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 published: 2006-05-09

Sign of Light

Consecration of the Third Course of the Mothers’ Union in South Africa


El tercer curso de la Federación de Madres de Sudáfrica,  “Signo de Luz”, en el Santuario

The third course of the Mothers’ Federation in South Africa, Sign of Light, in the Shrine

Der dritte Kurs des südafrikanischen Mütterbundes, „Lichtzeichen“, im Heiligtum


Consacración: Maria Jardim, Bonny Goodall, Ethel Harding, Denise Cunningham,  ancy Weber, Margaret Sebastião, Caritas Ntilikwendera, Alice de Lima, Joan Devenish

Consecration: L to R: Maria Jardim, Bonny Goodall, Ethel Harding, Denise Cunningham,  ancy Weber, Margaret Sebastião, Caritas Ntilikwendera, Alice de Lima, Joan Devenish

Weihe: Maria Jardim, Bonny Goodall, Ethel Harding, Denise Cunningham,  ancy Weber, Margaret Sebastião, Caritas Ntilikwendera, Alice de Lima, Joan Devenish (v.l.n.r.)


Oferta: Alice de Lima, Caritas Ntilikwendera

The Offertory Procession: Alice de Lima, Caritas Ntilikwendera

Gabengang: Alice de Lima, Caritas Ntilikwendera


Firmando el libro de la alianza

Signing the Covenant Book: L to R: Bonny, Ethel, Denise, Nancy

Unterschrift im Bündnisbuch


Procesión al Santuario

Procession to the Shrine: Singing the Magnificat

Prozession zum Heiligtum


Celebración: Hna Marian Dunn, Tish Holding

Celebration Tea: Sr Marian, Tish Holding

Festkaffee: Schw Marian Dunn, Tish Holding

Fotos: Sebastiao © 2006




SOUTH AFRICA, Margaret Sebastião. On Monday 1st May, feast of St. Joseph the Worker, at 15h00 the third course of Mothers’ Union, Sign of Light, made their first Consecration. Under the guidance of Sr. Marian and with the prayerful support of the Schoenstatt family, our own families and friends, the following mothers consecrated themselves to Our Lady: Denise Cunningham, Alice de Lima, Joan Devenish, Bonny Goodall, Ethel Harding, Maria Jardim, Caritas Ntilikwendera, Margaret Sebastião, and Nancy Weber. All the Mothers but Caritas, who is Rwandan, are South African. Three of the mothers come from Portuguese-speaking backgrounds.

Fr Jeff Jahweer ofm, a Mauritian, who was one of the parish priests at St Dominic’s, Boksburg, in 2005, celebrated Holy Mass. This was very special for this course as six of the mothers hail from that parish while the others come from St Patrick’s (Benoni), Our Lady of Sorrows (Nigel), and Holy Angels (Kensington).

The day dawned overcast and cold – certainly not typical of the mild autumn weather. Because of the inclement conditions, Holy Mass was celebrated in the hall. A wonderful atmosphere was created by approximately 70 guests who came to support the mothers of the third course. The yellow flowers, their special candles, the table clothes embroidered with the MTA image and the warm autumnal colours coming in from the garden made up for the lack of sunshine. The chairs placed in a semi-circle around the altar enhanced the ambience of unity and love.

Bringing the Light of Christ into the darkness

Fr Jeff blessed the course candle and the individual candles which have been with them since 15 August 2002, the date on which they began their candidature to Mothers’ Union. These candles have accompanied them on training days and monthly meetings and are also used in their homeshrines. Inevitably they have become the symbol for their course ideal, Sign of Light. "Christ is the Light of the World and Mary is the Light-bearer. She is the great sign who appeared in the heavens and who brings the Light of Christ into the darkness of our times. She leads us home to the Father. We want our MTA to shine through us. Our Lady’s faithfulness was rewarded by her assumption. We as South Africans enjoy her patronage as such and with all the faithful live in joyful hope of a shared destiny". This is briefly how they see our candles as a symbol of our course ideal, Sign of Light.

Lit candles in hand against a lively wind

Fr Jeff’s homily focused on the Scripture readings which were taken from those for the Mass of the Assumption. The moment of the consecration to the MTA as Sign of Light finally arrived. They then prayed for the needs of the church, their families, their friends, their country, the sick and the dying and for world peace. They sang their favourite hymns and received the Bread of Life for their journey. Each mother signed the Covenant Book beautifully prepared with the drawing of a candle on a yellow background. They sang the Magnificat as they processed, lit candles in hand against a lively wind, to the Shrine to present themselves to the MTA. The bells joyfully announced the news. Fr Jeff gave them the final blessing. United with the larger Schoenstatt family they said their Consecration prayer.

The warmth and the love they experienced on this very special day will be savoured for many weeks to come. The celebration tea was a heart warming experience. They are grateful to Sr Marian and all those who helped us in any way. Their thanks goes to all those who sent them gifts and messages of congratulations. They will remember them in their homeshrines and light a candle for each one. Above all they give thanks to the Triune God who with the MTA has given them this beautiful ideal, Sign of Light.

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