Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Open Shrine Afternoon at the Schoenstatt Center "Oermter Marienberg"

A Group Meeting under the Title "Covenant of Love Live"

Group Meeting at the Schoenstatt Center: Open Shrine - Covenant of Love live
Gruppentreffen auf dem Oermter Marienberg: Offenes Heiligtum - gelebtes Liebesbündnis
Illumined Rosary in the Shrine - with prayer intentions from all over the world
Lichterrosenkranz im Heiligtum auf dem Oermter Maroienberg - mit Anliegen aus aller Welt
Fotos: Brömmel © 2002

GERMANY, Martina Rasch, Birgit Brömmel. "Open Shrine – Covenant of Love live": This was the motto for a group meeting of Professional Women at the Schoenstatt Center of the Lower Rhine area, "Oermter Marienberg". The illumined rosary, already tradition during retreats and weekend meetings, was for the first time scheduled for a group meeting. The ideal of the "Open Shrine" became very concrete on this Sunday afternoon, March 10.

"The illumined rosary is already habitual during our meetings," said Birgit Brömmel, from Wesel. "Via Internet we found our about this tradition in Argentina that we then combined with the tradition that we had developed with the rosary, to combine the decades or each 'Hail Mary' with a concrete prayer intention from everyday life. This process made us again aware of the gift of being international. One community incites the other, and we experience a mutual enrichment."

All those who we meet are invited...

The group meeting was to be titled: Open Shrine – Covenant of Love live. "Excited with this theme, we began already upon our arrival by the center," shared Martina Rasch. "Two elderly people stood by the information board and said how beautiful this place were. I talked with them and learned that they came from Mühlheim and regularly visited the Shrine, but had no idea that they could join retreats here. I went to the Center with them, gave them some brochures and introduced them to the Sister. They left full of joy and gratitude." This was not the end of apostolic moments. In the entrance hall, a young woman had witnessed the talk with the elderly people. One of the Professional Women greeted her, and the following conversation ended with an exchange of addresses and the joy and astonishment about the many Schoenstatt communities existing. The young woman was graduating from High School and thinking about her future… "We invited her to join our coffee break as the Mass where she was supposed to play clarinet only began an hour later!" With coffee and cake it was much easier to talk about the reality and the gift of the Covenant of Love.

Illumined Rosary in the Shrine

The wideness of the Covenant of Love was afterwards mirrored in the illumined rosary, taking place in the Shrine at 5:00 PM. Each member of the group had brought all her personal candle holders and candles that were then displayed in the sanctuary to form the rosary – a colorful rosary indeed! The intentions came from personal experiences of "Dachau situations", from politics and world events, from the international Schoenstatt.

"We asked in the PressOffice Schoenstatt for some special prayer intentions which we wanted to include. The print-out of the mail we got circulated during the prayer of the rosary, so each one could pick 'her' intention," Birgit shared. International intentions like the election in Zimbabwe and a stolen Auxiliar in Argentina were mentioned as well as concerns for the own family, the work place, or the priests in the parishes. Gratitude however was expressed at least as often as concerns – gratitude for having found this group, for a good solution in work place problems… Several visitors dropped in while the rosary was prayed, and at the end Father Hofacker came just on time to lead the Angelus and give the blessing. Birgit: "For me the illumined rosary has become very precious and I would not do without anymore. In this prayer for and with each other the community in the Covenant of Love is experienced, and the understanding for the others grows tremendously when we share our concerns and joys. One is not so much concentrating on oneself but on the others to the end of becoming wider and more grateful."

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