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 published: 2006-07-04

A very intimate encounter, a heart to heart encounter

Around the Original Shrine


Vanya Gobbi – con la bandera de Canadá – después de su Alianza de Amor en el Santuario Original

Vanya Gobbi – with the Canadian flan – after her Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine

Vanya Gobbi – mit kanadischer Fahne – nach ihrem Liebesbündnis im Urheiligtum


Aliana de Amor en el Dia de Canadá

Covenant of Love on Canada Day

Liebesbündnis am Nationalfeiertag Kanadas


Canada se abre a la Alianza...

Canada enters into the Covenant…

Kanada öffnet sich dem Liebesbündnis


Entrega de la medalla

Vanya receives the covenant medal

Überreichung der Medaille


P. Martin Emge con un grupo

Fr. Martin Emge with a group

Subregens Emge mit einer Gruppe


Ese simbolo no se perdió: ya esta en la puerte del Santuario de Belmonte

This symbol did not get lost: it is already at the door of the Shrine in Belmonte

Dieses Symbol hatte keine Chance, verloren zu gehen: es ist schon an der Tür des Heiligtums in Belmonte

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2006


SCHOENSTATT, mkf. It is a very intimate encounter, a heart to heart encounter, that is what happens at that moment, said Father Lothar Herter. It is something that no one can truly explain, it is something that cannot be communicated, it is something that is very silent and simple and at the same time is the moment that explains the ups and downs of the roads of our life until now and gives meaning to what is to come…But as all of us here at this moment sometime experienced this intimate encounter that we call our covenant of love, he adds, all of us understand what is happening now and we renew it in our heart, in the silence of this moment. It is July 1st at 10:30 a.m., National Canada Day, when Vanya Gobbi, a Canadian from Prince Edwards, British Columbia, seals her Covenant of Love…very probably as the first native Canadian.

In truth it has been a long, adventurous, beautiful, and humanly unexplainable road, that culminates at this moment in the Covenant of Love, a few days before Vanya Gobbi returned home after about four weeks in Rome and Schoenstatt. She promised to write her testimony of her road to the covenant – or rather how Father Kentenich and the Blessed Mother "attracted" her to this moment. During a Mass with few people present – some Sisters of Mary from the United States, Germany and Argentina, a Schoenstatt Father from Germany as celebrant, some women of the Federation -, October 18, 1914, is again repeated on Canada Day, for Canada. The Canadian flag on the altar of the Original Shrine – taken by Father Lothar Herter from the "Summer-House" – is sign and a promise.

Some minutes before the Mass, Father Martin Emge, with some young men, was in the Original Shrine – it was also a moment of encounter. During the Mass, some ladies looked in briefly greeting the Blessed Mother. On this same day the "Day of Women" was celebrated in Schoenstatt, it was day of pilgrimage for women prepared by a team from several women’s communities.

After Mass, Father Lothar Herter told about the camp of the Boys’ Youth from the Diocese of Aachen on Mount Sion. The Sunday before, a hurricane –this is very rare in Germany! –touched the camp site, making the largest tent fly for about 20 meters, taking with it the adviser who tried to hold it…A tree fell where the tent was before it flew away. Another tree fell leaving the cook’s daughter in the middle of the branches – she was not hurt. The boys in their tents did not know about the danger that they could have encountered. They continued happily with their camp, knowing that the Blessed Mother would protect them…"in storms you remain in view"!

Many encounters day by day

On June 27th, the Headquarters of the German Schoenstatt Movement along with the diocesan directors, participated in the Mass in the Original Shrine – thanking the MTA for all that she has given from this source of grace to everyone who comes here. On Sunday, July 2nd, the anniversary of the blessing of the Pilgrim Church was celebrated. During the Mass, about 20 children of young families from the city of Borken participated with little flags – it was a very beautiful visit! On July 3rd, a pilgrimage of the Family Work from Opole, Poland arrived in Schoenstatt, they will stay until Friday. While the World Cup continues (with changes of the confession and Holy Mass schedules for the retreat of the Mothers Branch...), on Mount Sion the Schoenstatt Fathers are preparing for the celebration of their Sion Party on July 8th, anniversary of Father Kentenich’s ordination, and the Institute of Families will begin its General Chapter on July 16th.

A special search

This year the Girls’ Youth of the entire world will celebrate its 75th Anniversary of their Founding. Twenty- five years ago, in August of 1981, the golden jubilee was celebrated in Schoenstatt at an international level. A gift that was made at that time "to the Original Shrine", now 25 years later, awakens a search that is more intense than the search for Nemo…In 1981, a young girl from the Diocese of Mendoza, Argentina, who is now in the Family Work took the gift, the wooden Father Symbol, so that it would be placed on the door of the Original Shrine, if Providence permitted it. The Diocese of Mendoza was then responsible for the gift of this symbol to the Shrines of Argentina that were founded in this time - and continues so to the day. Thinking about the centenary of Schoenstatt in 2014, she remembered the Father symbol…they have lost track of this symbol, she does neither know where it is, nor what happened to it, nothing. But –since nothing is impossible for God and almost nothing is impossible for a family in solidarity in the covenant and in craziness, she asks the young girls from that time and those of today: To look for the Father Symbol! Wouldn’t it be a special gift if it appeared during the year of the 40th Anniversary of the Covenant with God the Father that Father Kentenich proclaimed on October 30, 1966?

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA

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