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 published: 2007-06-22

Radiating Hope from Western Australia

A visit to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Armadale, Perth


Un grupo frente al santuario de Perth/Armadale, Australia después de la eucaristía dominical, 10.06.2007

A group in front of the Shrine of Perth/Armadale, Australia, after the Sunday Mass, June 10, 2007

Eine Gruppe vor dem Heiligtum in Perth/Armadale, nach der Sonntagsmesse am 10. Juni 2007


Vista de la ciudad desde Kings Park

View of the city from Kings Park

Blick auf die Stadt vom Kings Park aus


El corazón de Schoenstatt en Perth: el santuario de Armadale

The heart of Schoenstatt in Perth: the Shrine in Armadale

Herz Schönstatts im Westen Australiens: das Heiligtum in Armadale


Hermanas de María en Armadale

Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Armadale

Marienschwestern in Armadale


“Bonfire” - Fogata que celebraron schoenstattianos a pocos metros del santuario el pasado viernes 15 de junio de 2007, Fiesta del Sagrado Corazón para cantar, compartir comida y fortalecer vínculos fraternos.

Bonfire near the Shrine, on June 15 – a moment of socializing

Lagerfeuer beim Heiligtum am 15. Juni – eine Zeit familienhaften Zusammenseins

Fotos: P. Marcelo Aravena © 2007




AUSTRALIA, Father Marcelo Aravena. Radiating hope from Western Australia: With this title we can describe what is happening in the Schoenstatt Movement in Western Australia, concretely in the city of Perth.

It takes a four hour flight or more than three days by auto through a multifaceted highway to travel from Sydney to Perth, a distance of 4,300 kilometers. The closest national capital is Jakarta, Indonesia that is more than 3,000 kilometers away. In Perth there is a Schoenstatt community which is small but vital, far away but loyal, unknown but intensely committed to the Covenant message of Father Joseph Kentenich.

Perth, an urban jewel and ethnic diversity

Founded in 1829 and the capital of the Western Australian, the city of Perth is located on the edge of the Swan River a few kilometers from the Indian Ocean. It is truly an urban jewel with old buildings, churches, impressive skyscrapers, parks, water streets, well known universities, commercial, and tourist areas. The infrastructure and public services are modern, efficient, and environmentally sound. It is pleasant place to live. The phenomenon of immigration, multiculturalism, and ethnic concentration is repeated especially in the Asian area as in all major cities in Australia. A 1,500,000 people live in its urban and surrounding areas.

The heart of Schoenstatt in Perth: the Shrine of Armadale

The suburb of Armadale is a forty-minute drive towards the southern part of the city. The Shrine of Armadale was built in a landscape of low hills. It was built by the Schoenstatt Family and blessed on November 17, 1991, exactly 40 years after the arrival of the first Schoenstatt Sister of Mary to Australia in1951. The inscription on the cornerstone reads: "Build a better world from here". These words undoubtedly inspire life, prayer, and the apostolic work of the local movement makes an effort to grow and to expand the message of the Covenant of Love. The Sisters of Mary who take care of the Shrine, the Family groups, Mothers’ groups, the many pilgrims, an army of missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, and the periodic visits of a Schoenstatt Father have made it possible for the MTA to spread her power and activity as mother and educator of Catholics in this part of Australia.

Schoenstatt’s major challenge in Western Australia

The major challenges are within the framework of the context of what Father Kentenich entrusted to the Australian Schoenstatt: "to carry out the post-conciliar mission of the Church as perfectly as possible in their own continent" (Letter May 14, 1968). The task is not an easy one since the barriers of the secular world and the hindrances imposed by a society that is removed from God in many aspects and the values of the Gospel are obstacles that must be overcome. However, the members of the movement are not discouraged, and they are doing everything possible to grow in quantity and quality by attracting more families and youth to the Shrine and their participation in different apostolic services in the Archdiocese of Perth whose Archbishop is Monsignor Barry James Hickey. They want to take advantage of the next World Youth Day 2008 in Australia which will be a special time of graces of apostolic fruitfulness.

A radiance that is observed from outer space

In February 1962, astronaut John Glenn viewed the city of Perth while orbiting the earth from his space; capsule Friendship 7, at 162 miles above while traveling at a speed of 17,500 miles per orbital hour. He described it as the "City of Lights". The radiance of the city was such a contrast to the darkness of this part of the planet that it attracted his attention, and he commented this to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Symbolically, Perth continues to shine because of Mary’s Shrine in Armadale, and the commitment of the Schoenstatt people there nourishes the light with their apostolic commitment, the Capital of Grace, and the testimony of holiness. There is a vigorous fire flaming in the heart of each one of them.

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA/amj



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