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 published: 2005-02-25

"With creative loyalty"

The Shrine in Mendoza, Argentina will celebrate its Silver Anniversary on October 10, 2005

El Santuario de Mendoza cumple 25 años

The Shrine in Mendoza will be 25 years in October

Das Heiligtum in Mendoza feiert im Oktober Silberjubiläum


Cristo Redentor

Statue of Christ the Redeemer

Erlöserstatue in den Anden

Fotos: Ricciardi © 2005


ARGENTINA,...The Schoenstatt Family in Mendoza is experiencing a time of special graces: it is preparing to fully live the Silver Anniversary of its Shrine. On October 10, 2005 the 25th year of the blessing of the Shrine "Nazaret del Padre, Tierra de Unidad" (Father's Narzareth, Land of Unity) will be celebrated. Since August 22, 2004 they have been working towards this great event. There many Marian impressions that are found throughout the history of the people of God who go on pilgrimage to Mendoza. The Shrine is located in Puntilla, and the blessing was within the framework of the National Marian Congress of 1980, is one of those impressions. It has an enormous mission for the immediate future of the diocese and the country.

It has been 25 years since the National Marian Congress, which took place in Mendoza as a culmination of the National Marian Year. It was an event of graces and blessings for Argentina and beyond. During this Congress, the Shrine of Mendoza was blessed, on October 10th, a day dedicated to the piety of the people. It was the only shrine that was built in Mendoza while it prepared for this event, therefore; it is this throne of grace that has the task in the diocesan church, : "to guard the inheritance and grace of the National Marian Congress".

What is the signifcance of the history?

In a conference to the Council of the extended Family of Medoza, Perla Piovera, of the Women's Federation (and pioneer of the Movement in Mendoza) spoke about the profound significance of celebrating an anniversary. "We celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the Shrine on October 10, 2005. To unite to celebrate is to center oneself on an act taken in the past. It is to recall its history. Many of the members of the Family today were not protagonists of this event. Not everyone had an active participation. This poses a fundamental question:

What is the significance of the history?

How to we stand before the past?

This question decides our posture towards the anniversary: it can be summarized with these attitudes:

Attitude of nostalgic romanticism

"The past was better:". The past is glorified simply because it is the past. Past action, persons, traditions are easily mystified. Such an attitude causes one to stay in the past. With this attitude we would celebrate the Silver Anniversary as a ""festivity", an encounter of the Family without depth, it would be a nostalgic event.

Attitude of marginal indifference

The past is under rated, simply because it is the past. It is a museum object, it does not have the strength to forge the here and now. Then a great disconnection with the history surges. The past is not assumed as a personal thing, it belongs to someone else. The bridges with the past are broken, tradition is ignored, a great richness is lost. This attitude would make the celebration of the Silver Anniversary cold, without feeling. To see it only as a date. That would be the easiest thing to do.

Attitude of historic commitment

An organic vision of the times surges. It does not mystify the past, but respects it and assumes it creatively. It penetrates to discover God's guidance and it projects it to the present and the future.

It does not disqualify the past, nor does it stay in it, it desires to assume it with creative loyalty.

What is the importance of this Silver Anniversary, if it is not seen with an attitude of commitment? What is God's message to the the Family of Father's Nazareth?

In the first place it will be a time of renewed grace, a new "Kairos", a new step of God in time, in the life of each one. This year is transformed by the power of God, into a sacramental, as a special sign of God's presence among men. This divine offering brings a determined grace, it is not simply a historic memory but a true actualization of the celebrated mysteries and from this a second religious attitude toward this

year breaks away:

Hymn of gratitude

Because God has been good to his children. He his visited their house, He has been with them and has surprised them with his gifts: for everything that has surged from this place of grace. For the persons who gave their lives, because the Capital of Grace was abundant.

To celebrate the Silver Anniversary, is to celebrate a holy history, where God gave himself and he found loyalty. That is why we are invited to be jubilant, to the hymn of gratitude.

Humble expiation

Should accompany the hymn of gratitude, because the gifts of God many times met with poor, cold, mediocre or incoherent goals, because along

with the its wheat, tare was sown, because there was not always loyalty.

The hymn and expiation complement each other, neither of the two should be lacking in this anniversary. In the measure that the need for conversion is felt, the heart will be open for the graces of the Silver Anniversary and this new step of God in time will not be in vain.

Reiterated Petition

The third adequate attitude. To implore that God will again repeat his coming through the ranks of the Family of Mendoza. That he will again grant a time of special graces, that he inaugurate a favorable time, a propicious occasion for the encounter with his gifts of the Covenant.

To ask for this coming of God is to recognize that this event is not purely a human one.

In the first place, the source of the graces of the Shrine are not a human work. Neither is the history that was born. It is a source of divine initative.

The celebration of the Silver Anniversary, should be a highlight on the way, to allow oneself to be surprised by the coming of God. It is to be alert, thanking for his gifts and imploring with insistence.

The commission convened by the Congress of the Family reflected on the history of the Church in Mendoza and on the event of the blessing of the Shrine during the National Marian Congress of 1980. Among other outstanding things they reevaluated the intimate relationship with the Father

and Founder and with the national mission of Argentina. Among other activities, they proposed to present Father Kentenich as a prophet for the third millinium, to committ themselves to his canonization, to develop his thinking about social issues in response to the ideal of a new country. To cultivate the spirit of family (=Father's Nazareth ). They also proposed to spiritually revitalize the Home Shrines, to renew Father Kentenich's commitment with the present Bishop, as it was done with Bishop Rubiolo when the Shrine was blessed 25 years ago. And to present the Blessed Mother with 101010 visits to the Shrine.

How will the youth celebrate?

Matias Cruz, of the Boys' Youth of Mendoza, laments that of course there is no one in the branch who was present when the Shrine was built 25 years ago; but he is sure that the Silver Anniversary of the Shrine can be an event that mobolizes and gives impetus. "The current of life that this preparation is generating in the Boys' Youth had not been alive in us for a long time," he says. "This very important anniversary is giving us the opportunity of spiritually reconquering each part of the Shrine - just as the Diocesan Council proposed - to know and to relive the history of the Movement in Mendoza and in this way to form a sense of belonging to this source of grace in a more committed and profound way such as those who saw the birth of the Shrine since its foundation.

As Boys' Youth we want to conquer the symbol of the Holy Spirit and for this we have decided that each group work on the meaning of this symbol in the Shrine and that they may discover that Mary wants to implore that we receive its seven gifts.

The reconquering will be accompanied by the gift that as Boys' Youth we will present to the Shrine: material and spiritual reconquering of the monolith of Joseph Engling, symbol which gives homage to the memory of that young boy who at the founding of Schoenstatt gave his life for the ideals of the Movement. A symbol that has been present for 10 years and that not everyone knows it meaning. A symbol that even many of the members of the Boys' Youth do not feel as its own as it should be.

The material conquest will be the cost of the monolith and for the decor around it so that it will radiate during the celebrations of the anniversary of the Shrine. The spiritual conquest is manifested in the motto of the Boys' Youth of Mendoza for the year 2005: "As Engling, Members Today". As Schoenstatt Youth, we want to live the spirit of the founders youth of the Movement, in Mendoza at the present time. We want to relive this spirit of courage and total commitment to reach the greatest ideals, always loyally united with Mary for a strong life of Prayer. For every visit that the Boys'Youth makes for the total that we want to reach for the Annieversary we have committed ourselves to visit the monolith of Jose Engling to implore of him to help us follow his example of life and to be worthy followers of his mission.

Joseph Engling wanted for the whole world to know the Blessed Mother and he tried to transmit the profound love he felt for Mary. Father Kentenich said that Joseph Engling was the living Founding Document (and the pre-living of the history of Schoenstatt). We want to make Our Father and Founder proud in the same way so that more and more persons may live the mystery of Father's Narazeth, Land of Unity.

During the anniversary year of the Shrine, the Year dedicated to the Centenary of The statue "Christ the Redeemer" ends

We will go on pilgrimage as Schoenstatt family on the 13th of March, this date which is different from other years, was chosen because Holy Week falls on the last week of March. We will go on pilgrimage to the high peaks to meet with our brothers from Chile and renew the promises and to crown the Blessed Mother as Queen of Peace and of Unity of both countries and of all hearts.

To go on pilgrimage is a pause in our daily activities, it is an encounter with grace, with our brothers and with nature that elevates the spirit towards God.

During these days the City and the Parish of St. Michael, of Las Heras, have asked to go on pilgrimage with Schoenstatt. The Blessed Mother also gives her Family this experience of ecclesiastic openness.

Translation: Celina M Garza, Harlingen, Texas, USA

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