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 published: 2006-12-06

We guard your inheritance

The 50th Anniversary of the Wayside Shrine of Vatteone, Diocese of Bahía Blanca, blessed on October 19, 1956


Peregrinacion a la primera ermita de la diócesis de Bahía Blanca, en Vatteone

On pilgrimage to the first wayside shrine of the diocese of Bahia Blanca, in Vatteone

Wallfahrt zur ersten Wegkapelle der MTA  in der Diözese Bahia Blanca, in Vatteone


Misioneros de Carhué con su bandera

Missionaries from Carhué with their flag

Missionare aus Carhué mit ihrer Fahne


La ermita de Vatteone

The wayside shrine in Vatteone

Wegkapelle von Vatteone


Ermita en Carhué

Wayside shrine in Carhué

Wegkapelle in Carhué

Fotos: Zunini © 2006


Placa conmemorativa en la ermita de Vatteone

Conmemorative plaque in Vatteone

Gedemnkplakette in Vatteone

Foto:Jany  © 2006



ARGENTINA, Diana Zunini. A pilgrimage to the Wayside shrine of Vatteone traditionally takes place on the third Sunday of November. The first wayside shrine of the Blessed Mother celebrated its 50th Anniversary on October 18th in the community of Carhué, a city in the Diocese of Bahía Blanca. The wayside shrine is located 18 km. from Carhué in the midst of a field where there is a Home School that was under the pastoral care of Father Franz Maibach, who was the priest who because of his closeness to Father Kentenich, invited him to come to the diocese to preach a retreat in Paso Mayor.

The celebration began on Sunday at 9:00a.m. at the Wayside Shrine of Carhué, blessed on February 27, 2005, and the Blessed Mother welcomed her children when they arrived to this place, with its five arcades. Father Rubén Pérez told us: Schoenstatt wants to be open to the five continents, and one experiences this sensation when you step on holy ground, and you are in communion with the Family. In the center of the wayside shrine, in the foundation, there is a metal cylinder with the ashes of all the Capital of Grace that was offered by the Family from this place.

When the pilgrims from Pigué arrived a prayer to the Blessed Mother was made together for the families, the missionaries, world peace, vocations, and then they departed to Vatteone, 18 km. away with loudspeakers and flags blowing in the wind, which usually blows strongly.

There they were awaited by the little girls of the Álzaga Unzué Home and the sisters, "Servants of the Divine Face", who have been in charge of the Home for a little more than a year.

Childlikeness, the grace of feeling loved by God the Father

After a prayer and the presentation of the flags in the wayside shrine, they entered the Home. When the Home was created, little girls, who were orphaned because they lost their parents in the war, were given shelter. Presently the reality is different, but just as painful as then, because they are girls, who are orphans of love, of a family, of attachments. They are placed there through the Justice department, because their parents are jailed, alcoholics, absent…

By ways of Providence, the workshop that the group of Carhué prepared was about "Childlikeness", since this is the name of the group that has worked as missionaries in this city for many years, and they take pastoral care of this Home. They reflected on how we feel like children, how we see Father Kentenich as a model of childlikeness, and when we go to him, for his intercession to ask for the grace of feeling like beloved children of God the Father.

Mónica Pérez led us to reflect that we could only feel the grace of childlikeness if we were attached to Father and the Blessed Mother, which is synonymous of being family and experiencing the grace of shelter. To feel as children of God is conquered through intimacy, prayer, the sacraments, and the giving of self, daily offering, for the well being of others. In this way Mary educates us and we receive the grace of transformation, and we can attain the apostolate, to lead others to the heart of the Father, which is the most important thing. There are models to imitate, we have Father Kentenich, Joao Pozzobon, Father Esteban, Father Maibach, we can become infected and we can infect others.!

Mónica invited us to pray for one another, so as not to become discouraged, to pray for those who suffer the most, and to live the Joyous Mystery of the new Visitation.

This made us reflect: What is the mystery and the mission for everyone, but especially for the missionaries of this place, to show the orphans much affection, the love of a mother and a father that love us, that love us in spite of all our weaknesses, and precisely because of these weaknesses.!

Father Maibach, an instrument of the Blessed Mother in Argentina

After lunch with the sisters and the little girls, Rosario Morón guided them through the life of Father Maibach, precisely on the 49th Anniversary of his death: his difficulties to become a priest, his struggles, and his filial giving of self to the Blessed Mother, to whom he especially asked for his vocation.

An enormous thanks to Father Maibach, who was the instrument for the Home, through the contribution of the Capital of Grace of these girls who live here, the first wayside shrine of the Blessed Mother of the diocese was built. Father Maibach offered the wayside shrine in gratitude for being called to be a priest. The little girls gave the little souvenirs they had left; they gave the little they had. The Home is a footprint of Father; Father Kentenich, who grew up in a Home for Orphans; he was at the Home of Vatteone. On his two visits 1948 and 1952, he went to different areas like Dorrego, Bahía, Vatteone. En Bahía he also visited another Home for little girls of the Barrio Villa Rosas that was under the care of the Sisters of Mary.

In 1988 the wayside shrine is rediscovered and visits and pilgrimages began.

After the talk the pilgrimage began. They departed from the wayside shrine and they prayed the rosary traveling 500 meters to the route where more pilgrims arrived from Carhué. Pilgrims from Daireaux, Rivera, Pigué, Bahía participated, and they also welcomed Father Daniel Jany, who presided the Eucharist at 5:00 p.m.

After refreshments of mate and pastries the Mass was held, where new missionaries were consecrated, there was a crowning of Pilgrim MTA’s, and there was a presentation of the new flag of the Childlikeness Group.

A plaque in honor of Father Francisco Maibach was placed for the 50th Anniversary of the Wayside Shrine of Vatteone, and everyone made a commitment by saying: "We guard your inheritance".

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA


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