Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Signs of Light

Covenant Day in Schoenstatt: Thousands of Stars - a Message of Hope

Thousands of paper stars were burnt after the Covenant Celebration on Januay 2002 - stars with the names of loved ones written on by the over 6,000 visitors of the "Ten minutes by the crib" and people from all over the world.
Tausende von Sternen aus Papier wurden am 18. Januar nach der Bündnisfeier verbrannt - Sterne mit Namen von Freunden und Verwandten, aufgeschrieben von den über 6.000 Besuchern der "Zehn Minuten an der Krippe" und Menschen aus aller Welt.
Fr. Künster, Priests' Federation: "Each contribution to the Capital of Grace is a light that illumines the darkness of our world."
Pfr. Künster, Priesterbund: "Jeder Beitrag zum Gnadenkapital ist ein Licht, das der Dunkelheit die Macht nimmt."
Students of the Schoenstatt Fathers provided songs and music.
Studenten der Schönstatt-Patres hatten die musikalische Gestaltung übernommen.
Who would not participate? A little boy collecting the slips of paper with the contributions to the Capital of grace.
Wer will da nicht mittun? Ein kleiner Junge beim Einsammeln der Zettel mit den Beiträgen zum Gnadenkapital.
Florian from Koblenz helped to get the stars into the fire.
Florian aus Koblenz half kräftig mit, die Sterne ins Feuer zu befördern.
A taste of "Ten minutes by the crib": Christman tea and cookies
Ein Hauch von"Zehn Minuten an der Krippe": Weihnachtstee und Plätzchen
A couple from Chile, visiting Schoenstatt during a business trip, with Sr. Luz Maria, Spanish Office.
Ein Ehepaar aus Chile, auf Schönstattbesuch während einer Geschäftsreise, mit Sr. Luz Maria vom Spanischen Sekretariat.
The German Covenant Newsletter got a new design - Schoenstatt members from all over the world, united in the Covenant of Love as one family.
Der Bündnisbrief hat ein neues Gesicht - im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes: Schönstatt-Gesichter aus aller Welt, im Liebesbündnis eine Familie.
Fotos: PressOffice Schoenstatt, Brehm © 2002

Schoenstatt, (mkf): Thousands of paper stars filled with names of loved ones by the over 6,000 visitors of the "Ten minutes by the crib" were burned in the Covenant fire on January 18, 2002. The Covenant Celebration was marked by the symbol of light – the Covenant of Love being the light that transforms each darkness of the world and of one's own life.

On the first Covenant Day after the re-opening before Christmas, the Original Shrine was decorated with an abundance of roses, lilies and carnations; two days before, the small Pilgrim Mother picture by the statue of Vincent Pallotti announced the upcoming January18. Like before the closing of the Shrine, Pallottine Brother Martin brought "his" Pilgrim Mother to the Original Shrine. Fresh snow blanketed Schoenstatt that morning; later in the afternoon, the snowfall and rain gave way to a beautiful winter sun...

A Message of Hope – A Message of Light

The Christmas trees and crib scene in the Adoration Church still remind all of the Christmas season - as did the baskets with paper stars that were placed on the carpet in the Founder Chapel. Thousands of names were written on these stars during the "ten minutes by the crib," visited this year by over 6,000 persons. Thousands of names, histories, and sorrows were entrusted to our MTA and Father Kentenich and the prayers of the Schoenstatt family.

Like on the 18th of each month, the local Schoenstatt family gathered in the Adoration Church for the Covenant Renewal, representing the whole international family there. Young people from Paraguay, Chile, India, a couple from Chile, and the Sisters and Fathers from all over the world brought the International to the celebration. A flag from Argentina by the MTA picture in the Adoration Church reminded all of the 50th anniversary of the Father Shrine in Nuevo Schoenstatt, Florencio Varela, that was to begin soon.

In his introduction, Father Künster, a Federation Priest who led the celebration, mentioned this event in Argentina, stating that "the celebration of this jubilee means to enkindle a light in a country that seems to go through a desperate darkness. Argentina is not only darkness, there will be a light that illumines this country on Sunday, and there will be many lights that illumine the country when all return home. Our world is not only darkness. We are called and empowered in the Covenant of Love to be a light for this world."

New design of German Covenant Letter

All of the 45 Schoenstatt Fathers who were having their annual Province meeting had come to the celebration, as well as many more sisters than usual (the sisters of the Dynamic Province also had their annual meeting). The Schoenstatt Fathers' students provided songs and music with keyboard, guitars, drums, and flutes, and they led the singing with much joy and vigor!

The German Covenant Letter, a monthly publication with an article by the Movement Leader and elements for the Covenant Renewal, appeared in a completely new design for this first Covenant Celebration of the year. Who looks at the Covenant Letter meets the Schoenstatt family - in faces of people from all over the world who live the Covenant of Love, whose contributions to the Capital of Grace are essential for the stream of life and grace from the Shrine. Schoenstatt persons from Ecuador and India, Nigeria and the Dominican Republic, England, Scotland, Germany, Argentina, Mexico, and the Holy Land stand for the universal and at the same time always individual Covenant of Love that began on October 18, 1914, in the Original Shrine.

Light that Illumines the Darkness of the World

The Light from Bethlehem was on the altar surrounded by candles. The Covenant celebration was opened with a quote from Father Kentenich about the meaning of our Shrines (from the talk given for the dedication of the Shrine in Nuevo Schoenstatt, Jan. 20, 1952). Then a litany of Covenant graces followed; with each "grace" mentioned, another candle was lit. The Original Shrine - how much light! Each of the 165 daughter shrines with its specific grace... how much light! Each wayside shrine, each home shrine... The Pilgrim Mother who brings the graces from the Shrine to the ends of the earth - how much light...Each Covenant of Love lived in joy and excitement... in disappointment…

In his sermon, Fr. Künster mentioned that Fr Marmann, chairperson of the General Presidium, had taken the Father eye symbol for the Original Shrine to Argentina – also a sign of light. Another sign of light would be the 75,000 signatures for the protection of human embryos to be passed on the following Wednesday, a week before the decision on embryo-consuming stem cell research is made by the German Parliament. Schoenstatt, together with Focolare and other communities, was committed to this Initiative. "75,000 signatures are 75,000 lights that illumine the dark of this world!" We as Schoenstatt members could see each small contribution to the capital of grace as a light, a small, tiny light that would make the darkness cease to be. "And as family we are called to join these lights so they become stronger – to become light for the world!" Father Kentenich's decision of January 20 would give us the strength and courage we would need.

All were then invited to "light the world" with the contributions to the capital of grace – and to bring to the Mother Thrice Admirable the biggest joy of the past weeks, the biggest disappointment, the person we love most, the best gift, the worst fault, the severest sadness and fear, the most heartfelt thanks…

The slips of paper with the contributions were collected, then all joined with our Father and Founder and with all those who anywhere in the world renew the covenant, with all who receive or carry the Pilgrim Mother, praying "My Queen, my Mother…"

After the blessing, all went out to the fire where the paper stars and the papers with the Capital of grace were burned. Christmas tea and cookies were served once again, as a slight reminiscence to the "Ten minutes by the crib"...

English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA


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