"Mary`s goal in life is to keep us close to Jesus"
Advent Rosary Pilgrimage of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on December 21, 2002
USA, Sr. M. Vernita Weiß/Sr. M. Jean Frisk. The newly installed archbishop of the Milwaukee archdiocese, Wisconsin (USA), Timothy Dolan, visited the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha, on Saturday, December 21, 2002. He himself decided to visit three Marian pilgrim places during Advent to pray the Rosary. For the Schoenstatt Shrine, he set the date for Saturday, December 21, 2002, at 9:30 a.m.
Already early in the morning people streamed to the Schoenstatt Center to find a warm place inside the shrine. Little by little not only the shrine, but also the plaza outside, and the house chapel of the International Center were filled with 500 people. When the archbishop arrived Father Langsch, Sister Virginia and other members of the Schoenstatt Family welcomed Archbishop Dolan. Knights of Columbus escorted the archbishop into the shrine. He first looked at the picture above the altar, and spoke in reference to our Blessed Mother, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt. Then the joyful mysteries of the Rosary was prayed, followed by a brief sermon.
Advent Rosary Pilgrimages: "…and there was a great crowd"
Archbishop Dolan first wished to thank all for coming here; we would be here, he added, because we love Christ so much, because we love Mary, his Mother, we love the Rosary, and because we love Advent so much – and because we love Schoenstatt. In the benevolent and warm style that marked the entire visit, he continued: "We love the Schoenstatt Fathers, the Schoenstatt Sisters, and all those who collaborate in Schoenstatt’s charism."
He then shared how his idea of Advent Rosary pilgrimages was born when the Holy Father called for a year of the rosary this year; he thought immediately that a very practical way to carry out his suggestions would be to make Rosary pilgrimages during Advent, using this Christocentric prayer to reflect on the mystery of Christ’s coming. When he mentioned the idea of the Rosary pilgrimages to those around him, he shared, they nodded their heads, but they told him, ‘Okay, but it’ll be you and three or four other people.’ He decided to go ahead and make these pilgrimages, he said, "because this would comply very well with the Holy Father’s wish to honor the Blessed Mother in this most Christocentric prayer." The result: "And so, we saw at the Cathedral there was a great crowd. At Holy Hill the other night there was a great crowd. And here at the Schoenstatt Shrine, we also have a great crowd…"
The MTA picture as an icon of advent and Christmas
The MTA picture, he said, would portray exactly what the time of Advent and Christmas want to tell: Mary’s mission is to lead us to Christ. Referring in a humorous way to the "merits" of those who had come to honor the Blessed Mother in the rosary he, he said: "those of you who are standing out in the cold, you gain a plenary indulgence. Those who are here in the shrine cramped together, you can have a partial indulgence and for those who are in the cozy chapel at the Center, you can wash the dishes." He continued:
"When I look around me, I just marvel at this beautiful Schoenstatt Shrine. We see this beautiful phrase around her. Those of you outside, and those in the chapel, I’m looking up now at the beautiful image of the Blessed Mother, holding the child Jesus in her arms and there is that phrase, that beautiful phrase in Latin (and since it’s in Latin, I don’t know what it means, no ... (laughter) I have to ask Father.. (Laughter) Servus Mariae nunquam peribit. You know what that means. The servant of Mary will never be lost, will never perish. (No, now this guy thought it meant the Green Bay Packers will never lose - (laughter) No, it means, the servant, the child of Mary, the servant of Mary will never be lost. Those of us who remain close to our Blessed Mother will never be lost. She won’t let us, okay because her goal in life is to keep us close to Jesus…"
A Picture of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt for the Archbishop
Father Langsch thanked the archbishop for coming and presented him with a large octagonal picture of Our Lady as she is represented in the shrine. Afterwards everyone was invited to a reception with the archbishop at the International Schoenstatt Center. It was a truly joyful family gathering. All generations, children, teens, families, sisters, priests, elderly and ill people, Schoenstatt members, and people who had never heard of Schoenstatt before, all were together in a beautiful, warm, and friendly atmosphere.
Everyone could greet the archbishop, have a photo taken with him, and have refreshments of hot chocolate, coffee, homemade cookies, and German Stollen. "We are so thankful for our new archbishop and that he loves the Blessed Mother," people commented frequently.
The mother of Archbishop Dolan mentioned: "It is very good to be here at Schoenstatt. One can see that everyone feels very much at home here."
What a Christmas gift!
When one of the candidates for the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary introduced herself to him and told him that she will soon enter the community of the Schoenstatt Sisters with other young women, Archbishop Dolan immediately replied: "Wonderful, wonderful! What a Christmas gift!"
Someone asked him how he got to know about Schoenstatt in the first place and his answer was: "Actually I only found out about Schoenstatt when I was appointed archbishop of this diocese. Since Schoenstatt was in my diocese (Milwaukee), the Holy See sent me documents about your founder and his canonization process, that I should decide whether I support the canonization or not. Now, I haven’t sent them back yet -- (with a twinkle in his eye!) – I’m waiting until I taste your cooking."
Before the archbishop left the house he expressed his wish to come back soon, if possible for a day of recollection.
The Schoenstatt Family is very grateful for this precious Christmas gift that they received through the visit of Archbishop Dolan to the Schoenstatt Shrine; recalling the words he said referring to the rebirth of Jesus: "Remember, we don’t have Mary saying too much in the Gospels, but remember her first words: I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word. Those are the most important words ever uttered by a human being, and gave rise to the birth of the Messiah. And remember her last words, her very last words recorded there at the wedding feast of Cana when she showed the waiters, pointing to Jesus and said: "Do whatever he tells you." Her last words, "Do whatever he tells you." What a beautiful motto to leave us with us as we get ready for his rebirth at Christmas. So praise be Jesus Christ and praise be his holy Mother for the graces and blessings that are coming to us at Advent and Christmas, especially as we stay close to Mary through the Rosary."
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