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We Celebrate Our Golden Jubilee, Part Two

By Pilar Huerta

The story of the holy history of the Schoenstatt Movement of San Antonio continues.  It is now 1972, three years after the dedication of the Shrine of Unity in St. Lawrence Parish in 1969.  The young Schoenstatt family wants to see more growth in numbers in the branches.  They see growth as the means to realize the deep longing in their hearts for a replica of the Original Shrine.   

Part Two:  The preparation for the crowning

In June 1972, Sr. M. Margret Gruendig took the design for the crown to Schoenstatt for the crown to be made.  In a letter to the Schoenstatt family, she writes:

“ . . . The idea and ideal of unity seems to move farther and farther from us people of today.  In its stead, discord, resentment, strife, hatred and indifference seem to take their place and at times even may seem to get hold of us.  And yet amid all this we have the courage to crown our dear Blessed Mother as Queen of Unity and have the firm belief that she will glorify herself as Queen of Unity with us and everywhere, for what we do in love and faith has immeasurable and far-reaching effects.  The greater our confidence–the greater God’s answer!  . . .

In the October 18, 1972 devotion prayer we read:  ‘As a sign of our unity with each other we have united all our group symbols in this crown and ask you to unite always our hearts deeper in love and our minds in truth.  . . . Bless this crown with the special presence of your love and power and especially make it an instrument of your unity.’  As you visit our homes in this symbol, give to our families your love, peace, happiness and harmony.  Make this unity so strong that no power may ever sever it.”

In 1973, there was a crowning pilgrimage around the city of San Antonio.  There were three cars with Sr. Margret and the following members:  Margaret De la O, John & Star Elizondo, Hope Falcon, Charles & Margaret Gill, Jesse & Theresa Ochoa, David & Ofelia Rodriguez, and David, Sr. & Aida Sanchez.  They drove around Loop 410 which at the time was the city’s outer loop.  In their pilgrimage drive, they prayed the Rosary.  When the pilgrimage began, the crown was with the members in the first car.  As they traveled, they would exit the loop, stop and get out and pass the crown to the next car and then the cars would enter the loop again to continue the pilgrimage around the city.  This was done several times as they continued the drive all around Loop 410.

In the pilgrimage prayer we read: . . . With this crowning pilgrimage we come to you . . . our greatest petition is that you will select a special place here in San Antonio for your Shrine and retreat house.  . . . We thank you for this Shrine . . . but our great desire is a true replica of the Original Shrine here in San Antonio or nearby, together with a house, so that your message may be spread.  . . . Draw us ever closer to your heart, transform and change us with the sweet power of your love and deepen in us the desire to bring your message of love and grace to others.  Do this from this Shrine and even more so from your new Shrine that we hope to build for you in the future.  We want to give you also for your new Shrine already many prayers, sacrifices and conscientious fulfillment of the duties of our state of life, so that when we can offer you the throne you can already dispense favors in abundance.”

In the last sentence of the paragraph above, we see already the laying of the spiritual foundation of the future shrine through contributions to the capital of grace.  This was in 1973 – the new replica of the Original Shrine would be dedicated in 2008, 35 years of prayers, apostolate, service and sacrifices -- both small and great, very great.  Only our loving Father and our Mother Thrice Admirable know the great number and the depth.  But also, only our loving Father and our Mother Thrice Admirable know the effect of the abundant grace of unity that the Schoenstatt family, not only of San Antonio, but of eight dioceses in Texas received.  During these years, we went to the Confidentia Shrine in Lamar for retreats or on pilgrimage.  We became children of confidence – formed and transformed by the special graces of the shrine, receiving the grace of confidence in great measure.  Countless covenants of love were sealed in the Confidentia Shrine over the more than three decades – sustained by grace, we would persevere and would be rewarded by our Mother’s victory.

From a letter of Sr. Margret in June 1973, we read:  “We all know many examples of disunity.  In Schoenstatt, God has given us Mary as our Mother . . . close to her our hearts soften, remain open for God and each other.  From her we learn this complete forgiveness which restores lost peace and confidence.   Our Mother Thrice Admirable unites us also by leading us to the Father.”

I want to repeat the last sentence above:  “Our Mother Thrice Admirable unites us also by leading us to the Father.”  More than 30 years later, these words would be an inspiration during the period of discernment for the name and mission of the new shrine.

 

© 2019 Pilar Huerta, some rights reserved for entire document, request permission to make copies

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We Celebrate Our Golden Jubilee

We celebrate our Golden Jubilee

 

By Pilar Huerta

 

November 23, 2019 will be the 50th Anniversary of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  In gratitude to God, to our Mother Thrice Admirable, and to our father and founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, we honor our history and the thread of the Covenant of Love that is woven throughout.

 

Foundation:  The arrival of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary to San Antonio on August 21, 1961.  Four sisters came to teach at St. Lawrence Catholic School:  Sr. Anne Mary, Sr. M. Annerosa, Sr. M. Antoinette, and Sr. M. Renata.  The sisters resided in St. Lawrence Parish on Petaluma Street from August 21, 1961-December 18, 1988, offering 27 years of dedicated service to the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the Schoenstatt Movement. Other Schoenstatt Sisters that also served in San Antonio during the years above, were Sr. M. Margret, Sr. M. Ludhelma, Sr. M. Hildegard, Sr. M. Carmen and Sr. M. Gwendolyn.

 

The first Schoenstatt Father, sent by Fr. Kentenich in 1967 to work in Texas, was Fr. Peter Locher.  He made frequent visits to the Schoenstatt Family in San Antonio during his three-year assignment.

 

On November 23, 1969, the first shrine in San Antonio was dedicated in the parish of St. Lawrence (which was celebrating its 10th anniversary on that day.)  The shrine was built by the loving hands and hearts of the first Schoenstatt members.  In the dedication prayer, we read . . . “But most of all we give you our hearts.  Take and receive them, form and mold them, dear Mother, in the fire of your love.  Burn out of them what burdens and hinders them.  . . . Unite them with your heart . . .”   The original intention (idea) of the shrine was to unite the parish. 

 

On this day of dedication, four couples sealed the covenant of love.  Thus, this date also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Schoenstatt Family League in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

 

Part One:  The origin of the ideal of unity

“On the first anniversary, November 23, 1970, the shrine is named Schoenstatt Shrine of Unity (the name which the founders have already considered before the shrine was built).  In the anniversary celebration and naming prayer, we read . . . ‘through the history of this your Shrine, you have shown us that in this shrine you would like to dispense in a special way the grace of unity to our time that is so much torn by discord and strife.  Show yourself to us and to all who come here to pray as the Mother of unity, who unites all hearts in the love of her Son.  In union with our father and founder, we ask you, dear Mother, give us that deep and strong faith in the Divine Providence of our heavenly Father that we come to an ever deeper peace and unity with ourselves, with our families, with our neighbor.  Be the Mother of unity who unites the children of this parish to one warm parish family, bound together by the covenant of love with you and each other.’  . . . We include in this covenant especially all members of our parish, but also our city, our country, and all of mankind that they may find back to the deep unity with God that comes through faith.” 

 

The idea of unity of the young Schoenstatt Family was to become its ideal.  With the abundant grace of a loving Father from the shrine, the young Schoenstatt Family made efforts to realize its ideal through its lived covenant of love, many contributions to the capital of grace, and with the education of a beloved thrice admirable Mother and Queen.

 

A special visit, a blessing and a confirmation:

In Spring 1969, the groundbreaking and the offering of the foundation stone for the shrine was held.  At this time, April 1969, it happened that the Father Eye symbol was on international pilgrimage (after the death of Fr. Kentenich on September 15, 1968) and visited in Texas including San Antonio.  Father came to us at the time of the groundbreaking for the Schoenstatt Shrine of Unity in San Antonio -- a true blessing!  Was this a confirmation for a future daughter shrine in our archdiocese?  This writer believed this at the moment of grace of sealing the covenant of love, together with my husband, Julian, in 1988 and believes it today, as is attested by the holy history of the Schoenstatt Family of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. 

 

See photos posted to the gallery - www.mountschoenstatt.org/event-gallery

 

 

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Holy Land Lenten Pilgrimage

Join us in this great experience in the Holy Land, where Sacred Scriptures come alive as we walk the path Jesus walked. Feel the beautiful March weather, admire the inspiring scenery and reflect on God's Word. Come along for this Catholic Holy Land pilgrimage that will enhance your faith to appreciate it even more….

 

Date: March 23-April 2, 2019

Price: $3559.00

Schoenstatt Father Johnson Nellissery, Spiritual Director

 

FOR MORE INFO & BROCHURES CONTACT:

Gina Rollman, St. Paul Parish, Austin

ginarollman65@gmail.com / 512-560-6537

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Pilgrimages for the Father Kentenich Year

There will be four pilgrimages going to Schoenstatt to commemorate:

the homegoing of Father Kentenich into eternity

50 years ago on September 15, 1968

and that of  Joseph Engling 100 years ago on October 4, 1918

 

English Speaking Pilgrimage:  July 24– August 8, 2018

This Pilgrimage will have the opportunity to visit Schoenstatt, Koblenz, Metternich, Gymnich, Dachau, Wuerzburg, etc. in Germany and Cambrai, France.

For more information please contact Sr. Marie: srmarie@schsrsmary.org

 

English Speaking Pilgrimage:  September 6– 21, 2018

This pilgrimage will have the opportunity to visit Schoenstatt, Koblenz Metternich, Gymnich, Dachau, Liebfrauenhoehe, etc. in Germany and Cambrai, France.

They will be present at the Jubilee Program on Sept. 15.

For more information please contact Sr. M. Danielle: schfamtx@gmail.com

 

Spanish Speaking Pilgrimage:  September 6– 20, 2018

This pilgrimage will have the opportunity to visit Schoenstatt, Munich, Dachau, etc. in Germany and Cambrai France. They will also be present at the Jubilee Program on Sept. 15.

For more information please contact Sr. M. Veronica: srveronica@schsrsmary.org

 

Young Women’s Pilgrimage:  September 13-20, 2018

This Pilgrimage is for young women ages 15 and up. They will have the opportunity to visit Schoenstatt and the surrounding places and will be at the Jubilee Program on September 15th. They will join the other English Speaking Pilgrimage during the time as well.

For more information please contact your youth sister.

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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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