"The Desert will be Blooming with Our Auxiliary Pilgrim Mother"
Welcoming the "Queen of Arizona's Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign"
USA, Sally Leroy, mkf. With anticipation and exuberant joy, on June 1, 2002, the "Mothers of the Desert" in Arizona welcomed the Auxiliary Pilgrim Mother for Arizona. This exact replica of the Original Pilgrim Mother picture that John Pozzobon received in September 1950 and that he carried (for 35 years, walking more than 140.000 km) to countless families, to schools, prisons, hospitals, is one of the hundreds of International Auxiliaries that have been sent out from Santa Maria, Brazil, since the Campaign spread out to the world. The Auxiliary for Arizona brings the graces of the origin and of the Original Pilgrim MTA to her instruments in Arizona.
The Campaign, as stream of life and grace, created and generated a world of expressions that make visible and tangible what millions of persons experience who have welcomed the Pilgrim Mother in their homes and lives: the presence of Mary who brings the graces from her Shrine. According to John Pozzobon, the Auxiliaries constitute a stronger attachment as "all of the Auxiliaries set out from the Tabor Shrine in Santa Maria, the place of origin of the Rosary Campaign, always in connection with the Original Shrine".
"With this new initiative", he said, "I strongly feel in my heart, like an inner voice telling me that these pictures (the Auxiliaries) must not stay in the Shrine but have to begin a pilgrimage, they attract; SHE, the Mother of God, has made herself present like someone who walks, and so we are not alone, but we are us and her." For Don João Pozzobon, the Auxiliaries also were "an extension of the blessing of the Father and Founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, that he gave (to the Campaign) from the Original Shrine, on August 4th, 1951.
A gorgeous Weekend with the Auxiliary
The Auxiliary of Arizona, like all the other ones, unites the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign of Arizona and its missionaries with the cradle of the Campaign, the Tabor Shrine, the Capital of Grace and countless rosaries offered by John Pozzobon, and thousands of Missionaries. The presence of the Auxiliary is like a guarantee for the original spirit of the Campaign and a constant support. "The desert will be blooming with our Auxiliary", was the saying in the weeks of anticipation.
Jeanne Gagnon earlier this year arranged that Arizona would have their Auxiliary sent from Santa Maria, Brazil. In April, the Auxiliary arrived in Corpus Christi, Texas, when the "Mothers of the Desert", the Arizona Schoenstatt group, participated in a retreat for Mothers. Six of them made their Covenant of Love on this weekend. During these days, they crowned her, had processions, prayers, rosaries, "and just a gorgeous weekend with her", but they couldn't take her to Arizona on the plane, so she arrived on a Thursday end May. The "solemn welcome" was scheduled for June 1, 2002.
The Arizona Desert Blossoming with Full Force
"The Arizona desert was blossoming full force, yesterday, even though the weather was extremely hot - 100+ degrees. I know Fr. Kentenich and all our Schoenstatt Heroes were all smiling down upon us with much joy!"
On June 1, the Mothers of the Desert attended 8:30 AM Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Glendale. They then went out for breakfast and then to Jeanne's house. But instead of welcoming the Auxiliary there they felt that she was welcoming them. Jeanne had created an altar type setting with a bright blue satiny covering and many bouquets of flowers surrounding the Auxiliary, along with various colored lit candles.
They all gathered around Our Lady, greeted her in their own special way, "like little, overly excited children", and prayed the consecration prayer. Quietly they then sat and just gazed at her, in all her beauty, while listening to the Ave Maria. The room of 12 was in total silence – all of them admiring her in complete awe.
"Queen of Arizona's Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign"
Bob Myers, a Schoenstatt Deacon, lead the rosary as they prayed the glorious mysteries. Following the rosary, all again gathered again around Our Lady, and Jeanne crowned her "Queen of Arizona's Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign", while all sang "Oh Mary We Crown Thee with Blossoms Today"
Then Jeanne read the commissioning prayer, which Sr. Corelia had asked them to comprise while at the Mothers' Workshop in April. Jeanne then asked each of us present to be the first group to sign the "Guest Book" which she made herself, and this book will be signed by each person whose home she enters with Our Lady. Jeanne made little 3x5 cards with a picture of our MTA on each card. These will be used when she visits each home. On the card she wrote "Would you like Our Mother Thrice Admirable to visit your home?" Name, address and phone # is to be written in by whomever wishes to "have a date" with Our Lady. Jeanne will have these available when she visits with Our Lady to each home. She had her first appointment with the Auxiliary on June 4th.
Spontaneous Schoenstatt Introduction
Jeanne had a couple of guests who didn't know very much about Schoenstatt and Fr. Kentenich, so Mary Lou Gaillard spontaneously gave a very informative talk of Father Kentenich and the history of Schoenstatt. She did a terrific job as this was a "spur of the moment" thing.
The mothers ended the welcoming with Jeanne's favorite song "Gentle Woman".
A package of pendants in the form of the Pilgrim Mother picture, sent from Schoenstatt, came just in handy for the occasion. Jeanne will give these pendants to the children when she visits families with the Auxiliary. But of course all the mothers also got one!
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