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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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