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October Day Celebration -- One Heart in the Father

The 2017 October Day Celebration of the Texas Family was held at the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine, Mount Schoenstatt on Sunday, October 22.  Our Heavenly Father provided us with a beautiful sunny day for our family celebration.  Schoenstatt family and friends from six dioceses came on pilgrimage to visit our Mother Thrice Admirable and to celebrate as one family united in the heart of the Father and in the heart of our Father and Founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich.  The guardians of the shrine enthusiastically welcomed the pilgrims.  The Schoenstatt Family from the Laredo Diocese arrived by charter bus.  We were so blessed to have three Schoenstatt Fathers and seven Schoenstatt Sisters join the Texas Family for the day! 

By Pilar Huerta, Family Federation

Communications Editor

 

The morning program began with a serenade for our Mother and Queen and a truly beautiful opening prayer expressing thanks to our Heavenly Father for a new day to be cor unum in Patre – one heart in his own fatherly and triune heart.  Fr. Patricio Rodriguez, state director, was the main celebrant for the Holy Mass in the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine and its forecourt, which is nestled in the shady oak trees. Fathers Christian Christensen and Johnson Nellissery were concelebrants in the Mass.

All came prepared for a picnic lunch on the grounds of Mount Schoenstatt.  Sr. M. Mara Medina organized children’s games and activities. 

A media presentation by Sr. M. Heidi Infante:  “Impulse for the Father Kentenich Year” was shown in the Community Center.  It emphasized several points referring to our founder’s charism – how we must keep it alive to shape the future of the Church and society – it must become alive in us!  His charism is a gift and a task, it is a mission – it is a mission also meant for us. 

A Witness Panel was next on the program.  Sr. M. Danielle Peters introduced the presenters who shared about their experiences with Fr. Kentenich.  Fr. Christian Christensen shared about his encounter with the Founder and described him, in a profound way, with three words, “a fine man.”  Sr. M. Erlinda Pimo was in Germany when a novice (1966-68) and experienced Fr. Kentenich as someone who had time for everyone and who gave each person he talked to his full attention.  She shared that he received many gifts from his visitors and would share the gifts with others, including herself, and gave the persons to choose from the gifts he had received what they would like to have.  Carlos Cantu shared a very special answered prayer.  41 years earlier, his wife was pregnant for the 5th time.  It appeared that something might be wrong and the doctor suggested a therapeutic abortion.  In unison, the Cantus said no!  They turned to Father Kentenich and entrusted the pregnancy to him.  All went well and their only son was born, a healthy baby boy who is now 41 years old.  In gratitude for the answered prayer, the child was named Jose Carlos.  The Cantus are the parents of five daughters and one son.  They are expecting their 9th grandchild.  Several of their children also turn to Father Kentenich in prayer.  One daughter also entrusted her pregnancy to Father Kentenich.  In gratitude, she named her child Josef.  So, Cantu urges everyone to entrust their needs to Father Kentenich, write them down and make them known, especially in this Father Kentenich Year. It was such a special gift to hear the presenters’ words that brought the presence of our Founder so near to us.

The beautiful day ended at the Shrine with a closing prayer and renewal of our pledge:  “Yes, Father, we go with you!”  Together we recited the Prayer for the Father Kentenich Year.  Holding hands in the expansive unity ring around the shrine, we raised our voices to renew our consecration, “My Queen, my Mother …”  One by one, we all went up to lovingly sign our name on a red poster board heart that symbolized the heart of our Father and Founder.  Fr. Patricio walked into the shrine with the heart filled with all our names and placed it on the altar.  With this closing act of our celebration, our Texas Schoenstatt Family expressed our gratitude to God for the gift of our Father and Founder -- particularly his “fatherhood” – from which stems the love we have for him. 

 

 

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Time

Location

Activity

 

 

 

 

 

9-10 am

Arrival

Coffee available

 

10:00

Shrine

Opening prayer

 

 

10:30

 

Shrine

 

Holy Mass with homily proclaiming and explaining the motto

 

noon

 

Lunch

People bring sack lunch

 

 

12:30-1:30 pm

 

outside

 

Children’s program

 

 

 

 

Opportunity for personal prayer in the Shrine or visiting the gift store

 

1:30

 

Center/Hall

 

A/V Impulse to the Father Kentenich Year

 

2:00

Center/Hall

Witness panel

Introducing the mission of the Father Kentenich Secretariat and inviting everyone to choose one way during the coming year to grow in attachment to Father Kentenich

 

 

2:45

 

Shrine

 

Closing Prayer

Blessing of religious goods,

Sending out  

 

 

 

3:30

Busses leave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Father Kentenich Year

Letter of the General Presidency

Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio •

Fr P. Juan Pablo Catoggio asked schoenstatt.org editorial staff to help spread his letter, written in the name of the General Presidency, proclaiming a “Father Kentenich Year” in preparation of the 50th anniversary of his death. The idea is to share this letter, at Pentecost, with the entire Schoenstatt Family.

Already on Friday, June 2, all National Presidencies and Centrals of the Schoenstatt Movement received the letter.

We publish here the official English translation of the letter that is also available in Spanish and German.

 Schoenstatt, Pentecost 2017

 

Dear Schoenstatt Family,

The members of the General Presidium send you heartfelt greetings from Schoenstatt on the feast of Pentecost. Here, at the place of grace and of our origin, we implore for you all over the world the gifts of the Holy Spirit on the occasion of his feast.

 In 2018, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of our father and founder, Father Josef Kentenich. After consulting the representatives of the movement worldwide, we invite you to a Father-Kentenich-Year starting on September 15, 2017 and ending on the 50th anniversary of his passing away on the 15th of September 2018.

Let us focus on our father and founder for one year: on his thinking and message, on his interesting and varied biography, and on the answers he has given to the challenges of the Church and the world and still wants to give through us today. This year gives us the opportunity to deepen our relationship with Father Kentenich, so that his charism can be reawakened in us. Let us invite many people to meet Father Joseph Kentenich for the first time or to rediscover him as a prophet of our time!

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Pilgrimage to the House of the Virgin Mary

Father Johnson Nellissery, Schoenstatt Father, is taking a group of pilgrims to Greece and Turkey, September 30-October 10, 2017.  You are invited to consider this opportunity to follow the footsteps of St. Paul. 

Saint John was asked by Jesus to care for His Mother, so St. John took her to Ephesus where he built a hut for Mary until her last days on earth. Blessed (Sister) Catherine Emmerich (1774­1824) was a mystic and visionary who described the location of the hut. In 1896 this site was declared a Shrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Here miracles have been recorded and an apparition of Mary has been documented.  Many popes, including Pope Benedict XVI, have visited and celebrated Mass at the site.  Now our own Schoenstatt Father Johnson will celebrate Mass there, as part of our pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey as we follow St. Paul’s Footsteps. There’s still time to join us!

If you are at all interested, please come to our Greece Pilgrimage Meeting to be held on Saturday, July 22, 6:15 PM in Grace Hall at Saint Paul Catholic Church in South Austin (after the 5 PM Mass). Or for more information about the pilgrimage, contact Gina Rollman at ginarollman65@gmail.com.

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Queen of three graces on the move!

Dear State Team Members and invited guests, once more welcome to our Confidentia Shrine!

This is a very special year since our Shrine was nominated to be a “HOLY DOOR OF MERCY”. We are happy for each group that comes to the Shrine and is able to receive the Plenary Indulgence. 

It is special too because we are on our Crowning Path.  As we know since last year at the end of our June convention in 2015, the crowning path was opened. As Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in the USA and Canada, we are spiritually moving across the different states from West to East: Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, stopping in Florida, Ohio, even New York, ending in Wisconsin.

Why do we do this spiritual Crowning Path?  

After the centennial celebrations in the year 2014, and all the blessings received, we feel compelled to crown the Blessed Mother.

We want to crown her in thanksgiving, for all graces and blessings she has bestowed upon her Schoenstatt Work and on each individual person consecrated to her during the past hundred years.

As members of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign State Team, we have experienced countless graces of inner transformation in families, and individuals.  

Each visit the Blessed Mother has done is different, she bestows her graces according to the needs of the people. Sometimes some members in a family are indifferent at the beginning of her visit, but after some time they open themselves for her love and care.

Through the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, we have seen how she visits the people working the same miracles as she did on her visit to her cousin Elizabeth.

The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign groups have experienced the grace of home; they feel accepted by her motherly care. They get closer to God and receive again the sacraments.

Through the Rosary Campaign the grace of mission zeal has reached enormous length, but above all it has used us as her instruments, to build up the Marian Kingdom of the Father here on earth.  Therefore we are grateful, and we first as STATE TEAM MEMBERS want to crown during this weekend our Auxiliary Pilgrim Shrines as:

“Queen of the three graces on the move”

And with this crowning we prepare her crowning with all our people. We want to crown her in our dioceses, parishes, groups, homes.  Each image of the Pilgrim Mother should be crowned on October 22 or 23 this year 2016.  No image of the Pilgrim Mother should be left uncrowned. We want to take this responsibility with us.  So this weekend we prepare ourselves for the upcoming crowning.  She is the great missionary.  She will work miracles!

We are conscious of our responsibility to be her missionaries in our areas and states, to spread love for her and her Son, and make many people aware of the three graces from the Shrine.  We want to crown, as Nation and spiritually united with Canada as:

“Queen of the three graces on the move”

Each altar where we place the Pilgrim Mother be it in our homes, parishes, schools, nursing homes or places of work is the throne from where the MTA wants to bend down to us as Queen and Mother and in her love extend to everyone her three graces from the Shrine.

We are her instruments, who make this possible!

As we go through our Crowning Path, we will pray to our Mother and Queen, that she grants us the grace to be always her willing   instruments in leading others into her heart as children so they receive: the grace of being at home; to lead others to a greater openness for education of our Mother and Queen: the grace of inner transformation; and to make others aware of their missionary character through a more intentional apostolate with the Pilgrim Mother: the grace of apostolic fruitfulness.

 

Practically we continue offering each Rosary and each apostolic deed as our conscious contribution for her crowning.

And we continue with our groups, marking our Crowning Path, from the Tabor Shrine till we reach the Shrine in Milwaukee. The distance is 5,474 miles. The Rosary is our transportation.  Every 15 Rosaries prayed, moves us together with John Pozzobon 250 miles to our destination: The International Shrine in Milwaukee.  Why 15 rosaries? Because John Pozzobon used to pray before he died 15 rosaries every day! So in union with him we walk to the International Shrine in Milwaukee.

There is a tool that could help us to deepen the three graces. The booklet

“Three Days of Mercy with the Mother Thrice Admirable Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt.

We have them in Spanish and English.

So let us go Ablaze with the fire of Pentecost. We want to deepen and to share the fruits of the Exile Legacy and to extend the mission of the Rosary Campaign, growing in love, unity and sanctity in our daily life.

Here we have a poster of: OUR CROWNING PATH, please make one it helps. This Idea I took from in San Antonio, I saw it and I was inspired.  I think it is very good. We can help each other by sharing ideas and let ourselves be complemented and enriched by the others.

Again, ablaze with the fire of Pentecost,

“With Mary, we go, a new Pentecost for our times!”

 

Sr. M. Gloria Mauricio

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San Antonio, June 21, 2016, 7 PM

 

Extended Meeting of the Diocesan Committee with Board and leaders in the Shrine Ministry

Hosted by Fr. Jesus Ferras, Texas Movement Director

Fr. Patricio, Fr. Vega, Fr. Marcelo, Sr. Gloria, Sr. Heidi, Moderators in SA

 Fr. Jesus read the letter of March 15, regarding new assignments and the transfer of Fr. Marcelo, who served as coordinator of the Schoenstatt Movement for almost six years.  Fr. Marcelo was thanked for his service, also as an instrument in the initiatives he accomplished at Mount Schoenstatt and for bringing about more interaction with the archdiocese in regard to the shrine and the Movement.

 New Assignments:

·         Branch moderators –

o   Sr. Gloria Mauricio, Family Branch, will represent FB in the Diocesan Committee

o   Sr. Heidi Infante, Mothers Branch

o   Sr. Gloria and Fr. Vega for the SRC

·         Shrine Ministry  --

o   Fr. Hector Vega

·         Coordinator for San Antonio

o   Fr. Patricio Rodriguez

o   Also, moderator for the Family Branch

The coordinator works closely with the diocesan committee and uses the motto as impulse. The Diocesan Committee, under the leadership or the Movement Coordinator, is the ultimate body responsible for the local diocesan Movement according to the structure set by our Father and Founder.

Central Committee of Moderators meet 4 times a year to discuss and discern the life of the Movement and the Branches in the League.

Fr. Jesus emphasized that we must continue to work closely with our moderators striving for unity and cooperation, although unity can be frail at times, we continue.  In our efforts to safeguard unity, we want to follow the teachings of Pope Francis.  We have to have humility to be instruments for Blessed Mother’s mission from her shrine.  She comes to each of us with the grace we need.

Fr. Marcelo expressed gratitude for friendships he has made with the San Antonio Family as fruit of his ministry to us and for his own personal growth.  He looks forward to his new assignment as Coordinator of the SRC nationwide.

Sr. Gloria shared that she wanted to bring “mission zeal” to the family branch in San Antonio.

Sr. Heidi emphasized “working together” in all going on in San Antonio with the shrine.

Fr. Patricio spoke from his heart with a spirit of gratitude saying that Schoenstatt is our life.  Dedication to the Schoenstatt Movement is always in the hands of Divine Providence.  The Schoenstatt Fathers are sent, surprised – referring to new assignments.  Leaving an assignment is difficult but that he is available where Divine Providence needs him.  He shared that he received the gift of knowing San Antonio from Fr. Marcelo.  Life in community has the important aspect of being able to share the fire of the mission with the brother priests.

Fr. Vega wants to build on what has already been built up, glad to be a part of becoming more cor unum in Patre for the future.

Fr. Jesus stressed that the Schoenstatt Fathers are 100% with us; we are not on our own.  He wants San Antonio to strive to continue growing – to make a beautiful life according to Divine Providence and the pace He sets.  He assured us that we are in the prayers of the Fathers community and they want to continue with our history of working together.

Goals:

·         Continue developing and working on the mission of San Antonio

o   We have direction and want to proceed

o   Schoenstatt Family is united through the leaders – build family unity

·         Strengthen diocesan committee

o   Be open to receive new leaders

·         Identify and invite new leaders

·         Also, be able to identify within Movement other leaders for renewal of leadership, after years of service.

·         Shrine Ministry

o   Establish Shrine Pastoral Committee with vision for ministry from the shrine, that is serving the pilgrims and the larger needs of the diocese and the Church.

·        Note:  Board is at the service of the life of the Movement, to enable, serve and support the needs that come from the Diocesan Committee and the needs of the Shrine (Pastoral Committee).

Sharing by the leaders present:

Ø    Talks on Schoenstatt are presented in Spanish 30 minutes before the Mass at three parishes:  OLG, St. Matthews, St. Bridget also, being requested in English.  Fr. Jesus recommended that before committing to new programs to get back-up support.

Ø   Re the Pastoral Committee, Sacraments need the approval of the coordinator.

Ø  Day Retreats – more retreats are being schedule by the various departments of the Archdiocese Pastoral Center, including the Campus Ministry Office which has two retreats scheduled – Oct. 29 and Nov. 12.  We continue to serve our archdiocese through our facilities rentals to parish ministries, other movements, youth groups, Catholic school staff, and groups.  Also, we have had an increase in bus pilgrimages coming by bus.  In 2015, visitors from 64 cities in Texas, from 21 states plus the District of Columbia in the USA and from 15 countries in the world were welcomed at the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine!   In the past year, including pilgrims and program services the number served is over 10,000.

Ø  Mothers group instead of having their monthly meeting they went on pilgrimage to a Church with a Holy Door.  They took the Pilgrim Shrine and received an invitation to return to share about Schoenstatt.

Ø  St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop – a new opportunity for not only spreading Schoenstatt and our shrine but also to earn funds by having volunteers work at the Thrift Shop three or four hours on the fourth Saturdays (also fifth Saturdays).

Ø  The organized Movement work is from the shrine to the people and the pilgrims’ movement.  The people receive an introduction, experience the shrine and then go deeper.  Our covenant of love sets us on fire!

Ø  Covenant Mass for Families, July 18

Ø  20th anniversary of Mount Schoenstatt, August 12, 1996-2016!

In Inspiring comments by Fr. Jesus:

     The Letter from the Pentecost Congress challenged us and called us to become a “Schoenstatt on the Move!”  We accepted and want to continue with enthusiasm – it is all for Blessed Mother!

The Movement is limited if leaders are not available. They are required for growth. Branch leaders should identify potential leaders in their branches and invite them to come forward to take on responsibilities. Structures have to be in place. It is the responsibility of the branch leaders to meet regularly with group leaders of their respective branches forming a “Branch Core Team” and form and prepare mentors for potential new groups.

New family branch Marriage Strengthening Retreat will be held at Lamar in English

Five vocations from TX to the Schoenstatt Fathers, including Hector Islas and Josh Parker from SA. They leave in January 2017 to South America to start Novitiate. Seminarian Jeff Roedel from Milwaukee has four more years of formation to go before ordination. Keep them in your prayers, they will be our future Schoenstatt Fathers.

Pilar Huerta, Family Federation

Communications Editor

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Girls Youth Summer Camp - A Schoenstatt Adventure

To tell the truth, we were 95% excited and 5% nervous as our family drove into the parking lot of the Schoenstatt grounds. Nevertheless, as soon as we saw the beautiful ocean view on the grounds, the familiar Schoenstatt shrine with a Holy Door of Mercy, and a smiling sister who gave us directions, our nervousness subsided. Our family was warmly greeted by Sister Sandra, the sister directing the retreat, Sister Alejandra, who was assisting Sister Sandra, and the young adult volunteers. We were shown to our room, which we were to share with three other girls. We had the typical butterflies one has on their first overnight retreat, but the courtesy of the sisters and volunteers and the friendly manner of other girls who had been to several previous Schoenstatt retreats made us feel welcome.

There were so many wonderful and memorable things about the Schoenstatt Retreat; we hardly know where to begin! First of all, the Schoenstatt sisters were so kind. They were always smiling with a contagious joy as they conducted a retreat activity or served the food at mealtime. The food, by the way, was so delicious, and there was dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day! Back to the subject, the Schoenstatt sisters emphasized the importance of the virtues, especially cleanliness. The girls were instructed to always keep their rooms tidy; furthermore, a cleaning fairy would leave a surprise gift for those with the cleanest room and neatest bed. We had never been so careful in making our bed before, but our effort was delightfully rewarded. The sisters also allowed the girls to practice service. After every meal, some girls were assigned for dish duty and helped the sisters wash the dishes and clean up. Do not worry; there were different girls assigned for dish duty after every meal, so nearly every girl had their turn. The sisters also had “lights out” at around ten o’clock or ten thirty each night, turning off all the lights and instructing the girls to go to sleep.

The entire Schoenstatt retreat was faith-centered. We had morning and evening prayer in the Schoenstatt shrine every day, and there were confessions for anyone who wished to go. The priest celebrated Sunday Mass in the Schoenstatt shrine for all the girls, and we had all practiced the songs we sung during Mass at the retreat. The retreat was also very well-planned. The Schoenstatt Spring Break Retreat was in March, but the volunteers had been preparing for it since January! The activities were all set up in advance around the Schoenstatt grounds and were well-coordinated. When we first arrived at the retreat, there were hand-made name tags that the young adult volunteers made for all the girls. They were especially helpful in learning everyone’s name, as there were about 45 girls at the Spring Break Retreat! Even the meal prayers were specially planned, each one sung to the tune of a popular song in addition to the regular grace said before meals. Needless to say, the Schoenstatt retreat was so much fun! The first night of the retreat, the sisters showed all the girls a movie, and the retreat activities were based on that movie. All the games we played were fun and involved all the girls, so no one felt excluded. All through the retreat, the games and activities encouraged us to build new friendships. After the retreat, everyone wanted to get the phone number or mailing address of a new friend to keep in touch. The Schoenstatt Spring Break Retreat was fun and faith-centered, but most importantly, it gave us the opportunity to do a work of mercy.

Near the end of the retreat, the Sisters presented all the girls with a surprise gift: a box of shampoos, conditioners, bath gels, lotions, and bar soaps for everyone to choose from. The hygienic items had been given to the Sisters, and the girls were allowed to take as many as they wanted. We remembered that about a month earlier, a lady who worked at shelters had come to talk at a day retreat we attended. She had talked about how there was so much need at the shelters for donations. She also mentioned that toiletry items were one of the things they needed most. Suddenly, from the retreat had blossomed an opportunity to perform a work of mercy. After we explained our idea to make toiletry packets to Sister Alejandra, she generously allowed us to take home the box of leftover hygienic items. Using the gifts from the Schoenstatt sisters, our family set out to make toiletry packets for the people at the shelters.

To assemble the toiletry packets, we put a shampoo, conditioner, and bar soap into a goodie bag, sealing it off with a silver tie. We were able to produce attractive, fancy-looking toiletry packets by matching hygienic items of the same brand, or different brands that complemented each other. Not only was it fun to turn such simple things into rewarding gifts, but it was also hopeful. It might seem silly to think that hope can lie in hygienic products, but it can. By giving people the means of keeping themselves clean, their self-dignity is restored; they feel better about themselves. Furthermore, people’s lives are touched. They know that they are not alone in their struggles, and that there are people out there who care about them. This can give them a brighter view of the future. Hope is something that must never be lost. It is our prayer that these toiletry packets will help strengthen or restore it.

Moreover, it is especially fitting that we were able to perform this act of mercy during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. During this special year, Pope Francis has called the faithful to perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We are so glad that we were given the opportunity to be merciful to others. The retreat was like the fertilizer: it was where we were given the materials. From there, out sprouted a sapling of mercy.

We are very thankful to the Schoenstatt Sisters for such a wonderful retreat. It was well-planned, faith-filled, and lots of fun! We are so glad we were able to attend. We would also like to say a special thank-you for the hygienic items; these allowed us to reach out to others through a work of mercy. We encourage any girls who have not been to a Schoenstatt retreat to go. It is a beautiful and memorable experience.  We truly benefited from the Spring Break Retreat and cannot wait until our next Schoenstatt adventure!

 

JMJ

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May Crowning - "Queen of Merciful Hearts"

Our Mother and Queen was honored with the title “Queen of Merciful Hearts” when she was offered her beautiful crown filled with hearts with the names of her loving children. 

The coronation was held at the two covenant Masses, the May 15 Third Sunday Covenant Mass, celebrated by Fr. Hector Vega and the May 18 Covenant Day Mass celebrated by Fr. Patricio Rodriguez.  Arnie & Sonia Salinas felt very blessed to have the privilege of offering the crown in the Mass on May 15.  Lisa Perez had the honor and privilege of offering the crown to our Queen in the Mass on May 18.

                                                                                               

I am sharing an excerpt from a reflection by Cardinal Wuerl that helps us to understand that Marian feasts, devotions and traditions are celebrations of Jesus Christ.  Through them we learn how to stay close to him in prayer and through the practice of charity, with confidence that our prayers will be answered.

 

Pilar Huerta, Family Federation

Communications Editor

 

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