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 published: 2009-06-26

Queen of Africa

The small Schoenstatt Family of Zimbabwe holds high the flag of the Covenant of Love


Das Gesicht Afrikas verändern durch das Liebesbündnis

Para una  nueva esperanza en Africa – a través de la Alianza de Amor

Changing the face of Africa ...

Das Gesicht Afrikas verändern durch das Liebesbündnis

Fotos: StockXchnge © 2009


ZIMBABWE, Marlene Peter. Zimbabwe…Poverty, violence, decline, homelessness, hunger, hopes – and Schoenstatt. On June 1, the Schoenstatt Family of Zimbabwe gathered to once again crown Mary Queen of Africa.

On Monday 1 June Fr. Michael Hagan came from Cape Town to celebrate the annual Crowning mass in St Francis Xavier Catholic Church. This promise to crown the Mother Thrice Admirable Queen of Africa each year on or near 31 May was the birthday gift to Fr. Kentenich for his 100th birthday in 1985. And each year since 1981 this little flock have done so in good times and in bad. "She has been there for us as a good mother always is for her children", one of the members of the Mothers’ Federation says. Fr Michael was for the first time, the only celebrant since the parish priest Fr. Dieter Thiel was in hospital for an operation. They were blessed with power (electricity- there are lots of power cuts) so no need to get the generator started up using fuel.

Receive the power

Fr. Michael has come there all the way from Cape Town in South Africa, for several years and all are so grateful to him for having faith in this little Schoenstatt family. He has helped to keep their hopes alive.

The mass readings were the ones for Pentecost and father said that we were doing what the disciples did so long ago. They went to the person of Mary and together in the Upper Room, the Cenacle, they prayed for the Holy Spirit. They went to Mary as people of full of fear, and then, as we are told in the Acts of the Apostles they experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And we know what followed. Now as we re-crowned Our Lady as Queen of Africa, we too, go into the shrine as fearful people with the hope of being touched by the Holy Spirit so that we can overcome all our fear. Father said we should let our crowning help us to be spirit-filled people, Pentecost people who live in the midst of difficulties but without fear, people who want to renew the face of Africa, especially both Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Spirit is a TREASURE who has given us the strength to ENDURE the past nine years. As Fr. Michael spoke he referred to the Sequence which is found in the Mass of Pentecost which describes the qualities of the Holy Spirit and drew from these to show how the Schoenstatt Family have been helped throughout the difficulties the country has been going through. Lastly, Father Michael said, the Spirit gives us JOY. This issue of joy is the most challenging. People around the world have begun to experience something of what Zimbabwe has been going through for nine years – worries about un-employment, paying the mortgage bond, paying medical expenses, homelessness, hunger, political unrest etc. Our world, today is a place of insecurity and often hopelessness and therefore the challenge to experience JOY in the midst of all this is a challenge indeed.

Building a new society

And so as all re-crowned Our Lady Queen of Africa, thanking her for what has already happened in the country, and re-committed themselves to be those spirit-filled people, tired, often frustrated, but JOYFUL CROSSBEARERS who are building a new society by renewing the face of Africa.

On such a night we learn from Fr. Kentenich’s experience in Dachau, they found; his endurance and his experience of inner freedom in the midst of suffering. We have been called to live in Africa to help build the Kingdom of God in Africa. Christianity will not take a meaningful root until people are actually prepared to go all the way, like the early Church. As they crowned Our Lady they crowned her also as the Queen of Hope. Zimbabwe is moving from despair to hope. The members of the Schoenstatt family and the pilgrims give thanks to the Mother, and Queen, and while the road ahead will not be easy,they will strive to be joyful cross bearers, beacons of Hope.

The altar shrine in Sheila Coleman’s home is the big treasure of Schoenstatt in Zimbabwe: it is the altar for a future Shrine, that has long since turned into the "Altar Shrine". All have longed for so many years for a shrine in Zimbabwe, ever since Schoenstatt began in 1977. So many people have come into touch with Schoenstatt there in those years. Many have gone and the founding members are getting older. But there is hope for more Schoenstatt life in Zimbabwe.




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Last Update: 26.06.2009