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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Asunción: The 25th anniversary of a Shrine where the young heart beats

By: Arturo Zarratea

How the Youth Shrine came about

In 1997, the only Schoenstatt Shrine in Paraguay was the one in Tuparendá, which is currently known as the national shrine and which celebrated its 40th anniversary of its blessing in 2021. But the Boys’ and Girls’ Youth longed for a daughter shrine of Schoenstatt in Asunción, which was motivated and conquered by the youth and precisely for this reason it bears the name of Youth Shrine.

In fact, the Schoenstatt Movement itself was born in Paraguay through the first group of the Boys’ Youth, which was called “The Heart as a Shield” and which included, among others, two of the priests who gave new impetus to the foundation, Father Antonio Cosp (+) and Monsignor Claudio Giménez.

Emotion, history, flags and handkerchiefs

Several years had already passed since the blessing in Tuparenda and the enthusiasm of the youth to conquer the city’s shrine did not stop until their goal was accomplished. So it was that on September 21, 1997, the day that celebrates the beginning of spring and the youth in Paraguay, that the Youth Shrine was blessed.  The procession began several blocks before the site where the new house of the Blessed Mother was erected. The leaders and sub-leaders of the Boys’ and Girls’ Youth carried the picture. Flowers, flags and handkerchiefs waved as they approached and filled those who attended with emotion.

Preparations with presentation of gifts

It is now 25 years since that conquest and this jubilee will help to give an impulse to the new young hearts that beat for the Blessed Mother.

The preparations began with rosaries and contributions to the capital of grace for the symbol of the Holy Spirit that was being conquered. It continued with a walk of 32 kilometers led by the youth who departed at dawn on a Sunday from the Shrine of Tuparendá, in the limits of the cities of Itauguá and Ypacaraí to the Youth Shrine in Asunción. They walked, just as the pioneers at that time asking the Blessed Mother to install herself in the capital of Paraguay. A novena was also prayed preparing the hearts for the great celebration.

After the Mass on the last day of the novena, a vigil with music was held, which reached its climax when the “Hymn of Franz Reinisch” was sung and all the youth rose from their seats to sing in embrace: “Make me an apostle of Schoenstatt, as a knight I will be, and I will die smiling: dear MTA“.

The way through the neighborhood 25 years ago was repeated.

For the Jubilee Day, the symbol that was still missing in the Youth Shrine, the Holy Spirit, was especially conquered. Three Masses were celebrated on the day, but the main Mass began with a procession through the streets surrounding the Shrine, just like 25 years ago when the Blessed Mother went out to go through the neighborhood, escorted by the youth whose hearts she conquered. We greeted her with white handkerchiefs and flowers of all colors also as we did 25 years ago. Several of the young people who carried the picture of the MTA 25 years ago, attended in the company of their children, a new generation of people who will burn for the mission. After the shout of “Long live the Blessed Mother, Long live Schoenstatt, Long live our Youth Shrine” the procession ended and the Blessed Mother was again installed in the Shrine, the beginning of the main Mass was announced.

We thank the Youth that insisted and fought to have a Shrine in the City

The Holy Mass presided by Father Santiago Ferrero was attended by the priests who work with Paraguayan youth and Paraguayan families, as well as by all those who are doing their novitiate in Tuparendá.

“To her we also owe the strength and conviction of those young people who in the 90’s fought and insisted for us to have a shrine in the city and to them, especially on the 25th anniversary, we want to give them a round of applause and thank them,”

said Father Santiago in the middle of his homily.

Come Holy Spirit, rekindle the young hearts.

In another moment he emphasized:

“We cannot celebrate the abstract, we do not really celebrate a jubilee, we do not celebrate 25 years. We celebrate its people, we celebrate its actions, we celebrate its activities. We celebrate the concrete groups, we celebrate the concrete people with their stories, we celebrate our concrete Schoenstatt Family of this Youth Shrine as it is; with our imperfections, with our annoyances, our obsessions, with our difficulty to create a more united family. A family more in communion, more in peace. This is the family we celebrate: concrete people, concrete stories. We do not celebrate ideals but rather what those ideals achieve in our hearts.”

Thanks were also extended to the couple Don Victor and Doña Chiquita Fadul, who generously donated their property for the installation of the shrine.

All the communities made their offerings, in gratitude for the graces received during these 25 years, and as a commitment so that the Youth Shrine will continue to give abundant fruits for the Schoenstatt Family in Paraguay.

Asunción

The celebration ended with the motto “Come Holy Spirit, rekindle the young hearts. Come Holy Spirit, dwell in our Youth Shrine“.  Then came a spectacle with fireworks while the transmission screens showed the pictures of the daring youths who conquered this space that continues to give fruit to the Schoenstatt Family in Paraguay every day.

The celebration of the central Mass for the jubilee of the Youth Shrine can be accessed through this link: https://www.facebook.com/SantuarioJovenPy/videos/1531642877289202/

 

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