The Blessed Mother opened the doors to her garden
Tenth Anniversary of the Tucumán Shrine – a large celebration on April 18, 2009
ARGENTINA, Silvia Losada. On April 18th, a brilliant day greeted everyone who approached the Shrine of Tucumán, as if to remind them of that April 18, 1999 when they offered the Shrine of Tucumán to the Church.
It seemed that Divine Providence wanted it this way and the Blessed Mother opened the doors of her Shrine and her garden to welcome her children. Brothers and sisters from Salta, Santiago del Esero, Catmarca, and from the interior of the province of Tucumán arrived early to enjoy the conference, and they brought their Pilgrim MTA’s, Auxiliary MTA’s, and banners,
Those who participated in the blessing of the Shrine were surprised at all they have accomplished spiritually as well a materially during these ten years,
A little bit of history
"When Schoenstatt was born in Tucumán, around the year 1984 – we were very few", commented Julio and Betty Marteau, the couple who brought the movement to Tucumán. I am touched to see how much the family has grown…"
And that is what happened, a striving community eager to offer the Blessed Mother a permanent dwelling place in Tucumán emerged.
Those who belong to the founding generation recall April 18, 1999 with emotion. On the days prior to the event, they took turns mowing the grounds. These grounds are very big! But they were not lacking in enthusiasm or giving of self.
I remember the small jars with soil from the Shrine that were distributed to the pilgrims. This was holy soil! When I was fortunate to go the Original Shrine, I took one of these jars and I hid it in the trellis at the entrance of the Shrine, so that our Shrine would always be in the shadow of Schoenstatt. That jar could still be seen for two or three years!
Finally they would have their land, their Schoenstatt land!
The years passed and the family became stronger. They grew in the different Branches, hundreds of missionaries emerged, and the youth inundated the Shrine with their freshness and daring.
The imposing Unity Cross that welcomes pilgrims, the memorials of the Founding Father, John Pozzobon, and the memorial of Father Esteban Uriburu emerged. All this came about as a result of the restlessness of each charism within the local family.
Each one brought pilgrims to the Shrine: The Family Work with the Jubilee Project, Mothers and the Pastoral of the Shrine with Covenants, the Rosary Campaign with the consecration of missionaries and the campaign celebrations, the Youth with conferences and camps.
The day arrived
Today, just as ten years ago, we worked so that the celebration would be within the framework that our Blessed Mother deserves.
The motto of this celebration was: With the strength of a united, fruitful, and holy family, we celebrate your presence in Tucumán.
At the appointed time, Father Pablo Mullín warmly welcomed the pilgrims with a few words.
"Mary, our Mother, was invited to take possession of her throne of Graces and here, each one of us has experienced it in a variety of ways; through her motherly love, her patience as an Educator, and with her Power as a Queen…
Her presence leads us to ask ourselves: what role has the Blessed Mother’s Shrine placed in my covenant life, in my family life, in my group, or community? Many times it can happen that we become accustomed to have something in front of us without appreciating it. For this reason, this anniversary invites us to discover anew the gift that Mary gives us; we have a Shrine, She waits for us."
They went in procession from the multi-purpose building to the Shrine.
No one wanted to miss the date with the Mother of Heaven, who fills us with graces from her dwelling, which flood the homes, hospitals, schools, public institutions, and every place that the Pilgrim MTA goes.
Many people attended. Missionaries, the families that are commissioned, those devoted to the Blessed Mother and the entire family gathered at the Shrine for the shout of LONG LIVE THE QUEEN and NOTHING WITHOUT YOU, NOTHING WITHOUT US!
A commitment to continue to be guardians of the Shrine
The Archbishop of Tucumán, Monsignor Luis Villalba, decreed that the 10th Anniversary of the blessing of the Schoenstatt Shrine was a special occasion for the faithful who participated in the Mass to receive the apostolic blessing with plenary indulgence, which was imparted by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Carlos A. Sanchez.
Fathers Pablo Mullín, Tomás Dell’Oca, Martín Aversano, and diocesan priests who collaborate with the Sunday masses concelebrated the Holy Mass.
During the offertory, the different Branches, groups and representatives from the provinces, who came to the celebration, presented their gifts as symbols of their fruitfulness: the Shrine by the diocesan leaders of the family, the Living Water of the Campaign, the Crown with Three Rings of the Family Work, the Black Crosses of the Boys’ Youth, the Capital of Grace, and prayers for priestly and religious vocations were all offered to the Church.
A very touching moment happened when the Girls’ Youth offered the frame with the picture of Sister Margarita Venditt, a vocation from Tucumán, who died on November 18, 2007 at the age of thirty and who, according to Father Juan Pablo Catoggion in the homily at her funeral Mass, was transplanted from the Garden of the Republic to the Garden of Mary of the Community of the Sisters. From both gardens, you can offer her with joy to the Father as a mature fruit that fills us with pride and hope.
After the Mass, they renewed their commitment with the Blessed Mother, with Schoenstatt, with their mission, and with the Church:
"Beloved Mother of Schoenstatt, today, on this tenth anniversary full of graces, fruits and of blessings, we feel your presence. We promise You and the Church of Tucumán to continue to be guardians of this Shrine, and may our contributions to the Capital of Grace, offered with filial love, be an expression of the "NOTHING WITHOUT YOU, NOTHING WITHOUT US."
Re-enactment of the Father Kentenich's life
The celebration ended with a play about Father Kentenich’s life and the fruits of the Shrine of Tucumán presented by the members of the Schoenstatt Family. This presentation was widely applauded.
The rehearsals demanded much time and commitment from the actors, scriptwriters, and directors. Father was represented from his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. National socialism, Dachau, and Milwaukee were also presented.
The life of the Founding Father was re-enacted from his entering the orphanage of Oberhausen, his struggles and suffering to the birth of our movement, through the Covenant with the sodalists and Mary. This work showed how Father Kentenich demonstrated his paternity in spite of not experiencing it as a child, and the contribution of his pedagogy to the Church in a world in which the family is more disintegrated, and children are more abandoned to their fate. The message: Schoenstatt is A LIVING FAMILY, ARGENTINA HAVE HOPE. From her Shrine, Mary is the great Educator. We are all missionaries, bearers of the Good News.
BELOVED MOTHER, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you for sheltering us, transforming us, and sending us forth from this Shrine, your Garden, to the world..
We always count on the NOTHING WITHOUT YOU, and we offer you the NOTHING WITHOU US, and we resolve to be missionary disciples, wherever You decide.
We depend on the strength of the Covenant of Love to continue the mission that God entrusted to the entire Schoenstatt Family at the service of the Church, so that it will be evangelization and light for the Third Millennium.
Translation: Celina Garza, San Antonio, USA/amj