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 published: 2007-09-26

Happiness: is to be loved by someone, to be dear to someone, to be important to someone. This is what we find here.

Twenty-five hundred people celebrated the Silver Anniversary of the Waldstetten Shrine. – Archbishop of Freiburg - Dr. Robert Zollitsch– enthroned the Father Symbol

 

El 25° aniversario del Santuario de Waldstetten, Alemania

25th anniversary of the Shrine in Waldstetten, Germany

25 Jahre Heiligtum Waldstetten

 

Hauptzelebrant ist Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch von Freiburg

Celebrante principal: Mons. Robert Zollitshc, arzobispo de Friburgo

Main celebrant: Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Freiburg

Hauptzelebrant ist Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch von Freiburg

 
Bei der Predigt  

Durante la predica

During the sermon

Bei der Predigt

 
Eine große feiernde Gemeinde  

Una comunidad de fiesta

A big community celebrating

Eine große feiernde Gemeinde

 
Erzbischof Zollitsch trägt das Vatersymbol zum Heiligtum  

Mons. Zollitsch llevó el simbolo del Padre al Santuario

Archbishop Zollitsch brought the Father Eye Symbol to the Shrine

Erzbischof Zollitsch trägt das Vatersymbol zum Heiligtum

 
Anbringung des Vatersymbols

Colocación del simbolo del Padre

Attaching the Father Eye Symbol

Anbringung des Vatersymbols

 
Das Vatersymbol im Heiligtum  

El Simbolo del Padre en el Santuario

The Father Eye Symbol in the Shrine

Das Vatersymbol im Heiligtum

 
Das Heiligtum im Festtagsglanz  

El Santuario Jubilar

The Shrine in festive splendour

Das Heiligtum im Festtagsglanz

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2007

Álbum de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum

 

Fotos: © 2007

 

GERMANY, MKF. The exact ingredients for a very well carried out Silver Anniversary Celebration included: fantastic autumn weather, a huge tent, two thousand people, many local politicians, an archbishop, more than thirty priests, many guests from allover the archdiocese, excellent food, interesting activities for children and adults, representatives from the press, two musical groups, a chocolate bar for everyone, and a genuine pride strongly beating in many of the volunteers hearts. "The rest is the Blessed Mother’s business. The Capital of Grace must be very full," said a youth, radiating great confidence. Therefore, the Blessed Mother could do nothing more than to dispense the graces filling her hands.

Waldstetten? Waldstetten, established in 1247, is located on the border between Odenwald and Bauland, where the multi-colored sand of Odenwald disappears beneath the warmth of the shells of Bauland. "It has an attractive landscape in the valley of Seltenbach, framed in a large part by wooded hills…" according to the Hopfingen Parish website. It is in the region called, "Madonnenland", or land of Mary’s icons, Mary’s land. In German, Madonna is the name used for the icons and statutes of Mary. This region has more than any other part of Germany. The Mariengart or Marian Garden Schoenstatt Center and Shrine is located just on the outskirts of Waldstetten, and is now included in a new subdivision. The Shrine was inaugurated on September 12, 1982.

Volunteers built all the buildings. Very committed volunteers do all the work around the place- and this celebration as well, and Sister M. Traute who this day was keeping her eyes and heart on everything and everyone. "In all this time not one single cake had to be bought", said Father Dieter Hect, Regional Director of the Schoenstatt Movement in the region of Odenwald, Tauber, that’s because some ten thousand cakes had been donated by Schoenstatt families from the area around the Shrine. For twenty-five years, close to a quarter of a million people have been to the Shrine, and they have experienced its graces. On September 23rd, about 2,500 people along with their Archbishop celebrated the Silver Anniversary of this small place of grace. Many of them came from the surrounding area in spite of the fact that the neighboring city of Hopfingen was hosting the regional Plum Festival, a traditional celebration. Mayor Ehrenfried Scheuermann called the Schoenstatt Center:

A real treasure, for the community of Hopfingen, a vital community, which is future oriented, it also needs an active faith life as a basic foundation of a community of well-rounded people.

A day of celebration

About 2:00 p.m. the bell of the Shrine rang gathering people for Holy Mass.

"This morning around 10:00 a.m. when the program began, there were still not many people," said Amo Hernadi, a seminarian of the Schoenstatt Fathers, one of the many consecrated vocations that have emerged from here. "But around noon the place was really full." He was with others in the shopping area, between the parking lot and the Shrine, where, booths selling raffle tickets, candles, books, picture, cards, and all kinds of souvenirs could be bought. In a large tent, there was a table set for 750 people. About 1:00 p.m., it became like a university dining hall awaiting a special meal. Lurking behind those who were finishing their meals was someone waiting for their seat. The scramble for seating in order to enjoy the good food was the cause of great joy and some stress when it involved saving a place for a special person or in the case of one sedentary lady who had not moved from the spot since 11:00 am., until Holy Mass ended, she defended her space from which she had a good view. The musical group from Waldstetten, directed by Mr. Wolfgang Wurner, provided the music for the celebration. Beginning at lunchtime, their music filled the air as they strolled all around the grounds. In the meantime nearby, the Shrine was beautifully decorated, and people who were praying asked for as much space as those at the tables in the tent.

Open the doors to happiness

Archbishop Dr. Robert Zollitsch said: For 25 years the Blessed Mother has given happiness from this Shrine. The land of the Madonnas is known for its many images of the Mother of God that are in the homes, in chapels, in wayside shrines; but in this Shrine an interior relationship is born with the Blessed Mother that leads to happiness. Happiness is based on the profound realization of being loved and dear, of being important to someone. The celebration today is a demonstration of gratitude because Mary opened the door to this happiness here, where her Covenant is valid. The symbol of God the Father, which will be placed in the Shrine, is God’s response: I see you, I do not forget you, you are precious and valuable in my eyes, and I need you to give the world a new face. In response to this we can give our yes to the way of our life, our vocation, and remain faithful to it. Since God is a God full of love, who does not leave man alone. The Silver Anniversary of the Shrine reminds us how great this fountain of happiness is that has emerged from this small Shrine.

Father sees me, he loves me, and he needs me

Holy Mass, prepared by the Schoenstatt youth and accompanied by the musical group from Waldstetten, was the climax of the celebration. Covenants of Love were sealed: an impressive number of men and women had prepared to seal their Covenant of Love on this day as they placed themselves at the Mary’s disposal, the fountain of love as instruments in her hands. They prayed the consecration prayer with strong voices and Archbishop Zollitsch gave each of them a candle and a medal. Hannelore Spannagel, leader of the Mothers’ Branch, had collaborated with the preparations and said:

One of the young mothers was not sure if she was sufficiently prepared.I told her that if she expected to be completely prepared she would never seal the Covenant of Love. This is the beginning; you must allow Her to act.

For many people who do not belong to the Schoenstatt Movement, it was perhaps the most profound moment of the celebration with all that "is behind this," someone said. Everyone was invited to renew the Covenant of Love with the words of the short consecration prayer. During the offertory, some symbols were taken up to the altar along with the bread and the wine – the figure of a child, a Unity Cross, grapes – and finally the Father Eye Symbol, representing the paternal and loving gaze of God, who transmits the feeling of being loved, of being dear, and of being important. Obviously content, Archbishop Zollitsch showed the Father Eye Symbol to those present, before momentarily placing it on the altar. The children carrying roses in their hands accompanied the priest to the Shrine. Then and there, Archbishop Zollitsch climbing the ladder that had been placed there previously enthroned the Father Eye Symbol. Now it announces to all who come here to pray: the Father sees me, he loves me, and he needs me.

They returned home with a chocolate bar

After Holy Mass there was a general invitation to continue celebrating with coffee and cake. There were many meetings and conversations. It was pure joy. Father Michael Gerber, of the Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests, asked Archbishop Zollitsch to bless the beautiful cross, made of glass bricks, which during the entire ceremony had been in the center of the temporary presbytery in the tent. The Schoenstatt symbol can be seen in the center of the cross. This cross was used in the youth festival that took place the day before, and soon it will find its permanent home near the Belmonte Shrine in Rome.

A drawing for ten prizes, by the happy winners representing each of the ten towns, was greeted with a great deal of applause; which seemed to show that each town was happy for their winners. And all the neighboring towns and parishes had enough people present, which definitely proved that each winner had its own fans! This Shrine is so rooted in the neighboring areas that "we cannot imagine being without it," said the mayor.

Many lingered in their seats even longer, so at 6:00 p.m. about 200 people went to the Shrine to pray the Angelus. Everyone on returning home not only took a little prayer book as a souvenir of this day, but just like Father Kentenich did forty years ago when he visited the Schoenstatt Center of Oberkirch, they also took a very special gift: a chocolate bar. Everyone received one! They were truly fortunate!

The Holy Mass for the celebration including the greetings and expressions of gratitude can be heard completely (in German)

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

 


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