the 11th September 2001! The medium of wood was decided upon, as we could not justify spending so much money on a symbol made from gold in the light of poverty experienced by so many in South Africa. Once polished, the wood looks like the gold for which our city of Johannesburg is famous. The Schoenstatt Family sees itself as the gold of the Father (Aurum Patris) and this is what we strive for in contrast to the worldliness of the city.
A symbol for the Security and Hope in the love of God the Father
The Schoenstatt Family of Gauteng has prayed and prepared over many years for this symbol. It has come to mean security and hope in the love of God the Father, as a counter to the insecurity experienced due to high levels of crime and violence in our society.
The theme of the weekend was "With the Father symbol we go into the future". In small workgroups, everyone meditated on the symbol itself: the meaning of the crystal and the narrow gold band which secures it in place, the wooden triangle and the dynamic whorls around the "eye". The Branches and Unions gave short talks on the challenges that the Father symbol brings for the future and from this, the Motto for the next year was formulated: "Father, see us, love us and send us out".
In the Jubilee year 2000 we promised our M.T.A. the gift of a Father symbol for her shrine. Everyone feels that although the Father symbol was our gift, God our loving Father has given us His gift and this gift now needs to be "unpacked" in the years to come.
History has been made in Bedfordview.
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