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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Enthusiasm and joy during the first International Week for the Original Shrine

By: Enrique Soros

For the first time ever, Schoenstatt held an international celebration consisting of a week dedicated to the Original Shrine.  It began on Monday, May 10th and ended on Saturday, the 15th with an international marathon that included several activities.  This week’s objective was to make Schoenstatters’ around the world consciously aware that the Original Shrine needs financial contributions for its support and maintenance and that of the property surrounding it, including repair work and improvements.  It was also a very appropriate occasion to cultivate the spirit of unity and mission in the Schoenstatt Family around the world.

Five international days at the Original Shrine

The International Week for the Original Shrine had two phases. The first one took place from Monday, May 10th to Friday, May 14th, and consisted of celebrations in the Shrine itself, in which different parts of the world were represented. Mass was celebrated in German each day at 8:00 a.m. At noon, the Angelus prayer was said in Polish, Portuguese, Kannada, English and Slovenian. The international richness was also reflected during the afternoon masses, which were celebrated in Spanish, English, Portuguese and Kirundi.  On Wednesday the afternoon mass followed the Syro-Malabar rite.

The Angelus was prayed at 18:00 in Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, French and Polish.  The rosary was prayed every night and the evening blessing was given throughout the week, again in different languages. This way, through Schoenstatt’s international quality, the richness and depth of its mission and the responsibility of the entire Schoenstatt Family for the Original Shrine were emphasized.

Saturday, May 15: First Week for the Original Shrine

The great marathon took place on Saturday and it lasted 12 hours.  This is the fourth international event that links the Schoenstatt Family around the world through its social networks. The first event was “Corona Mater”, on April 15, 2020, in which the Blessed Virgin was crowned as Queen of our Physical and Spiritual Health and the second one was the international concert “Corona Mater”, which included songs from various countries; and the third was the Christmas Concert which took place that same year in December and, just like this marathon, united in spirit thousands of Schoenstatt families and friends around the world.

The marathon was organized by a Schoenstatt International team and the Original Shrine’s rector, Father Pablo Pol, from Argentina, participated. Hundreds of people took part either by sending greetings from various parts of the world, offering testimonials, singing songs or being part of the interviews that covered several topics.

Throughout the day there were three concerts, in which Austria, Nigeria, India, Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico participated with motivational songs. Testimonies of Jesus and Mary’s passage through the lives of young people and families were offered from different parts of the world.

Statistics

More than 80 countries actively participated in the Week for the Shrine; there were 23,410 views on social media and the total amount of 21,708 (US dollars) was collected for the support of the Original Shrine, which sets an important precedent, indicating that the Schoenstatters of the world can take responsibility for the Schoenstatt Shrine, called to be Light for the World.

First interviews: Schoenstatt’s contribution to the Church

There were also interviews on very important topics. One of them was with Father Christian Löhr, General Rector of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests, on the topic “Schoenstatt, for a prophetic Church”. Then the dialogue continued with the young Brazilian, Lucas Galhardo, on his “Experience at the Synod of the Youth”, where he represented Brazil. Then, the American couple Pita and Dave Sanchez were interviewed and spoke about “The importance of the father figure”, in the year of Amoris Laetitia and St. Joseph. The block culminated with the social exposition, in which the importance of forging new individuals capable of building a new social order was mentioned, and 19 social projects were presented from among some 100 that the Movement implements around the world.

Mass and Schoenstatt tour

This was followed by Mass, celebrated by Fr. Pablo Pol, a tour through the valley and the mountains of Schoenstatt, visiting the different houses of the communities active there, and the presentation of a day in the Original Shrine, with everything that takes place there.

Second block of interviews: feminism, the family, World Youth Day and the Workplace

In the second block of the marathon, the first interview was with Eduardo Jurado from Ecuador, on the topic “How to live Schoenstatt in the company”. This was followed by an interview with Professor Cecilia Sturla on “Schoenstatt and feminism”. Then it was the youth’s turn talking about World Youth Day, which will take place in August 2023 in Lisbon. The topic of the dialogue was “The Schoenstatt youth in leadership”. The interviewees were Fr. Gonzalo Cravo, Schoenstatt Father, and the young man, João Pedro Duarte.

Father Alexandre Awi Mello and the couple, Flavia and Luciano Ghelardi, were also interviewed about the Amoris Laetitia Year and the family; and finally, Carlos and Maia Pampliega, for CIEES, International Community of Schoenstatt Businessmen and Executives, on the topic “Social Justice in the Workplace”.

Objective

As we said above, the main objective of the Week for the Original Shrine was to make Schoenstatters around the world consciously aware of how important it is to feel responsible for the financial support of the Original Shrine, but as is the practice in Schoenstatt, the emphasis is always on spirituality, social commitment, and growth as a community. For this reason, the week had the most diverse activities in order to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and mission without borders.

Those willing to contribute to the financial support of the Original Shrine may do so through schoenstatt.com

It is possible to enjoy the complete marathon by clicking on the following links:

On YouTube it is possible to go directly to the chosen topic by clicking on the number that indicates hour and minute in the video description.

Parte 1 – YT: www.bit.ly/shrine2021-yt1

Parte 1 – FB: www.bit.ly/shrine2021-fb1

Parte 2 – YT: www.bit.ly/shrine2021-yt2

Parte 2 – FB: www.bit.ly/shrine2021-fb2

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