Go Praying, Go Believing
Corpus Christi Procession on Mount Schoenstatt with over 1,500 Participants
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. FIFA World Cup, weather ideal for swimming - who ever had thought that this would affect the Corpus Christi procession on Mount Schoenstatt, the oldest and largest (in numbers) event open for all at this place of pilgrimage, had been wrong! More than 1,500 persons came on the Sunday after the Feast of Corpus Christi to "go praying, to go believing" – to walk along the flourish-decorated ways on Mount Schoenstatt in community with the procession in the morning, or to do so individually or in small groups in the afternoon. Like in each year, flower carpets with eucharistic motives or symbols of faith not only were an honor for the Eucharistic Lord but a catechesis to be taken in walking and gazing.
Now it would be for the 17th time that she was taking part, meant a woman from Munich who had come with a bus pilgrimage to Schönstatt. This would almost be embarrassing for her, responded a lady from Koblenz who for the first time had come for the Corpus Christi procession on Mount Schoenstatt. Not only from Munich, but also from Münster, Warendorf, from the Allgäu, from Switzerland, from Neuss/Düsseldorf and a lot of other places whole bus groups had come on this sunny Sunday, June 2, 2002. Helene Schlüter, missionary of the Pilgrim Mother in the Institution for the Elderly, Humboldthöhe, in Vallendar, had encouraged so many interns to join in that several minibuses and cars came from there.
Also the international character Schönstatts was highlighted, not only with the big number of country flags that were carried with the procession, but also by participants from a lot of different countries like Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, the USA, Ecuador, Burundi, Argentina, to only name a few. A group of Polish families from Berlin took part; proudly some of them carried their pictures of the Pilgrim Mother in the procession.
A multicolored picture of Faith
The brass band from Niederwerth accompanied the procession which started from the Adoration Church and headed via three stations - Schulungsheim, Shrine, and Mother House - back to the Adoration Church where on the square the final blessing was given. The subject of the prayers as well as of the flower carpets was: "Jesus Christ, your love is stronger. " In the different stations, many requests were said that move people today at this time, particularly the request for peace, the protection of life, the future of children and families. Children with multicolored bouquets of flowers accompanied the sacrament group and performed a praise dance at the last but one altar, by the Mother House. " It simply was pure joy to pray again in so big a community, and to sing outloud", shared a man. Father Schapfel summed up in his concluding words what moved many: Thanks it to be said not only to the many helpers, but to all and each one for being and sharing a testimony of faith for the others.
In the afternoon the usually rather quite Mount Schoenstatt was still marked by busy activities - many wanted to use this time to look at the flower carpets in peace. Main attractions: An open air Eucharistic blessing devotion by one of the flower carpets, open singing and the cafeteria
Also preparing is an Experience
For the first time the inhabitants of the surrounding towns and participants of retreats in Schoe nstatt had been invited on Saturday to help in decorating and in the laying of the flourish carpets. And how sister Anne-Meike stressed proudly: "The carpets of the people cannot be distinguished from those of the sisters! " A woman from Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the first time in Schönstatt, took part with enthusiasm to arrange the blossoms - one does not need to be able to talk with each other at this work, and sometimes a sister from Brazil also emerged! Young people from Paraguay, the USA, and Ecuador worked on other carpets; a whole family from the surroundings put a carpet, and two small Spaniards were convinced to be the central figures of this afternoon!
Every year on Sunday after Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi procession is scheduled on Mount Schoenstatt. After weather-related cancellations or shortened versions in the past years, this time it could take place as planned and turned out one more time to be an answer to the need to experience faith in community, and how Father Schapfel stressed, "to give to each other the testimony of faith!"
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