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We Celebrate Our Golden Jubilee, Part Five

By Pilar Huerta

 

The early 1990’s brought God’s special blessings:   

  • the dedication of the new wayside shrine in April 1990
  • enthronements of the picture of grace of our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt in three local parishes
  • a land search committee and a capital campaign for land for the future daughter shrine were established

 Part Five – Fountain of Family Unity Wayside Shrine – a new place of grace – our new spiritual home

On April 29, 1990, the new wayside shrine, Fountain of Family Unity, was dedicated by Archbishop Patricio Flores.  The outdoor Mass was con-celebrated by Father Hector Vega and Monsignor Michael O’Gorman, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish.  Deacon Jesse Ochoa and other deacons, from several parishes of our members, assisted in the Mass.  A choir from a local parish provided the music.  The Knights of Columbus of Blessed Sacrament Parish and the Girl Scouts took part in the processions.  Several Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary from Lamar and members of our Texas Schoenstatt Family were present to celebrate with us the new home for our beloved Mother.

 It was a day of gratitude and celebration for the San Antonio Schoenstatt Family - despite the high temperature on that day.  I remember one of the Knights of Columbus, in full regalia, fainted.  The picture of grace of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt was carried in procession by Belinda Murguia and her daughter, Melanie.  The Peralta boys, Louis, Jr. and Christian, were servers for the Mass.  Archbishop Flores, a good friend to our Schoenstatt Family, placed the MTA picture on the wall in the sanctuary space of the shrine. 

Everything for the new wayside shrine – altar, MTA picture, credence table and cabinet, plant stands, sacred vessels and linens, the pews and the Stations of the Cross came from the Shrine of Unity that had closed at the end of 1988.  The Schoenstatt Shrine of Unity which was on the grounds of St. Lawrence Church had served as the spiritual home of our Schoenstatt Family of San Antonio for 19 years.

 [Interject here that today, in 2019, the altar, the framed MTA picture and the two plant stands from the Shrine of Unity (1969) and later in the Fountain of Family Unity Wayside Shrine (1990) are in the chapel room of the Center at Mount Schoenstatt. Today, 50 years later, Holy Mass is still celebrated on the altar blessed in the Shrine of Unity in 1969.  At how many Eucharistic celebrations has the presence of our Lord Jesus been adored and received in communion – in thanksgiving – by us?  At how many Eucharistic celebrations has our Lord been sacrificed, consecrated and received in sacramental communion from this altar, especially by our founding generation members and those of the second founding generation to which I, with my husband Julian, belong?  For this reason, I have foremost great love and reverence for my Lord, my God – present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist where I unite myself with Him, but also much reverence for this simple altar – table of the Lord – where I have had the privilege of serving my Lord, his priests, and my brothers and sisters as sacristan for many years.] 

 During these years, the picture of grace of our MTA was enthroned in three churches of our archdiocese – Our Lady of Good Counsel, St. Margaret Mary and St. Lawrence.  With these open doors, our growing family was able to bring Schoenstatt more into the church.  The parishioners welcomed Our Lady of Schoenstatt and she bestowed graces in abundance (and continues to do so) to the families.

 From the beginning, there was much life in and from the Fountain of Family Unity Wayside Shrine.  Weekly community rosaries were held on Wednesdays at 7 PM, led by Hope Falcon – not even inclement weather interrupted these weekly rosaries.  The shrine was full on the evening of the 18th for Holy Mass or Marian devotions.  Several priests throughout the years were very faithful in coming to celebrate Mass for the Schoenstatt Family on most 18th covenant days.  The wayside shrine was open daily and pilgrims visited throughout the day.  Their donations made it possible for the shrine to be self-sufficient.  We welcomed special visitors – bishops from our archdiocese and nearby dioceses and also of the Schoenstatt Movement from Schoenstatt in Germany and from Rome.  I remember serving as lector for a Mass celebrated by then Archbishop Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa from Rome (later named cardinal),

For over 20 years, the longing to build a daughter shrine (replica of the Original Shrine in Germany) for our Mother and Queen was in the hearts of her children.  The graces of the Shrine of Unity and the new Fountain of Family Unity Wayside Shrine sustained our family in faith and unity.  Over many years of pilgrimages to the Confidentia Shrine in Lamar for retreats and workshops we received formation in the Catholic faith and the Schoenstatt spirituality.  We also received the special grace of the Confidentia Shrine – unlimited, childlike, victorious confidence.  We did not lose sight of the longing in our hearts, we persevered and we continued forward.  A land search committee was established in 1992 and a capital campaign, “Hand-in-Hand for Our Schoenstatt Land,” was implemented in 1994.  In our home shrines, we recited a common prayer of petition for the intention of securing the perfect land for our Mother’s throne of grace.

 Our holy history continues . . .

Click for photos - www.mountschoenstatt.org/event-gallery

 

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

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