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We Celebrate Our Golden Jubilee, Part Eight

By Pilar Huerta

 

After many years of longing, of contributions to the Capital of Grace, of united effort, perseverance, love and service, the Holy Spirit revealed to us that it was the time to act – it was God’s time.  On Pentecost Sunday 2005, the diocesan committee met to formulate a letter requesting guidance from the Institutes of the Schoenstatt Fathers and the Schoenstatt Sisters to get permission to build a daughter shrine in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  The committee, representing all the members of the branches, made the decision to set a time frame for the building of the shrine.  A three-year intense fundraising campaign would be required.  The Living Stones Campaign would be implemented on October 1, 2005, the first day of the new fiscal year. 

 God’s surprise and great blessing, through the intercession of our Mother and Queen, came to us on September 27, 2005!  Our benefactor called Sr. Corelia Bechold to let her know that he was making a bank transfer to the Schoenstatt Movement of San Antonio for the construction of the shrine.  After prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude at the Fountain of Family Unity Wayside Shrine, the committee decided to go ahead with the planned campaign because additional funds would be needed for the clearing of the land, all the interior of the shrine, some of the symbols, and sacred vessels, linens, etc.  As it turned out, every dollar of the sizeable amount that was raised was needed for the completion and dedication of the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine. 

 The second weekend in October was when the Delegates Convention-Workshop had been held for many years at the Confidentia Shrine in Lamar.  The Convention of 2005 was an unbelievable miracle of unity!

Words of Sr. Corelia Bechold, A Shrine for a Shrine - History of the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine, p. 25

At the Delegates Workshop of that year (2005), Julian & Pilar Huerta and Linda Silva shared the news of the gift with the Delegates.  They, in turn, shared this joy from the heart.  Then something wonderful happened that could only be guided by the Holy Spirit and Father Kentenich’s intercession.  The leaders of the branches and the diocesan leaders voiced their readiness to build this new shrine together as a Jubilee Gift for the Confidentia Shrine (50th Anniversary).  When the Living Stones Album was developed by Pilar Huerta, each diocese took a symbol of the Shrine to work for and to present to the new shrine.  It was a miracle of unity guided from above, a Shrine for a Shrine.

Once home in San Antonio after the grace-filled weekend of unity, love, and joy, the work began for the diocesan committee and the board.  The preliminary work for the board was to prepare a short-term and long-term plan for the use of Mount Schoenstatt which was submitted by the chairperson, Pilar Huerta, to the appraisal district with the application for transfer from an agricultural exemption to a religious-use exemption on the entire property.  Upon approval, the next thing taken care of by the board was to sell the longhorn cattle and begin the clearing of 10 acres.  The architect, Francisco Gonzalez, who served on the board, prepared the architectural plan for the shrine.  Several of the sisters from Lamar came to help in the selection of the site for the shrine.

 The diocesan committee had as its primary focus, the process of discernment for the name and mission of the shrine.  It was a beautiful, spiritual experience of working together.  We had enough members, representing the branches and the pilgrim circle on the committee, to have one member or couple to spend one hour in Eucharistic adoration on each of the seven days of the week.  We did this for over two years until God, through the intercession of our founder, revealed to us the name and mission of our shrine – Cor Unum in Patre – One Heart in the Father.  It is a mission of great significance to offer to Church and world from our shrine.  Most of us (if I may venture to say, all of us) on the diocesan committee in the years of being called as instruments for this holy task, continue with our weekly adoration now 11 years later.  It was a great grace we received of an hour of silence growing in our relationship with God and learning to anchor each week of our lives in Christ who is present in the Eucharist.

Part Eight – Dedication of the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine – our Mother’s victory!

On October 18, 2008, with great joy, the San Antonio Family united with the Texas and U. S. Schoenstatt Family offered our Mother and Victorious Queen the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine.  It was the fulfillment of a 40-year longing for the day when our Mother, Queen of Unity, would reign from her shrine in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  Living the grace of unity, our ideal, prepared us for this day and for the shrine’s mission. 

This second shrine of the Texas Family was the jubilee gift for the 50 years of the special activity of our Mother Thrice Admirable from the Confidentia Shrine in Lamar-Rockport – a Shrine for a Shrine!   For five decades, our San Antonio Family received the special grace of unlimited, childlike and victorious confidence through the hands of our covenant partner. Our striving to live unity daily, nurtured by the grace of confidence, has shaped our story.  It was with the attitude of great confidence that the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine was also offered in thanksgiving in advance for the canonization Schoenstatt’s founder, Father Joseph Kentenich.

Most Reverend Jose Gomez, Archbishop of San Antonio officiated at the dedication of the shrine.  The Mass was concelebrated by the Schoenstatt Fathers of the United States and some diocesan priests.  Several deacons assisted.  The Schoenstatt University Men served as altar servers.  The choir director was Maria Apac-Smith.  Carlos Cantu, from the Brownsville Diocese was the Master of Ceremonies.  The Mass was coordinated by the Dedication Mass Committee:  Fr. Jesus Ferras and the diocesan leader of the mothers’ branch, Linda Silva, and the diocesan leader couple of the family branch, Julian & Pilar Huerta.

1,700 persons attended this special day of grace and festive day of celebration in honor of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.  Many guests from throughout Texas, the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico were present.  After the Mass, the celebration continued with Mariachi music and a dinner for hundreds of guests in a large dining tent.  Congratulations and gifts were presented from throughout the United States, Mexico and Schoenstatt, Germany.

Our holy history continues, bringing us to 2019 and 50 years of great blessings. . .

 

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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