Thousands of Persons United in One Covenant of Love
Covenant Day and St. Joseph's Day – nameday of Father Kentenich – Celebrated in Schoenstatt
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. On the eve of St. Joseph's day, nameday of Father Kentenich, the Covenant Day was celebrated in Schoenstatt, marked by a special awareness of the international family unity. The day after, on the 19th, celebration was continued with a festive Holy Mass in the Adoration Church on behalf of the feast of St. Joseph, nameday of Father Kentenich. The day ended in Schoenstatt with a family hour by the tomb of Father Kentenich, when Professional Women on retreat thanked Father Kentenich for being Father of a big family, and for so many people who are allies of the Father and Founder for his paternal and prophetic mission.
The Covenant Day began with gorgeous sunshine and real springtime weather, and with some extra flowers in the Original Shrine and by our Father's tomb.
Schoenstatt Mothers from the diocese of Paderborn, and professional women from several Northern German dioceses had been arriving in the course of the day for retreats to begin tonight. Girls from Ecuador, Texas, and Chile who are spending some months in Schoenstatt enjoyed their first Covenant Day here!
Remembering Those Who Spiritually Touched the Original Shrine
At 7:30, as it rained heavily, they all and the local Schoenstatt family joined in the Covenant Renewal in the Adoration Church. The country flags standing there, Father Schapfel (Institute of Diocesan Priests) said, would remind us of all those who are united with us in the Covenant of Love. It would be worth while to meditate that today already thousands and thousands that spiritually touched the Original Shrine, and that many more thousands would do so later on, on the other side of the globe. Hundreds of thousands of persons from all over the world would today, on the eve of Father Kentenich's name day be specially united with us here, close to the Founder Chapel. He specially hinted at the flag from Nazareth by the picture of the MTA, the flag of St. Joseph's and Jesus' hometown, that would remind us of the ongoing violence in the Holy Land, where many Schoenstatt persons would find comfort in the Covenant of Love.
"You Give us to the World, that we Light Lights of Hope, of Love, of Joy, of Respect".
The professional women were in charge of the songs and music; their bongos, flutes, and guitars provided a joyful and lively atmosphere. "You see me, you love me, you need me" – the leitmotif of the introductory texts was the endlessly merciful and tender love of God the Father. While the Covenant Light was lit, followed by smaller candles, the meditation read: Father, you want us to experience your love; therefore, you gave us Mary…You gave us our Founder…You gave us each other – and you give us to the world, that we light lights of hope, of love, of joy, of respect. Therefore we want to be the smile of the Father for those you cannot smile anymore…the hand of the Father who guides those who feel insecure… the voice of the Father that cries out where people are hurt, forgotten, threatened, and abused. Love is stronger – love unites us in the Covenant of Love with all peoples and human beings: the born and the unborn, the healthy and the sick, the handicapped, the near ones and the far ones."
Father Schapfel picked up this motive in his sermon highlighting that the Covenant Renewal in Lent would be a decisive step on the way to Easter joy. When we renew the Covenant of Love, he said, we give our Yes to Jesus who invites us to follow him to Golgotha. But there, under the cross, Mary would welcome us. On the eve of his name day, we would today also specially unite with Father Kentenich, and with all those who had made the covenant of love, but specially with those in lands of war, and crisis. He mentioned specially the Holy Land and Argentina; we would unite with the weakest ones, the unborn babies.
The Covenant of Love: Wide, Open, International
"In this moment, we include into our Covenant of Love, in this wide, open, international Covenant, those who sit on our right and left side, before and behind us; and all those whom we now want to represent here. We want to lead them all into the love of the Father, as love is stronger."
Preceded by a very concrete and moving litany of "Love is stronger", all were invited to bring their contributions to the Capital of grace; while the contributions were written on slips of paper, Carmen from Ecuador sang: "Madre, si". Then, united with you all, with all who today renew the Covenant, with all who are touched by the stream of life and grace from the shrine, we prayed: "My Queen, my mother…"
Protect us with your mantle was sung in all the languages, while all processed out the fire. It had ceased to rain, so the fire was lit, and the sheets of paper with the contributions to the Capital of Grace were given to the flames… Songs were sung for Father Kentenich's name day: first the Professional Women sang the "Prophet song", then the South American girls "En nuestro llameante bandera", then both groups together: Grande es el cariño (Canto a Dios Padre) in Spanish and German!
A Man of Confidence
The day of St. Joseph was celebrated with a festive Mass in the Adoration Church, Monsignor Zimmerer, director General of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, concelebrated with Father Ángel Strada, Father Siegfried Koch, and Father Barmettler. The choir of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary provided festive songs - Schoenstatt Sisters also formed the majority of the people attending Mass, as this normal workday did not allow many others to join in. The 15 participants of the Retreat of the Professionals, the girls from South America, a couple from Paraguay, and some members of Schoenstatt Institutes and Federations added, "color" to the congregation. Monsignor Zimmerer, in his sermon, spoke about St. Joseph as a man of confidence – a man whom Mary could trust and entrust herself and her child. In a similar way, Father Kentenich was a man of confidence, who people could and can trust and entrust themselves and their loves ones. Monsignor Zimmerer specially congratulated all those present, and all others who on this day celebrated their name day.
Celebrating With Father Kentenich
One of the them was present – José Brown of Asunción, Paraguay, not only celebrated his 50th birthday in Schoenstatt, but also on this day, together with Father Kentenich, his nameday. He and his wife, Alba Brown de Deckermann, are members of the founding generation of the Federation of families in Paraguay, belonging to the first course. They brought along all the work and commitment of the families and of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. After Mass, the few Spanish words overheard while they were asked for a photo, soon attracted the girls from Chile and Ecuador, Father Ángel Strada, and gave one of the Profesionales who had recently been in Ecuador to study Spanish the first possibility to test her skills – successfully!
At the end of the day, at 21:00 h, the Founder Chapel filled with the last congratulants of the day – Profesionales from Germany and Ecuador who came to celebrate with Father Kentenich and to thank him for being Father of a big family, and for so many people who are allies of the Father and Founder for his paternal and prophetic mission.
In the sign of a rose, each one gave to him her special gratitude for him having helped them experiencing to be God the Father's favorite child. Then each of them brought a rose for those persons who they wanted to be specially present to be touched by the love of the God the Father in this very moment, and whom they therefore entrusted to Father Kentenich and the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt: family members, friends, people from their work places, a little boy fighting cancer, a little girl with leukemia, the Schoenstatt family in the Holy Land, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Argentina, and South Africa in their difficult situations, and all those who on this day had spiritually visited the Founder Chapel, or turned to Father Kentenich in love, gratitude and confidence – the hundreds and hundreds of persons whom Mary and Father Kentenich, mirroring God's love, have accepted in their wide-open hearts.
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Last Update: 25.03.2002 13:52 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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