Covenant Day in Solidarity
From all over the world Prayers for the flood victims in Germany and Eastern Europe
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. Once again around the world the Covenant of Love was renewed – in the flood-devastated regions of Austria and Eastern Germany; in Córdoba and San Nicolás, Argentina during the annual feasts of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign of the Pilgrim Mother, in Angola and Belize where recently the Pilgrim Mother began to visit people…The prayers of many reached out to the people in the areas hit by the floods, last week in Austria and the Czech Republic, during these days in Eastern Germany where dykes broke and more people lost all… Schoenstatt members from all continents joined in prayer "for the country of our Father and Founder", a moving experience for many Germans: " It is overwhelming to see that our friends in other countries pray for us. It is so great to be a family and to be united in prayer. I renew the Covenant of Love and pray the rosary…"
" In the middle of the floods people fighting for their existence. It is incredible how the Blessed Mother is working in the hearts of the people here. All are working together, day in day out, the whole night. Prejudices and quarrels are forgotten, literally washed away with the flood. The situation here is terrible, but unites people. All are working together. Thanks to the dear Father, to the Blessed Mother who cares so faithfully, and to all the helpers. 'With Father's blessing through storms and rains'," wrote Nadine Feyer from Wittenberg, one of the worst hit towns in Eastern Germany. In Naundorf, the Schoenstatt Sisters who run a Recovery Home of the Caritas, took in some 90 evacuated people who lost everything. What most astonishes them is that the sisters – and others – pray for them. Many of them never knew how to pray in these former communist areas…
Argentina: "How should we not pray for the country of our dear Father and Founder?"
"Our prayers and thoughts go to all the people in Europe affected by the devastating floods. Our special prayers go to all members of our Schoenstatt Families in this time of trial. Mater Habebit Curam! All our love," wrote Valerio and Denise Salvador, of the Federation of Families in Johannesburg. - "We already began to pray for them and spread the message,
says a note from Uruguay, and Martín and Betty from Victoria, Canada, were among the first ones to promise prayers.
"My rosaries in these days are for those affected by the floods in Germany, and am working that more people from the Campaign pray for those hit by the floods in our dear Germany. How should we not pray for the country of our dear Father and Founder? John Pozzobon would have been the first to offer his daily rosaries for those hit by the flood in our dear Germany," said a mail from a missionary in Argentina. - "We, the Liverpool Schoenstatt Family, England unite in offering our prayers and thoughts during these troubled times. May God bestow countless graces and blessings on all who are suffering in any way through the floods," promised Pat and Bill McEvoy. "Also here in Austria many people are hit by the flood, also Schoenstatt families," wrote the Fellhofer family from Vienna. "We are already praying and continue to do so for all those affected …". – "I want to say that I join the prayers for those hit by the flood in Germany. Today, Covenant Day, we want to ask our Mater that she, Queen of Germany, show her might and work out that soon all those evacuated may return to their homes," wrote Father Pablo Pol from Argentina.
Arizona: "I am praying in my home shrine"
Ulrike Eichenberg, Winningen, Germany, said: "How beautiful that summer finally came, simply enjoy the warm and radiant rays of the sun... that's what I would love to do thinking of the gray and ugly weather of the past weeks. But I can't whole-heartedly do so, because all the time I am thinking of the need of those affected by the floods. I know what floods mean, living here at the river Moselle, but what happened in Easter Germany, this misery, is beyond even my imagination. Of course we join in prayer!"
"We are also praying for all the flood victims. God can always bring good things out of what appears to be very bad to us," wrote Thea and Pippa Jarvis, who are caring for orphan babies in Johannesburg – asking also for prayer for little Virginia, who, accompanied by the Pilgrim Mother for babies in risk of life, last week lost her battle for her life…
– "Here in Chile on the 18th, we also prayed for the victims of the flood, in the Shrine of Los Ángeles, and tomorrow, on the 20th,anniversary of the founding of the Federation, we'll do so in the Holy Mass in the Shrine in Ayinrehue, in Temuco," shared Gustavo y Cecilia Barrios. "I am praying in our home shrine," wrote Sally LeRoy from Arizona.
Germany: "It is overwhelming to see that our friends in other countries pray for us…"
Alexa Clemens, Germany, shared. "I was glad when I heard about the prayers for the flood victims, and pray that our Father helps, consulates, protects. It is overwhelming to see that our friends in other countries pray for us. It is so great to be a family and to be united in prayer. I renew the Covenant of Love and pray the rosary…"
From Paraguay, Teresita Bittar wrote: "From this country far away are in solidarity with the poverty that Germany, the land of our Father and Founder, is going through, and I want to assure you that my prayers and my contributions to the capital of grace from now on are re-directed to the people who suffer hardships from the floods. They can count on me. I will spread the message so that the prayers gain strength …". On August 19, Guido Muñiz, diocesan coordinator in Lima, Perú, wrote "to the dear family of Schoenstatt in Germany":
"I know that Germany is going through difficult moments due to the floods, and here, from this small and humble community in Lima, we want to tell you that our prayers are with you, with those who suffer from the waters; we will pray for this who lost all their belongings, that they discover the love of our Mother in these difficult moments when charity urges us to leave behind individualism and love each other up to consuming our life. Here in Peru we know what it means to live with the disgraces of nature, so we understand the vastness of the devastation that Germany and Eastern Europe are going through."
Also in Schoenstatt, in the Original Shrine, and during the covenant renewal, prayers were said for those affected by the floods – and for those who pray for them!
Families from Portugal on pilgrimage to Schoenstatt, and Dachau
Covenant Day being a Sunday, many pilgrim groups were in Schoenstatt, and the Original Shrine from early morning was constantly filled with people. Like on each 18th, Brother Martin had brought the small Pilgrim Mother picture; the bright white lilies, yellow roses, and a big bouquet of sunflowers in the Original Shrine made for a festive atmosphere on this day. The three Adoration Sisters from Poland, who replaced the Adoration Sisters from Brazil, began their daily hours of adoration in the Original Shrine.
Schoenstatt Mothers from Northern Germany, diocese of Münster, were in Schoenstatt for a weekend retreat, and some of the girls who had just finished their years' conference also still were here to spend covenant day here.
On Saturday night, group of families from Portugal arrived. They had spiritually prepared this pilgrimage to Schoenstatt and Dachau for about one year. On Sunday morning, they had Holy Mass in the Shrine of the Families; the songs made for a special atmosphere of gratitude for the gift of faith, the gift of Schoenstatt. At the end of the Mass, they renewed the Covenant of Love.
"Confidence that touches the miracle"
At 7:30PM, they joined the Covenant Renewal in the Adoration church. Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary accompanied the songs with organ and flute; girls and young women from Poland and Hungary, seminarians of the Schoenstatt Fathers and younger Schoenstatt Sisters from all over the worlds having formation times in Schoenstatt, a number of sisters already here for the come General Congress, united with the local family for the renewal of the Covenant, representing the entire international family here. The texts of the Covenant celebration were about the miracles of God's love that we can experience in each ever so hard situation of our life when we add confidence, childlike confidence to what might overwhelm and depress us, leave us desperate and helpless. Confidence because our Father, the Blessed Mother, and the endlessly merciful and loving Father God are at our side. The testimony of a lady from Goya, missionary of the Pilgrim Mother, illustrated this reality: after a terrible accident of her daughter she placed her daughter's life and health into the hands of Father Kentenich; she experienced the miracle of a complete healing of her daughter who was prognozed to be a quadruple. "Confidence may touch the miracle…" as Father Kentenich says.
All were invited to offer to the capital of grace the miracles they had experienced and the miracles they hope for, the joys and sufferings, broken pieces and tiredness, the successes and failures, the love given and received to the capital of grace. The Covenant of Love was then renewed in German, Hungarian, Polish and Portuguese. While afterwards the slips of paper with the capital of grace were burnt, different groups (girls from Hungary, Poland, Germany, families from Portugal) took turns singing their favorite songs, now with guitar and, specially the families, with enthusiasm and "ever louder". Most of those present used the time to meet and greet – two women from Portugal had almost missed the bus, as they did not notice that their group had already left!!
In Covenant around the world
Approximately 2,000 missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign were expected to join in the Annual feast of the Campaign in Córdoba, by the Shrine in Villa Warcalde, celebrating the 17th anniversary of the Campaign in Cordoba. In the Shrine: "Mary of the Rosary of San Nicolas" in San Nicolas, Argentina, today the Annual Mass of the Campaign was celebrated by Bishop Mario Luis Maulion, at 5:00 PM; new pictures of the Pilgrim Mother were sent out.
In Goya, Province of Corrientes, Argentina, this August 18 is the fourth anniversary of the Campaign; the first five pictures arrived there on August 18, 1998. Like on each 18th of the month, the "Thousand Hail Mary" were prayed by the wayside shrine, beginning at 10:00 AM, with this offering the Blessed Mother 40,000 Hail Mary.
In Johannesburg, the first course of the Mothers' Union had their Blank check surrender. And in Guayaquil, Ecuador, today three Youth who were in Toronto shared their experiences!
"Gestern, am 18., hat die Gottesmutter uns hier in Peru einen neuen Gnadenort geschenkt, in Lima – Las Palmas," berichtet voll Stolz Guido Muñiz. "Bei der Einweihung des Bildstöckchen, die unser lieber Pfarrer José Antonio Arbulu vornahm, spürte man die Liebe zu unserer Gottesmutter in deren, die es errichtet haben und in allen Anwesenden; das Ganze wurde gekrönt von den Willkommensworten von Enrique Romero (Manager des Club Las Palmas) und von Pfarrer Arbulu, was uns viel nachdenken ließ über das, was wir als Bewegung erlebt haben."
"Yesterday, on the 18th, the Blessed Mother gave us a new place of grace and attachment here in Lima – Las Palmas," Guido Muñiz shared with obvious joy. "While our dear Father José Antonio Arbulu blessed our the wayside shrine, the love for the Mother was tangible in those present, specially in those who had constructed the wayside shrine. The warm welcoming words of Enrique Romero, Club manager, and Father Arbulu made us think a lot about what we have experienced as movement."
"We are just coming from the closing of the Covenant of Love celebration. More than 1,000 persons participated. By the Tabor Shrine we said a special prayer for the victims of the floods in Germany, and we continue to accompany them with our prayers," a note from Santa Maria, Brazil, said.
"On this day we also celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the crowing that Father Kentenich did on August 20th, 1949, crowning the Blessed Mother as Queen of heroic childlikeness. We are sure that she is also the Queen of this situation in Germany."
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