The Blessed Mother unites us
A home shrine, the Pilgrim MTA, a book and a story that only Divine Providence could write
PURE LIFE, Roberto Liñares. I am going to tell what happened. I am not going use a journalistic or literary style. I am only allowing Divine Providence to take the liberty that is HIS. This story of amazement begins like this…
One day during one of the many meetings of our Family Work group, the adviser at that time, Sister Cristvera, commented that a friend of hers, Valentin, a widower was going to let go of his "Home Shrine," which was more like a piece furniture, and he was going to offer it to some couple.
Marta, my wife, and I immediately said, "yes," as if we had been propelled by wind. The only condition in removing it from the home was the size of the "Shrine". Fortunately, there weren’t any problems. The day we went to see it at Villa Ballester, Province of Buenos Aires was a touching surprise for the soul. Going slowly up the stairs to the room where the wonderful the Home Shrine alone was contained was an experience, which is still impressed in my memory.
It was a perfect replica of all of our Shrines. Only a photo could perfectly capture its shape. The size wasn’t a problem, as I had genuinely believed that there was never a problem. The happiness of having it in our house was enough. We returned to say yes and we took it to our home. Since then it has been our "new" Home Shrine.
Many things have happened in our lives since we have had this shrine. It would be impossible to relate all of them. I will only write these lines to let you know where certain things happened in which the Blessed Mother wanted to work. She is the Queen of Unity.
The Pilgrim MTA: Two families and two books
We are missionaries for the Rosary Campaign. We have built a strong bond with the families who receive the Pilgrim MTA. This has brought about a beautiful fruitfulness since encounters, prayers, and unity have taken place in the "new" Home Shrine. One such time was when we wanted to give a friend, Nora, a book about Sister Emilie Engel, Margareta Wolff: My Yes is for Always –Emilie Engel. When we gave her the book, we commented on Sister Emilie’s birthday, which was also Nora’s birthday. We were both happy about this. We spent a wonderful evening at her house with she and her husband, and we shared dinner with them. I recall that we spoke about the miracle of the self-giving, self-education, and the loyalty that our beloved Emilie embodied. Of course, we decided to act reciprocally, and we invited Nora and Gabriel to our home.
While waiting for that day other things were on my mind.
One of them was centered on my Confirmation. Since I had been away from the faith for many years, I couldn’t remember if I had been confirmed. That is the truth. It was an abyss of approximately forty years. I went to the parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel, in Buenos Aires, to the Berthier Institute where I had studied during the elementary years, and they didn’t have a record of my Confirmation. I asked a former student whom I encountered by coincidence after a many years, but he couldn’t tell me. No one remembered…
Out of respect of the Sacrament of Confirmation, I decided to give upthe wish to receive it solemnly, and I firmly abandoned myself to Providence.
This leap in my narration has something to do with the next event with Nora and Gabriel, this time at my house.
Classmates from school
The day arrived and that night, my wife and I invited them for dinner. When they arrived and after the greetings they gave us a "very special book" in appreciation for the gift of the book about Sister Emilie. The book was entitled, Testimony and Homilies, and it is a collection of the drafts for the homilies written by Father Juan Carlos Brumana, a Catholic priest who had died as a victim of the explosion at the Israeli Embassy, that at the time sadly, became internationally notorious. He died violently in a Church close to the embassy. Among the ruins they found a manuscript of the homilies and it was decided to publish them in the form of a book as a tribute to him. Nora and Gabriel belong to the Association of Friends of Father Brumana, which is interested in opening the canonical process for beatification of this priest, and they are connected with one of his sisters.
We thanked them sincerely and for the moment I just looked at the outside of the book. On the cover there was a photo of the priest celebrating Mass, elevating the Host. Immediately I sensed that his face looked familiar. I had the sensation that his name was also familiar, but not because of the terrorist attack since his name didn’t appear in the news. I turned the book over.
On the back cover there was a brief but complete biographical sketch about the priest. It listed the date of his birth (he was my age), the date of his Baptism, and the dates of his studies.
To my great, very great surprise, when I read the following (and I will quote it textually):
"…I received First Communion on October 21, 1962 in the Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel in which I was also confirmed on August 29, 1964," and further down "…It was part of the elementary studies at the Berthier Institute (1961-1965)…"
As I already mentioned, John the Baptist Berthier Institute is the parish school of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish where I had studied precisely during the time that Father Brumana did.
It was as simple as that. The priest, Juan Carlos Brumana, was a classmate of mine. However, the surprise didn’t end here. I figured out the date of his confirmation (8-29-64), which made it easy to conclude that I was confirmed with him. I began to review fuzzy images in my mind about my childhood at the school and I remembered the face of a calm child who was good and "different" from the rest. The child was Juan Carlos Brumana.
I was convinced he was an instrument of Providence. Father Juan Carlos was united to me as a true childhood friend telling me about the date of Confirmation, and that the Blessed Mother was behind all of this sending these persons to me with love.
I was very touched, and when I realized what was happening, I told my wife and our guests, Nora and Gabriel. Undoubtedly, the presence of the Holy Spirit was very strong that night.
As a fruit of the joy and of gratitude that I felt, I placed the book in our Home Shrine at the feet of our Blessed Mother.
The MTA continues on her way
A few days later another person who has received the Pilgrim MTA, Raúl, a next-door neighbor, came to visit us. He was sad over the death of his mother. We suggested that we pray together in our Home Shrine. When were ready to do it, Raúl said with amazement, "What is Juan Carlitos doing here?" He was referring to the photo of Father Juan Carlos Brumana on the cover of the book. I was surprised by the familiarity he had with Father to the point of calling him "Juan Carlitos." I asked him about it. He told me, "Juan Carlos was my cousin. He died during the attack on the Israeli Embassy. He was at my house, next door, many times."
I couldn’t get over my surprise. The Mission of the Blessed Mother was to unite and re-unite.
The unity continues, it continues with fruitfulness
Obviously I told Nora and Gabriel about this last episode, and consequently they began a deeper relationship with Raúl. Definitely, the Blessed Mother visited them both.
But the most important thing was as time passed this couple sealed their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother, and one of their daughters, Nazarena, later joined the Girls’ Youth of our Movement.
A while later this couple who received the Pilgrim MTA and our friends told us that Father Juan Carlos’ sister, whom I did not know at the time, had told them that Father Brumana’s childhood home had been unattended and thieves broke into it; they took many things. The sister who lived elsewhere had to come to see what was left. Among the few things that remained, she found a picture of the MTA that had belonged to her brother since he was young… Each time it was clear that the Blessed Mother had looked for Juan Carlos and all of us many years ago.
But our story isn’t over yet. Father Juan Carlos’ sister decided to give this picture of the Blessed Mother to Nazarena, Nora and Gabriel’s daughter, before she knew this story I am now relating.
Nazarena received the picture and placed it in her room. After knowing all of this, she told Nora and Gabriel she wanted to meet Father Juan Carlos’ sister. It was decided that the meeting would take place in the home of our friends where we had spent a beautiful evening, and I could meet some of Father Juan Carlos’ nephews who looked like him. There in Nazarena’s room, the picture of the Blessed Mother was luminous and "smiling," and I would say she was very satisfied at having fulfilled the task entrusted to her by her Son more than two thousand years ago to keep them united in the good news that comes from Christ and the Eternal Father.
If this narration is out of order or unclear, it is because of emotion. As for the rest, I have told things with the purity of what really happened for the glory of Mother Thrice Admirable.
Roberto Liñares is a lawyer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, member of the Schoenstatt family Movement, and missionary of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign.
Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA/amj