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 published: 2003-01-07

Shepherds, Kings, and children with stars and bells... at the crib of the "Ten minutes" in Schoenstatt

More than 10,000 visitors for the "Ten minutes by the crib"

En el pesebre de los Diez Minutos
By the crib of the Ten Minutes
An der Krippe der Zehn Minuten
6 de enero: vino mucho genta, a pesar de la nieve
January 6: many people came despite of the snow
6. Januar: trotz Schnee kamen viele zum Weihnachtssingen mit den Marienschwestern
Las "estrellas" de los "Diez Minutos"
The stars of the "Ten Minutes"
Die "Sterne" der "Zehn Minuten" - und die Stars sind sie auch!
Coro de las Hermanas de María, 6 de enero
Choir of the Schoenstatt Sisters, January 6
Chor der Marienschwestern am 6. Januar
Hermanas de María con instrumentos
Schoenstatt Sisters accompanying with instruments
Marienschwestern begleiten mit Instrumenten
Trompetistas en el 29 de diciembre
Trumpet sounds on December 29
Trompetenklänge am 29. Dezember
Agitando las estrellas...
Waving the stars...
Encuentro en la tumba del Padre
A silent moment of encounter in the Founder Chapel
"Ein gutes Wort" in der Gründerkapelle
Galletitas y té...
Cookies and tea...
Weihnachtstee und Plätzchen
Saludos al Niño de Dios
Greetings to Baby Jesus
Grüße an das Jesuskind
Estrellas, pastores, reyes, ovejas...
Stars, shepherds, kings, sheep...
Sterne, Hirten, Könige, Schäfchen...
Miles y miles de estrellas... desde todo el mundo
Thousands of stars... from all over the world
Tausende von Sternen... auch aus aller Welt
Hasta luego, Niño Jesús, nos vemos en el 26 de diciembre de 2003...
See you soon, Baby Jesus, on december 26, 2003 we´ll be back...
Bis bald, Jesuskind, am 26. Dezember 2003 sind wir wieder da...
Fotos: POS, Fischer © 2003

SCHOENSTATT, mkf. Shepherds, kings, and children with stars and bells are heading to the crib in Schoenstatt …The figures of the magi, or the kings – together with a camel and a soft camel-driver – complemented the crib scenery in the Adoration Church in Schoenstatt from January 4, anticipating Epiphany on January 6. Maybe sooner or later along with the figures of shepherds and kings, some figures need to be added – figures of small children with colored stars, babies with little bells, children dressed as Mary, Joseph, angel, star… will accompany the traditional setting. When on January 8, 2003, the last sounds of "Silent Night, Holy Night" will fade away, more than 10,000 persons will have visited the crib in Schoenstatt, leaving behind the names of loved ones written on stars, taking along an impression of a milling crowd attracted by the welcoming sings, symbols and messages that show: the God in whom these Christians believe is a loving Father.

On January 5, the announcement of Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary forming a choir and orchestra to accompany the songs made the anyway high numbers of visitors significantly rise. The big lawn by the Father Kentenich House thanks to the sudden drop of temperatures fortunately offered additional parking space for the almost endless line of minivans and cars that drove to Mount Schoenstatt despite the floods that had turned Vallendar's main roads into rivers. On Monday, January 6, snow and icy roads obviously hindered many to come, but yet the church was almost filled to capacity, when the Schoenstatt Sisters started to sing.

The Schoenstatt Sisters' choir and orchestra were a singular attraction, but not the only musical highlights of the season – trumpet sounds on December 29, and the lively guitar and drum accompaniment by the Novices of the Schoenstatt Fathers on January 3 were special moments, also.

More tea, more cookies, more stars than ever

It's not only parents or grandparents with small children, although they form the largest section of the visitors. More and more, senior citizens are coming from near and far, as well as parish groups, often with their parish priest – some of them, like the groups that came on January 6, with 3 or more hours driving distance. Hikers take the "Ten minutes" and the "warm-up" in the barn as part of their tours, and … a visit of the "Ten minutes" meanwhile is more or less a "must" for Schoenstatt members, as Maria Theresa and Dr. Hubertus Brantzen joked; between a meeting in Press Office Schoenstatt about the promotion of "Seeking Signs" and the meeting of the preparation for the Family Congress in 2004, they joined the "Ten minutes" on January 6, as well as Rita and Robert Godany, the founders of Schoenstatt in Hungary. They all enjoy the genuine awe and excitement of the small children… and the fullchurch buzzing with life and joy.

"We are running out of cookies, running out of bells," said Sr. Anne-Meike with a big smile: "Seems the little bells are too hard to give back for the little ones! Next year we'll have to find a good sponsor!" More cookies than ever, more tea than ever were consumed by those visiting the barn after the "Ten minutes", and they stayed longer than in other years. The new gas heater payed off. "It's a difference when the barn is cosy and warm," Sr Anne-Meike added.

It's also more stars than ever – stars filled in by the visitors of the "Ten minutes", who often stay long after the end of the meditations and songs, scribbling names on the little yellow papers with the silhouette of a star, dropping them silently in one of the overflowing baskets.

Each day, several emails with the subject "My star by the crib" came in, with people asking for more names to be added. "To know that my brother is on a star by the crib redoubles my hope that he will recover from his desease," wrote a woman from Argentina.

The God these Christians love is a friendly God

Buzzing life, simple texts, stars, children dressed as angels, stars, shepherds and kings, bells, songs and cookies…- where is the theology in this concept? Come and see, was the answer to the critical question. See: Busy Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary who have time, endless time, afternoon by afternoon, to listen to people, to walk around with cookies and tea, to dress little children. Martina Rasch and Ulrike Eichenberg who with almost 1,000 persons in the church and 100 children sitting on the steps of the altar take a bunch of cardboard stars and walk from pew to pew to give a star to those children who are too shy to walk ahead with the others. A little one is even too shy to take the star – and Ulrike Eichenberg, with a smile, passes the star to the young father: "Later he may want one…". A sister who welcomes a group of late visitors as if she had waited just for them, finding them seats. Federation Women in Schoenstatt, Schoenstatt Sisters in Friedrichroda, Schoenstatt mothers in Heek who baked carloads of cookies. Directors, superiors, or "simple" Schoenstatt Fathers and Sisters who join the "Ten Minutes", without working there. It's a simple theology, but a clear one, a message signed by God, written by his instruments: "Because you are precious in my eyes, and because I love you…

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Last Update: 10.01.2003 14:27 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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