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 published: 2003-09-19

That place in the world where one can feel happy and have the impression of touching the heavens with the hands...

Blessing of Home Shrines in Villa Ballester, Argentina

Altar en el Santuario de Villa Ballester con símbolos del Santuario Hogar

Altar in the Shrine in Villa Ballester, loaded with symbols for the home shrines

Auf dem Altar des Heiligtums von Villa Ballester stehen die Symbole für die Hausheiligtümer


Peregrinas en el comulgatorio: Todo es fruto de la Campaña

Pilgrim MTA's on the communion rail: it's a fruit of the Campaign

Bilder der Pilgernden Gottesmutter auf der Kommunionbank: sie bereitet das Hausheiligtum vor

Fotos: Ivaldi © 2003




ARGENTINA, Ana Lucia Ivaldi/ Violeta de Giambatista. "That place in the world where where can feel happy and have the impression of touching the heavens with the hands... " Wouldn’t you pay lots of money to someone who can tell you: I know that place and I can take you there? There are thousands of people who know it and who work to make it known to others who will also feel that Schoenstatt is the place in the world that we should all have. That place where one is happy and seem to be touching the heavens with the hands. Wishing that all our friends, relatives, countrymen and everybody will one day feel that way and say: Schoenstatt is my place! Like the mothers and missionaries who filled the altar with symbols of their Home Shrines, on August 30th at the Shrine in Villa Ballester.

The altar of the Shrine "Nazaret del Padre" (Nazareth of the Father) in Villa Ballester (V.B. is one of the districts on the Northern part of Buenos Aires Metropolitan Ara) was overflowing with symbols of the Home Shrines. With loving hands, Irma Ponte was arranging those religious signs so that the patient Father Hugo could bless them. Lots of Pilgrim MTA pictures were at the communion rail, one prettier than the other with their rosaries, ribbons, flowers, all signs of their love.

One of the missionaries of Villa Ballester, Violeta Di Giambatista, was with the missionaries during the blessing ceremony of the Home Shrines. This is her testimony:

"This morning the voice of God sang in my heart, I received a call from Nora Bracci to share with me the joy of the whole Campaign team, and the glory of our Mother and Queen on August 30th.

My "bandoneon" and I waited attentively for the right moment to fill the heavenly place with the notes of the song "Walking in the Covenant". The emotions were manifested in the signs of love, in the intense feeling when meeting with the members of the Mother’s Branch who kept their loyalty for over twenty-five years.

"Belonging to the Schoenstatt Movement is an honor and a holy pride."

In Father Kentenich’s novena we read on page 58: Dilexit Ecclesiam! He had a unique faith and unequaled confidence. That was the definition of one of the prisoners. He knew how to give light and to maintain the light of faith in others.

Being part of the Movement of Schoenstatt is an honor and a holy pride, tripping on the everyday pebbles and transforming them in roses like St. Teresita, is the best contribution to the Capital of Grace. Nothing without you and nothing without us.

We are of the world, together with the Shrines of the five continents. Like our dear Father Esteban Uriburu used to say: We are one heart!

A bit of the history of the Home Shrines and Villa Ballester

In the decade of the 50s, the only Schoenstatt priest helping the Movement in Buenos Aires and suburbs was Fr Carlos Boskamp, Pallotine. He was everybody’s adviser. In those days it was common to have "a little Schoenstatt corner" in a nice place at home, with a picture of the MTA, symbols, etc.

Fr Carlos noticed that a Sister arriving from Germany (Sister M. Marcela, during the 50s) had brought a small wooden model of the Shrine and he managed to get some copies made by a carpenter to place in the little Schoenstatt corners of the couples in Villa Ballester (about 15 km from the center of the town. The Family Movement of Argentina started there). In several occasions he said that by adding the Shrine to the little corners, these worked better. He said he couldn’t find a better explanation.

In 1960 Fr. Carlos went on exile to Brooklyn, because of his loyalty to our Founder. He brought there the idea of the little corners and started working with great success among the families from Puerto Rico who lived there. Very soon the little corners grew bigger and occupied a whole well decorated room. The wooden shrines (this time larger) were there also. In his frequent trips to Milwaukee, Fr. Carlos told Fr. Kentenich about his experience. Also in Milwaukee the Schoenstatt families had their own place for prayer. In a certain occasion Fr. Kentenich visited the home of one of the families and one of the children invited him to come into "the Shrine"... As usual, Fr. Kentenich heard the voice of the Lord in the child’s expression and meditated about the possibility of the homes being also a small shrine, a place of grace, following the conditions of the Founding Documents... So, the stream of life and grace of the Home Shrines was born in 1962 approx., promoted by the Founder himself. All the great things are born in silence. Like Bethlehem, Villa Ballester gave the seed to the International Family, and nurtured by the Gardener’s skilled hands it bloomed in a thousand original shapes around the world. The Home Shrine is an extraordinary way to adapt Schoenstatt in the most different cultures. It is there were the traditions of the people are expressed, the rites, the customs, the arts... it is all integrated in a plastic and local renewal of the Covenant of Love. And he makes everything new.... (Ap.21. 5)

Addresses and more about the Shrines in the five continents:

Translation: Carmen Barruel, Belgium

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