"We are on the Same Way" a Mission and Experience
Feast by the Shrine "We are on the same Way", Oermter Marienberg, Germany, on June 2, 2002
GERMANY, Gabriele Sudermann. The small Schoenstatt Family of the Lower Rhine area in Northern Germany had invited for a common feast by the Shrine, open to all, for June 2, 2002, and approximately 150 persons came despite of the FIFA World Cup! Specially the open-air events were very much appreciated on a picture-perfect summer day with deep blue skies and radiant sun. "We are on the same way" is the mission of this Shrine; "we are on the same way" was the experience of all those who prepared and who simply participated.
Sunday morning, 8:30 AM. The first four 'preparers' are already there, and at once start to work. How many will come? "We are ready for 200," said Inge Cleven. Last year, she and her group of Professional Women had been the initiators of one feast by the Shrine for all, instead of the many small activities that consumed much time for preparation for very small numbers of participants. Now all are invited for one feast: branches, Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign, children. This year, the experiences of the year before could be made fruitful. "You can be lucky should 80 people come today," Sr. Annegritta said. It's FIFA World Cup, it's weather for the swimming pool… Over 150 people are present in the end!
People Who Lead to Jesus and Mary
The feast began with an Open Air Mass by the Shrine. Cardboard footsteps pointed to the Shrine, to Jesus and Mary. During the Holy Mass, the participants wrote on cardboard footsteps the names of persons who had accompanied and led them on their way to Schoenstatt, or who have been a model for them. As a sign of being on the same way to God, all were invited to write the names of those for whom they wanted the others to pray on other footsteps that were brought to the altar during the prayer of the faithful.
After Mass, all were invited for a potluck lunch on the meadows behind the house. Salads, sausages, ice cream, coffee, cake – delicious things were offered, something for each taste! All were keen to find a place in the shade, best not only by but in the bushes, as it became definitely warm and really sunny. The lunch was the ideal time to share. When Sr. Annegritta brought more ice cream, all applauded her! "During lunch we talked about the growth of Schoenstatt in India, a Schoenstatt Sister from India shared about their life, it was really interesting," said Birgit Brömmel.
Soccer and Songs, Crafting and Ten Minutes in the Shrine, and Experiences with the Pilgrim Mother
It was clear that the open air events were more frequented than the discussion groups and meditation times taking place in the house, or in the Shrine. The soccer match between dads and children, the "tent of creativity and crafting", and the open-air sing-along counted with more participants than the discussion groups, and the "Ten Minutes in the Shrine". Positive remark about the "Ten Minutes in the Shrine": "Even as not many were in the Shrine, the singing and praying was heard outside, and that was good. Some just went for a minute."
Two real highlights were the "story teller" with stories not only for the little ones, and the "Experiences with the Pilgrim Mother". Mr. Arendes had come from Schoenstatt to share about the beginning of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign in Brazil, and about Don João Pozzobon. It was fascinating to hear what one single person can achieve, only moved by the confidence in the Blessed Mother, who can and will work miracles.
Blessing for Every Day Life
The day closed by the Shrine. All came together to sing and play together. A quiz ended with the finding of a long and complicated word, that expressed what all had experienced during this day: "We are on the same way" (one word in German!).
"Kasper" (a famous marionette, represented by one of the men) at the end also found the way to the Shrine; he brought coloring books from Argentina with scenes from the life of Father Kentenich. These coloring books had almost been robbed by a naughty robber, but the children paid attention and rescued the books!!! Lena Valentin shared about her experiences with the Pilgrim Mother in the neighborhood. At the end, a solemn blessing was given, extended to all areas of every day life, so that God's presence would be experienced everywhere. The children each received a personal blessing by Father Hofacker.
At the end of the day, Birgit Brömmel ran into grandparents who had not known anything about Schoenstatt so far. They had heard that a feast would take place there, and had come with their grandchild. "They attentively listened to my explanation about Schoenstatt and wanted to know more!"
One open question at the end of the day: "How did the soccer match end?" Response: "No idea. They are still on the field..."
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