Take Mary into your home
10th Annual National Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign Convention - Journey of Love – in the USA
USA, Joan Rinderle, Enrique Soros. Approximately 110 Pilgrim MTA coordinators from all over the United States met at the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha, WI the last four days of June sharing spiritual experiences related to the Rosary Campaign. Fifteen states were represented, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC and representatives from Dominican Republic and El Salvador. The Journey of Love theme was: "Take Mary Into Your Home."
This theme has inspired us and deeply stimulated the awareness and importance to read Holy Scripture and anchor our hearts, families, friends, and neighborhoods in our Blessed Mother. Mary wants to come into every home bringing Jesus as an answer to all fears and insecurities. If our Blessed Mother has a prominent place in our hearts, She will conquer all evils.
The importance to grow spiritually attached to John Pozzobon
Sr. M. Jessica Swedzinski, our National Director of the Rosary Campaign welcomed all Journey of Love coordinators of our Pilgrim MTAs. In an amazing fashion Sr. Jessica displayed a total command of being able to balance all thinkable and unthinkable situations at the same time. All opinions expressed were heard, every suggestion was acknowledged. In her opening talk Sr. Jessica emphasized the importance to grow spiritually attached to John Pozzobon, who proudly considered himself a "servant", an "instrument" and a "donkey" of our Mother and Queen. Holding up the book "A Hero Today, Not Tomorrow", from Fr. Esteban Uriburu, Sister encouraged everyone to read literature related to John Pozzobon in order to become faithful coordinators and missionaries just like him.
Encounter with Father Kentenich – Learning how he responded to difficulties
Upon our arrival in Milwaukee, a most significant highlight of the Journey of Love greeted us. Many of our pilgrim travelers were whisked off from the airport to the exile shrine in Milwaukee where we received enlightening and inspiring stories and anecdotes about our founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich. Sr. M. Petra Schunerer, who was Father Kentenich's secretary for three years, told us about his way of accepting joyfully, with hope and an incredible degree of endurance all the challenges he had to face at the time of his arrival in Milwaukee.
While Sr. M. Isabel Bracero told the English speaking community wonderful stories about the time Fr. Kentenich spent in Milwaukee, Sr. Petra encouraged us to ask Father for a special favor and prompted us to be spiritually transformed and totally inspired through the Milwaukee shrine visit.
Take Mary to … Canada, El Salvador, Chicago, Buffalo, Washington, Japan!
In Waukesha, enlightening talks on Mary's life provided guidance for our daily walk through our own lives and our apostolic work. Belinda Murguia, from Texas, ignited our hearts with a wonderful meditation on John Pozzobon, who considered himself a little disciple of Fr. Kentenich. Sr. M. Marcia Vinje talked about Spirituality of a Pilgrimage, our need for prayers, processions and being in front of the Eucharist. Everyone chuckled as Sister said, "You know, none of us are "done muffins, we all need to be mixed up a little now and then." When our souls get tired, we need to encounter God. Sr. M. Barbara Ebbe had many inside tidbit of reflections about Father Kentenich to contribute throughout the 4 days. Sr. Barbara provided a workshop to encourage and stimulate ideas. Elfi Stitz, from the Washington, DC area, provided excellent insight and practical guidance on how one can explain the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign to parish priests.
Whenever we have a profound need, Fr. Kentenich always said, "We must crown our Blessed Mother to show her our powerlessness and our love for her." In response, our Blessed Mother will provide a powerful reaction. As in all other years, our Blessed Mother was crowned Queen of the United States at the Journey of Love in a very beautiful ceremony.
On Friday, Fr. Christian Christensen, from Texas, and Fr. Ariel Cortes, from Buffalo, celebrated a Mass in the shrine for the Spanish speaking community. Following Mass, seven Pilgrim MTA were delivered. Fr. Ariel became a coordinator with the picture 1912; one of the other six Pilgrim Mother pictures is already in Edmonton, Canada, another one will go to El Salvador, another one to Chicago, and three are already visiting people in Washington DC. Yelka Zado sealed her covenant of love in the Shrine; she first learned about the Pilgrim MTA when visiting her sister in Croacia. And Sally Fadaron, West Lafayette, has arranged for Marilou Nakamura to be one of the first coordinators in Japan!
Filipino Night and news about the future Shrine in Cebu
Saturday evening, we enjoyed an unforgettable Filipino banquet supper, a real feast, that was followed by an evening program at the Provincial House with Filipino songs, dances, a raffle of beautiful prizes. The audience enjoyed jokes by Fr. Langsch. Sr. Victoria had developed a slide presentation about the Schoenstatt development in the Philippines and the current construction of a shrine in Cebu that was such a pleasure to see. The evening came to a close with the recitation of the Rosary and a Marian Candle Light Procession which lead us to the shrine.
To the ends of the world: working on the Final Document of Santa Maria 2000
Sunday morning Father Haas went through the Final Document Santa Maria 2000, from the International Meeting on behalf of the golden jubilee of the Campaign in November 2000, in which common points and definitions are formulated – among others the objective that Mary is to be brought to the ends of the world!
State teams discussed what would be needed most in their areas and if any gatherings are scheduled in the near future. All renewed their coordinators' consecration in the Shrine receiving Mary's pilgrimage graces anew.
"Our Pilgrim MTA is soon Queen of the United States of America"
Father Kentenich always said, "We must crown our Blessed Mother to show her our powerlessness and our love for her." In response, she will provide a powerful reaction. Today, the United States confronts new fears and outbreaks of war, violence and terrorism as never before experienced. Our Texas Schoenstatt Family has suggested, in commemoration of 11 September, that our Blessed Mother should be crowned asking her to stop the terrorist attacks and bring peace to the whole world. This will be an excellent opportunity to reach out and invite all parishes and neighborhoods to join us and our Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign group to crown our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt as Queen of the United States of America. All Journey of Love participants agreed this action should be taken. "Our Pilgrim MTA is son Queen of the United States of America" – this is the title chosen and acclaimed by the delegates of the National Convention.
The intentions are manifold, in the immediate preparation the coordinators center on these three:
For peace and end of terrorism; for an end of abortion; for moral renewal of the world.
This crowning, they said, could be an excellent opportunity to reach out and invite all in the parishes and neighborhoods to join the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign Group on September 11th at 9:00pm EST to crown our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt as the Queen of the United States of America on the first-year- anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America.
"For my eyes have seen your salvation…"
Florentin Rodriguez, a coordinator from El Salvador who lives in Washington, DC, claims an inability to read and has often expressed a deep appreciation for the graces he feels have been showered upon himself. In reflecting on the highlights of the Journey of Love, as we returned to the Milwaukee airport, Florentn quoted a verse from memory, Luke, 2, 29: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation."
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