The walls of the Shrine tell the history of the Covenant, from the 18th of October until the newest Covenants of today…
Schoenstatt present in Cologne: The Covenant of Love the day that 1,000 youth arrived at Schoenstatt
SCHOENSTATT, MKF.: "The walls of the Shrine tell the history of the Covenant from the 18th of October untill the newest Covenants of today…"said Father Marcelo Gallardo during the Mass that was celebrated with joyful and touching songs for the delegation from Argentina, on the afternoon of the 6th of August, . Consider this, some volunteers who have worked in the World Youth Office in Cologne departed at 4:30 a.m. in order to arrive at the Original Shrine on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and Tomas, from Chile, who arrived at 2:00 a.m., in addition to the 1,000 youth who arrived in Schoenstatt, and none of them failed to wait in line to enter the Original Shrine, spiritually carrying all those who could not be physically present.
Niocolas Frias and Nicolas Valdievieso, of the Boys’ Youth from Campanario, Chile, who worked long term for the preparation and organization of the XX World Youth Day, realized a dream come true: to seal their Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine no less than on the 6th of August, a few days before the start of World Youth Day in Cologne. Along with other volunteers in Cologne, they took the day off to travel to Schoenstatt. "I pray for the encounter of youth and their contact with the German society," says Father Antonio Cosp, Director of the Movement in Paraguay, which apparently has already started…The German youth could not understand, "how they could leave their work precisely at this time", step by step were transformed in astonishment…"they are dressed as if for a wedding…"and it ends in admiration…"What affection they have for the MTA…!" and in the desire "It must be beautiful to be so alive for Schoenstatt and for the Shrine…"
A milestone on our way
Dressed for a celebration, with suit and tie, just as they did each 18th at the World Youth Day office in Cologne to show what the Covenant of Love meant for them, the two Nicolas’ entered the Original Shrine, ready to give the Blessed Mother all their affection, their work, the sacrifices of the last months, as well all the joys and all of their being…Father Joaquin Alliende spoke to them about the Covenant as a foundation for life, as the greatest gift that Schoenstatt can offer each person and the to the Church…Who knows? Perhaps this is the hour of the greatest contribution for the fruitfulness of World Youth Day that each of you have fulfilled. The two young men prayed their consecration prayer, and then Father Joaquin gave each one of them a small Unity Cross, a remembrance and symbol of their covenant that they sealed in the Original Shrine – a privilege that few persons from Chile or other countries have had. They were accompanied by Schoenstatt volunteers in Cologne – Manuela from Argentina, Christel from Venezuela, Jose Luis from Paraguay, along with other volunteers in Cologne who two weeks earlier had been on pilgrimage to Schoenstatt. Liana Mihelic from Slovenia says, "I was always so close to them and their living testimony of Schoenstatt that I had to accompany them now.." Carrying a Unity Cross, a handkerchief and pin with the Schoenstatt logo and Schoenstatt material in Italian, Liana who speaks perfect Italian since she lives on the border with Italy, departs for Cologne hours later, but "For sure I will return!"
One of the most moving moments during the Covenant Mass in the Original Shrine was when Manuela read a letter from the parents of one of the Nicolas, expressing the great pride and gratitude of parents whose son grew in the shadow of the their Home Shirne. It seemed the expressions of congratulations, gratitude, laughter, applause and tears would never end…As they left the Original Shrine, the Girls’ Youth from Campanario and many members of the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt, who were supposed to have a Mass a half an hour before, waited to congratulate them. But that is the way it is at the Shrine, said Jose Luis, you have to wait in line, it is the most important place in the world! After the Covenant Mass, the volunteers found "refuge" in the Presse Office, where lunch became a time for testimony about the strength of the Covenant of Love, the giving of self to the mission in the World Youth Day Office and of the great expectations of the arrival of the Holy Father… whom Nicolas will see close-up when he, along with three others, have lunch with him, on the 19th of August, as a representative of the youth from South America and … "and of course of Schoenstatt". "I want to speak to him about Schoenstatt of our love for the Church, and of the Blessed Mother," Nicolas commented.
"During World Youth Day many small and big miracles occur," shared Christel Sonnekalb, a volunteer from Venezuela. "The stream of grace that was experienced in the Covenant of the two Nicos was of that miraculous quality. It touched us deeply!"
Schoenstatt is covered with young people during these days
"When I entered the Shrine, Sister Rosar Maria told me something that I liked very much: Schoenstatt is young. Yes, Schoenstt has covered itself with young people during these days. And the Pope said this at one time: the Church is alive and it is young. We could paraphrase the Pope and say Schoenstatt is alive and Schoenstatt is young. And that can be done with the strength of the Covenant of Love here in the Shrine, from the same source of life that is the Original Shrine", said Father Marcelo in final words of the Mass celebrated that night in the Original Shrine! Large and small groups of youth with flags, pictures of the MTA, Pilgrim MTAs can be seen everywhere…There is a constant pilgrimage to and from Mount Schoenstatt. Fortunately, the City of Vallendar had recently cut the weeds and bushes that grow on the side of the street that leads to Schoenstatt. It is an afternoon of waiting, you just have to stay close to the Original Shrine to encounter almost all the youth that are arriving. There are young boys from Quito, Ecuador who "pose" for a photo with their flag. Later there is a group from Paraguay, who are staying in the "Bundesheim", the Covenant House. The boys from Texas left the flag from their state on the altar of the Original Shrine, where some girls from Guayaquil, Ecuador had been earlier, they are on pilgrimage to the Schoenstatt Shrines. They read the Founding Act in the Original Shrine.. a very exciting moment. October 18th is repeated so many times in so many Shrines of the world, , and in so many lives…
The main thing in Schoenstatt is the Shrine
"The main thing in Schoenstatt is the Shrine", Father Marcelo Gallardo expressed hours later in his homily to the delegation from Argentina, to the sound of the rain that did not stop falling, increasing in this way the Capital of Grace that was contributed by those who did not fit in the Shrine and had to stay outside in the rain. "We are not a Movement that has a Shrine, Schoenstatt is a Shrine with a Movement! In the Original Shrine the mystery of Mary and the mystery of the Covenant have a special intensitity. And it is the contact with Mary and with the Schoenstatt mystery that allows us to go out afterwards with a profound mission consciousness to transform the world. We do not only come for a moment of spiritual relaxation, to see a beautiful place, to meet other youth, but rather we come to charge our batteries because we have a lot of missionary work to do, we have to charge our batteries because we have a world to transform. This is the meaning of our pilgrimage to Schoenstatt."
Many youth from Argentina carried some large and somesmall Pilgrim MTA’s, in their arms with great affection. The songs, prayers and their faces spoke of the joy and the excitement of being in Schoenstatt, of being able to celebrate Mass in this place of grace." "Make use of the Original Shrine advised Father Marcelo, "visit it in your free time, visit it during the night, visit it when you can, because this is the most important thing in Schoenstatt". As the Mass went on, the songs were growing in intensity and zeal, ending on fire and with applause, the song of Franz Reinisch, who was probably shaken in his tomb which is the closest to the Original Shrine: MTA TA MTA TA MTA TA, Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement!!!!!Make me an apostle of Schoenstatt…"how many thousands of times did the Blessed hear that shout in the Shrine just on this day…
After Mass came, the picture taking, the greetings, the encounters, the embraces. The seminarians from the course of Schoenstatt Fathers, who will be starting their time on Sion greeted each other; some Sisters of Mary gathered under a large umbrella. Nobody wanted to leave – and nobody does, rather they returned to the Shrine, singing song after song. A young girl cried silently…It is a time of grace, that involves Schoenstatt in all the world.
Audo and audiovisuals of the Covenant Mass of the volunteers, audio the Mass for Argentina and much more in Schoenstattblog "Sound of Schoenstatt", http://www.schoenstattblog.Blogspot.com
Translation; Celina M Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA
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