A Sanctuary Lamp for the English Shrine
Day of Thanksgiving for the Covenant of Love and the Shrine
(mkf) On Sunday,14th October the English Schoenstatt Family placed a new sanctuary lamp in the Shrine, one year after the opening. The lamp, designed by Paul Cooper, picks up the theme of the English martyrs. About 100 members of the Schoenstatt family joined in a day of celebrating the Covenant of Love and the English Shrine.
Around 100 members the Schoenstatt family from England visitors from abroad joined in a prayer and day of thanksgiving for the gift of the Shrine. Recent world events also played a part in this day. All joined in a prayer for peace and saw the children build a chain around the Shrine made of pieces of card each decorated with a word of unity.
Seed of a new faith
The chains and ladders on the Sanctuary lamp depict how the martyrs were led to their death. The pathing stones around the base show the path that they followed. Some of the stones have become fine jewels; the blood of the martyrs is the sown "Seed of a new faith". The rose of England in the middle reminds of Schoenstatt's mission for England.
Hilda and Bryan Madden brought back the new Sanctuary Lamp for the English Shrine, from Schoenstatt, following the Family Week in August. It has been designed by Paul Cooper on the theme of the English Martyrs and was made by the Goldsmiths of the Brothers of Mary in Schoenstatt. The Lamp was passed from group to group before it found its final place in the Shrine.
Our Home - Your Presence Here
In the closing Holy Mass of the England Family Week in Schoenstatt, the recently finished sanctuary lamp had been presented to Jesus and Mary. Father Bryan Cunningham spoke about the mission to carry light into a world that waits for light. In a practical application both for the many children present as for the adults, he emphasized that carrying Jesus in our hearts would means a "secret sanctuary lamp" with each baptized person. The Covenant of Love is like such a sanctuary lamp, reminding us to be light for the others by giving them a home – with a smile, a word, with our friendship. The children provided a big Arc of the covenant that played a central role in this Mass. At the end, children and adults joined in a spontaneous dance to the sound of: "Who is the King of the Universe, and who's the King of me – JESUS!!!"
Over seventy people – 44 adults and 27 children, from baby to teeny - took part in the Family Week in Schoenstatt with Father Bryan Cunningham. They came from five family groups around Manchester. The weather was fantastic, and the company was great. The Theme of the week was the presence of the Lord in our own homes. Contributions from Father Bryan and some of the group members gave plenty to think about.
The subject was Everyday Sanctity – finding the balance among the three loves of life: God, the world we live for, and the people in our lives, which can form a triangle of forces in life. Attachment to God, attachment to our work, and attachment to one another were the topics of the talks and discussions. The Children had their own programme, in which they obviously enjoyed themselves immensely.
"The homely and family atmosphere helped to re-charge the batteries," said one participant, who enjoyed the "mixture of families".
"The Wonderful Sense of Belonging to a Family of Love"
Mac and Chelo Valdez, engineers from Mexico who had spent a year in advanced studies in Manchester, joined the family week together with their daughter Nurith. They had arrived to England just a few days before the dedication of the new Shrine on October 1, 2000, and had quickly found a home in the Schoenstatt family of Manchester. Connections had been made through "schoenstatt.de" and PressOffice Schoenstatt. Before returning to Querétaro, Mexico, they used the opportunity to visit Schoenstatt, Germany for the first time. What they take home from these days? "The happiness of being in the Original Shrine and the commitment to continue with the Schoenstatt Movement." – Adds Ann Brady: "Schoenstatt is the wonderful sense of belonging to a family of love!"
With contributions from Fr. Andrew Pastore, Pat McEvoy, and notes from the English Schoenstatt Magazine
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