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Apostolic Movement

Croatia: The mission of their second Schoenstatt Shrine is revealed

By: Claudia Brehm | Fr. Christoph Horn

National Meeting of those in charge

In a warm atmosphere of openness and mutual appreciation, about 50 people gathered at the Shrine in Ivanovci, the second Schoenstatt Shrine in Croatia, for the annual meeting of the Croatian leaders: the leaders of the League groups, of the local Schoenstatt communities and of the most important projects. The main topic of the meeting was the spiritual preparation for the feast of September 9, when the solemn blessing of the Stations of the Cross would take place in the Shrine.

Enclosed is the 15th station of the Way of the Cross: The Resurrection of Jesus. A small angel adores the risen Christ. The piece is made of bronze. Enamel protects the relief from the elements.

Mutter des Bundes

Contemplating the Stations of the Cross together

Starting June 10, the leaders wish to reflect each week on a station of the Stations of the Cross. Everyone will continue to make their small and large spiritual contributions. Those who wish to participate are cordially invited to send their written contributions in an envelope marked “Way of the Cross” to Father Christoph Horn, Mättihalden 3, CH – 6048 Horw. He will deposit the sealed envelope in the jar in front of the Shrine on September 16.  Contributions from abroad are also gratefully received.

A name that incorporates our life with the Covenant of Love

A very special subject was the elaboration of the specific mission of the Shrine. From now on, the Shrine in Ivanovci will bear the name: Shrine of the Mother of the New Covenant. In the Covenant of Love, Mary leads us to the heavenly Father, to her Son Jesus Christ and to the Holy Spirit. She thus unites us to the Triune God, but also to each other as her children, as sisters and brothers in the Covenant of Love. Thus, this mission complements the charism of the Mother Thrice Admirable from the first Croatian Shrine in Mala Subotica: Shrine of the Queen of Hearts.

Promoting motivation through personal visits

For fifteen days Father Horn toured southern Croatia personally visiting the leaders, which fosters motivation and strengthens cohesion. The highlight of his tour was the Covenant of Love celebration, during which a total of 27 candidates consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother, including a large number of young people.

European Congress of Families in Vienna

At the newly established Schoenstatt Center in Kahlenberg, Vienna, five couples from Croatia participated in the European Congress of Schoenstatt Families together with 150 couples from 14 European countries. The five couples enjoyed staying with Austrian families instead of in hotels, so they were able to meet new friends and exchange valuable experiences. During the three days there were a lot of activities, especially family projects organized by the national family movements.

Seeing and experiencing for themselves within this motivating environment, meeting committed couples and, at the same time, experiencing each other’s interest in Croatian projects became important experiences for the Croatian group.

The highlight for them was the closing mass in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna with the bishop in charge of Families at the Austrian Episcopate. Mrs. Sanja B. provided an excellent service, translating for the Croatians for three days. Very blessed and strengthened in the common Schoenstatt family spirit, the group set out on their return trip to Croatia.

Pilgrimages of women and mothers in May

Both Shrines in Croatia hosted well-attended mothers’ pilgrimages. Sister Mariana focused on the question of how God the Father loves and cares for each person individually in a meaningful talk on the topic: “God’s favorite child.

18 women sealed the Covenant of Love in Mala Subotica and five made the consecration of members. Father Horn writes: “It is always exciting to accompany the rite as a priest and to feel the dedication with which the women seal this Covenant. Rarely have I heard the consecration prayer prayed with such unity and vigor as this time.”

National family pilgrimage

After a three-year hiatus, the family pilgrimage was revived, and it worked! Some 20 families – including new young families arriving for the first time – went on a spiritual balloon trip. Inspiration made it clear how important it is to connect earth with heaven, to let go of old obstructive baggage, to acquire a higher vision of earthly things and to draw closer to the God of love – also and especially through prayer as a family – with very concrete suggestions for morning and evening prayer.

croatia mission schoenstatt shrine
Photo: e.hillsley-Unsplash

A successful and exciting theatrical performance by a young couple illustrated the historical figures who had made a decisive contribution to the development of the aerostation. A well-known local singer, Antonio Tkalec, made a wonderful contribution to the whole program with his songs. The diverse program, the good atmosphere and the beautiful surroundings appealed to all participants.

Jesus has a heart for me!

muter des neuen Bundes

Father Horn writes: “A wonderful event: On the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the local pastor celebrated Mass on Saturday evening in the Ivanovci Shrine, and at the subsequent Covenant celebration he conducted adoration at the end, giving the solemn blessing with the monstrance. One could clearly see a golden heart in front of the host. This cannot be explained in human terms. But Mary carries everything in her heart. She is the Mother of the New Covenant in this Shrine and leads us to Christ, who shows us his heart and shelters us in his heart.”


with your loved ones

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