Each Heart - an Open Shrine for All
Covenant Celebration - in November on the birthday of Father Kentenich
(mkf) Each year in November, when the Schoenstatt Family commemorates the 18th of the month as Covenant Day, this is combined with Father Kentenich's birthday – celebrated as a day of joy and gratitude. Father Kentenich's heart, said Father Beller in his sermon during the celebration in Schoenstatt, was and is an Open Shrine, open for all. Following an inspiration from Ecuador, the crowning of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt as Queen of the Universe - first done by Father Kentenich in 1946 - was renewed in Schoenstatt as well as in Guayaquil, Rome, Rauch/Argentina, at many Schoenstatt Centers in Germany and in countless home shrines.
The small Schoenstatt family of Zimbabwe held the Covenant celebration focusing on their motto for 2002: "Since our motto this year involves our "Yes" to god's will for us, our Bible reading was 'The Annunciation' with a reflection on that very important event in our salvation history. There were many bidding prayers of petition and thanksgiving. Although we were few there was a lovely sense that the Holy spirit was present. Our motto 'Queen and Mother may our 'Yes' bring hope healing and joy through the shrine to your people.' means a lot to us at this time when our country is going through such a painful and worrying time. We will strive each day to make it a motto that is alive and active in our country."
"United with the International Celebration...
En Rauch (Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina), on this Covenant Day the Blessed Mother was crowned again in the recently renovated wayside shrine, "united with the international celebration", as Sister Andrea shared.
Also on this day, the Schoenstatt family in Argentina began the novena of nine weeks in praparation for the golden anniversary of the Father Shrine in Nuevo Schoenstatt, Argentina, on come January 20 when the Father statue will be erected and the whole family will seal the covenant with Father Kentenich. On November 17, Juan Fernández founded this statue that will be by the Father Shrine on January 20, 2002.
In Schoenstatt, this Covenant day was marked by a special "touch": It was a beautiful sunny day, totally unusual for German November, with bright blue skies and crisp air. – "Queen's weather" on the day of the "Queen of the Universe!
The 100th Group Meeting in Schoenstatt
Some girls from Würzburg came to have their 100th group meeting in Schoenstatt, over 90 Schoenstatt mothers from the diocese of Augsburg were on a weekend retreat, young families from the diocese of Limburg met in the House of the families. Many used the Covenant day being on a Sunday for a spontaneous visit to Schoenstatt – for example two Filipino ladies from the Frankfurt area who work with love and commitment to get the Schoenstatt groups there, in the Filipino community, going.
They all missed the visit to the Original Shrine – it is closed for the renovation of the roof, and only some days ago the new wooden construction of the bell tower was put in position. The Original Shrine will also receive a new bell.
Open Shrine – Open also for my Boss who Annoys me…
Like on each 18th, the local Schoenstatt family and visitors to Schoenstatt gathered at 7:30Pm in the Adoration Church. The professional women provided the texts which were centered on the "Open Shrine" and the renewal of the Crowning that Father Kentenich did on Oct. 20, 1946 – asking the Mother Thrice Admirable to be Queen of the Universe and act as Queen of the World sealing a covenant of love with all peoples and specially the political leaders.
Father Beller led the celebration, at the beginning encouraging all to not forget to ask Father Kentenich for a special birthday gift to them. "The Blessed Mother wants that we become more open for the people who we meet in our every day life. Our heart shrine is to be a shrine not restricted by walls, a shrine that gives a home to all –also to the annoying boss, the colleague who drives me mad, the unfriendly neighbor, the homeless – just to all who we would sometimes like to not let into our Shrine, because it would be more harmonious and beautiful without them." In his sermon, Father Beller picked up this impulse from the text.
Father Kentenich's heart – a Shrine Open for All
The life of Father Kentenich, he said, was a continuous praise of the merciful Father; through him, even the hell of Dachau became a piece of heaven where people experienced to be accepted and valued. "Father Kentenich's heart was a shrine, and this shrine was open for all. The professional women who have given us the texts of this celebration have the ideal: Open Shrine – it is the shrine of our heart, open for all those that we meet, get in contact. It is a matter of wideness and flexibility of the heart. Some even take the criminals and terrorists into their heart, to lead them homeward to God. Father Kentenich founded a community of people who have an open heart, who are and work for the Open Shrine. What this love costs will be the contribution the capital of grace, the gift we give to God for those who we allowed into our heart." Turning to Father Kentenich, he asked him: "Make our heart so wide that all those who get in touch with us find God's love. Let us be an Open Shrine."
Queen of the Universe
Following the inspiration of Flavio and Beatriz Arosemena from Ecuador, all then crowned the MTA as Queen of the Universe – with the crowning prayer that Father Kentenich said in 1946, as it was done today in Guayaquil, in Rome, in many German Schoenstatt Centers and countless homeshrines… Then all were invited to write contributions to the Capital of grace on slips of paper; because the capital of grace, the text read, is the possibility to become active in the remotest parts of the world. United with all people who renew and live the covenant of love somewhere, with all those who work for the Open Shrine, who receive the Pilgrim Mother or work as her missionaries, we then renewed our Covenant of Love. After the blessing, all walked out to the Covenant fire, where the slips of paper where burnt, while the song of the centenary resounded: Mother, we thank you for our Father and Founder …
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