Schönstatt - Begegnungen

A Room for the Patroness of the Diocese

Ecclesial Movements Joining Forces in Preparation for the Diocesan Jubilee

175th anniversary of the diocese of Freiburg: a joint initiative of Ecclesial Movements, inspired by the Schoenstatt Movement, worked for a "Room of Mary", the patroness of the diocese, in the Spiritual Center, with pictures of the Marian places of pilgrimage in the diocese
175-jähriges Diözesanjubiläum der Diözese Freiburg: eine gemeinsame Initiative der geistlichen Bewegungen macht einen "Raum der Begegnung mit Maria"
The "room of Mary" could always count with a big number of visitors.
Im Raum der Begegnung mit Maria waren immer viele Besucher
Fotos: Zier © 2002

GERMANY, Gertrud und Hans Zier. For May 1, the Archbishop of the diocese of Freiburg invited all to come to Freiburg and celebrate the diocesan jubilee. Despite the bad weather, many came, many more than had been expected. A small group of Schoenstatt members who regularly meet for Mass and prayer in the Schoenstatt Shrine of Vocation in Freiburg-Merzhausen had realized during the time of planning that with all the many actions, displays, shows and activities around the cathedral in Freiburg, one name, one person was missing: Mary, the Patroness of the diocese. They did not dwell on the loss of Marian culture nor in this "someone should" attitude. Instead, they joined forces with the Focolare Movement and the Legion of Mary and volunteered to join the staff of the diocese in preparing a room for Mary in the Center of Spirituality.

Carefully and with love, the Ecclesial Movements prepared the room for Mary, the patroness of the diocese. A display was erected with pictures of all of the Marian shrines and places of pilgrimage in the diocese. A "fountain of grace" in the middle of the room symbolized the stream of grace that flows into the diocese from these places.

The Blessed Mother's Room ­ First not Planned at all, then almost always Crowded

The Ecclesial Movements took turns offering meditations, prayers, motivations each hour. So many persons were interested that the room – designed for 70 people – could hardly hold more than half of those who wanted to come. It was a difficult task to explain to the people that they could not come and visit Mary as her room was full, really totally full… At the same time, there was a certain joy and pride in Mary who attracted so many! The Schoenstatt Movement offered a meditation based on the Angelus to find one's vocation and to remain faithful for an entire lifetime. Another motivation was titled "Taking Breath in Mary's climate", a stimulus to meet Christ in everyday life.

People from all generations, regions, and walks of life came – it was a joyful and grateful crowd. During the sessions, the visitors expressed personal prayer requests, sorrows about developments in the parishes, regarding Ecumenism, and the Eucharist. Mutual encouragement and getting in touch with persons who share the same suffering and hope for the church – this seems to have been the most important experience for the majority of the visitors.

As the cathedral could only hold a small number of the many visitors at the jubilee activities, and as watching the ceremonies on the big TV screen on the Cathedral Square turned into a pretty wet event due to the incessant rain, many participants went to the Center of Spirituality … And as the Room of Mary was the most beautiful one, the final Mass was attended via a quickly installed TV set in Mary's room! In Mary's Room the participants could also receive Holy Communion. We saw this as a gesture of thanks from heaven.

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

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