Let there be peace in every heart…
September 11 commemorated in Schoenstatt with International Rosary Joining in the Crowning of the Queen of the USA
SCHOENSTATT, mkf. A year ago, on September 13, a memorial Mass was held in the Adoration Church on Mount Schoenstatt, uniting the Schoenstatt family with the victims of the terror attacks and their families, and the Schoenstatt family and the people of the United States. On September 11, the first anniversary, the Schoenstatt family gathered for an International Rosary, asking for peace, freedom, and justice for all. Sister Jessica, National Assistant of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in the United States, shared about the Coronation of the Mother Thrice Admirable as Queen of the United States, an initiative of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, to take place nationwide on this day. At 9:00 PM local time in Schoenstatt, American Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, gathered in the Founder Chapel to do the crowning at this place, representing all the coordinators and families in the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign.
The German Bishops had asked for Prayer Services to commemorate the first anniversary of September 11, and several Schoenstatt members had expressed the wish to join in the crowning of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt as Queen of the USA, Queen of Life and Peace. In the evening of September 11, 2002, the Adoration Church filled with Schoenstatt members from all communities, among them the participants of the Schoenstatt Sisters' General Congress, for a Peace Prayer, consisting of Eucharistic prayer and rosary in different languages. The pace prayer in commemoration of September 11 had been announced by local radio and newspapers, and was reported in the local radio programs on September 12.
United with the Schoenstatt Movement in the United States
At the beginning of the memorial service, Sr. M Jessica Swedzinski, assisting the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in the USA, and at present in Schoenstatt for the International Congress of the Schoenstatt Sisters, shared about the idea that rose in Texas and spread, via the National Leaders' Convention, to the whole USA: the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, reaching out both to the Movement and to parishes, neighbors and friends, on the first anniversary of September 11 crowned the Mother Thrice Admirable as Queen of the USA. Many individuals, communities and entire Schoenstatt families from other countries have joined this striving. With 'My Queen, my mother' those present in the Adoration Church joined in.
The special atmosphere of the rosary prayed in community
The centenary flag and the flag of the USA by the MTA picture, several pictures of the Pilgrim Mother in the Founder Chapel, and a decoration by the altar made up of a globe, rosary, net, and numerous little flags: this was the visual framework for an hour of prayer marked by the special religious atmosphere of peace and togetherness, born of simplicity and sincerity. The rosary, prayed in community, the traditional Marian prayer of the Church, again proved to be a given way of being carried by prayer in a moment when each theoretical word is too much. Each decade was introduced by a short meditation, and then prayed in different languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, in different languages of Eastern and South Eastern Europe, and in Latin. In between, all sang the verse: "Come, Divine Light, light the earth, fill our hearts, dwell in us." Within few minutes, the special atmosphere of the rosary prayed in community opened hearts and minds, uniting all in Mary's openness for God and each other. "One could sense that those who were present wanted to be present, this prayer was a really important and a matter of personal interest for those who had come," one woman said afterwards. "It was different to many services regarded obligatory. Less formal, warmer, simpler, more 'me' and 'we' with HER and with God the Father." The Eucharistic blessing, and "Protect us with your mantle" closed the service.
In the Founder Chapel: "We offer our nation as your crown"
At 9:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (USA), the September 11th crowing of the Pilgrim MTA's across the 50 states of the USA was to take place; at 9:00 PM local time in Schoenstatt, Sr. Jessica, in the name of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in the United States, was in the Founder Chapel, along with the American participants of the Sisters' General Congress – Sr. M. Mattia, General Assistant for the English speaking countries, Sr. M. Virginia, Provincial of the Sisters in the Northern United States, Sr. M. Antoinette, Provincial of the Sisters in Texas and México, Sr. Mary Martha, province council Texas, Sr. Anna Maria and Sr. M Paulette who presently are working in Schoenstatt. Also invited were Sr. M. Iona from South Africe, participating in the Congress, Sr Marié from the German Pilgrim Mother "Projekt Pilgerheiligtum", and Sr. Kornelia from Press Office Schoenstatt. The small picture of the Pilgrim Mother that was to receive the crown – designed as an American flag in the form of the United States – was accompanied by a variety of Pilgrim MTA's, among them the "Queen of the Houses", crowned by the team of the German "Projekt", an International Auxiliary, the "Queen of the New Evangelization of the Americas and the whole world", that had visited the Shrine of Light, New York, in 1994, and many places in the USA. The Sisters united with the crowing in the USA and in many parts of the world, praying the crowning prayer of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign: "We offer our nation as your crown and we offer ourselves, our families, all we have and are. Take our country as your own special possession; reign over it! Protect it! Make it what God intended it to be. Form it into one truly united nation whre all life is cherished as a sacred gift from God. Let there be peace in every heart, a peace that flows from one to another, to friend and stranger alike…Dear Mother, with joyful, trusting hearts and in victorious, childlike confidence we crown you on this memorable day as Queen of the United States of America…"
Litany for the United States
Sr. Mattia then placed the little crown on the picture. A simple act, but a big petition at this special place of grace for all those who hours later would crown their Pilgrim MTAs in the nationwide coronation. The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaigns Litany for the United States followed, naming each of the 50 states and entrusting it to the Queen of the United States. The rosary was prayed afterwards, with one decade in Spanish for the many Americans who are of Hispanic origin. Sr. Virginia closed the celebration with a prayer for all people in the United States, for peace, justice, and a true renewal in faith through the help of the MTA who is traveling the entire nation.
"It was great that we were united in prayer tonight," wrote Elfi Stitz from Virginia, USA. "Today I had television on for most of the day, very good programs. 9/11 is fresh in our minds again - people talked much about lessons learned from it. In any case, it is good to be living in this time. "
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