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Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt in Ecuador celebrates the Golden Jubilee of its first Shrine

By: Sister M. Montserrat Darquea

 The Schoenstatt Family in Ecuador has prepared the Jubilee for the 50th anniversary of its National Shrine with countless offerings and lots of planning to offer a strong missionary stimulus to its members. The celebrations will take place January 20-22 at the Guayaquil Shrine and will be attended by the Apostolic Nuncio, the Bishops of Ecuador, and numerous members of the Schoenstatt Family.


“The Schoenstatt seed that your love brought to Ecuador took root in our hearts.”

This is how the founding generation prayed 50 years ago. This is how we have prayed every day during this year in the Jubilee Prayer with immense gratitude and profound joy.

With the motto “Shrine, you are our mission” on January 20, 2021, our Schoenstatt Family in Ecuador began the Jubilee Year of its National Shrine with the opening of the “Shrine’s Door” by the Briz couple and Father José Luis Nieto, in the presence of about 20 persons who belong to the founding generation and 400 attendees, even in the midst of the pandemic. The different communities walked in procession with their flags and symbols along with the jubilee flags that were distributed to the different locations where Schoenstatt has spread.

Schoenstatt in Ecuador

Challenging questions

In his homily, Father Eduardo Auza exhorted the family to answer the question that our Father and Founder asked Father Menningen, adapting it to the times in which we live:

“Schoenstatt Family, are you coming with me, are you willing to renew yourself in this jubilee year? Are you willing to also take the leap on January 20th? Are you willing to offer your life for the liberation of everyone, for the liberation of the Founder himself, who is still imprisoned; for the liberation of the nation, of the Church, of a new society?” (Homily 20 January 2021)

One history, one paten, one mission

And the mission consists of bestowing our Shrine to the world. An extraordinary sign is that the Shrine was consecrated without a roof, which was interpreted as a call to become open arms for the Church and the world and that those hands should be extended to the most needy, to those who have no home.

For the young Schoenstatt Family of Ecuador, the words of our Father and Founder were a call to gather all their energy in search of the chosen land and in the construction of the Shrine even though they were only a handful of people.  In his letter of October 5, 1967 he wrote to us:

“Apparently the Blessed Mother herself wanted to choose and form her instruments in Guayaquil. This indicates that the Blessed Mother wants you to build her a Shrine to work miracles of grace from there, in your country and beyond”.

Father Kentenich was never able to visit Ecuador, but he consecrated us on the paten, which the Ecuadorian Girls’ Youth sent him as a gift, one day before his departure to the eternal Schoenstatt.

Father’s family consecrated on the paten

For the founding generation, the Shrine’s consecration on January 20, 1972 was evidently a gift for our Father and Founder and for the Church, so much so that there were two celebrations: on the 20th with the Schoenstatt Family and another one on the 22nd with the Bishop to symbolize that the Shrine was a gift for the Church.

We are celebrating this jubilee with our beautiful national ideal that is expressed in the memorial located at the foot of each one of the Ecuador’s Shrines: “Father’s Family consecrated on the paten”. Jubilee flags waving on this opening night of the Jubilee were sent to the daughter Shrines and Schoenstatt Wayside Shrines located in the cities of Quito, Samborondón, Manta, Santo Domingo, Babahoyo and Bahía de Caráquez.

Towards the Golden Jubilee, January 2022


Schoenstatt in Ecuador

This jubilee encourages us, brings us closer, draws us in, and leads us to embody the mission.

It encourages us to give thanks, to ask for forgiveness, to offer ourselves on the paten as a gift of gratitude and it incites us to commit ourselves to the Shrine to make it known and to deliver the Schoenstatt charism to the whole country.

A central commission was formed with representatives from all our communities to organize diverse materials and activities dealing with content, liturgy, events, logistics, communication, and finances.

It is a Jubilee grace that, in spite of the pandemic, the entire Family has prepared to celebrate the Golden Jubilee with joy and commitment.

Precious gifts that bear fruit in graces

The most important gift that the entire Family has adopted is to give the Shrine a renewed pastoral ministry.  The great team that organizes the pastoral has employed all its energy to beautify the Shrine and to develop the pilgrim’s route, strengthen the committees in charge of welcoming, liturgy, singing, and others that welcome pilgrims from various cities, parishes, schools, etc. to go on pilgrimages and receive the Jubilee graces.

This exterior renovation includes a Via Matris with the mysteries of the Rosary, the Gateway to Mary’s Garden, Father’s Wayside Shrine, Joseph Engling Memorial, etc. The Community of Schoenstatt Fathers also renovated the Pilgrims’ Church.

Each Branch has made an effort to offer a branch renewed in its ideal and has organized pilgrimages, journeys, and retreats in the National Shrine. It is beautiful to see all the pictures they send of groups with their families making the pilgrimage.

The Girls’ Youth renewed their crowning with the QTA – Queen Thrice Admirable – as Queen of Pure Love. The Mothers’ Branch has adopted the legacy of the first groups and have reconquered their ideal and flag. Every Tuesday of the jubilee year the mothers spend hours in adoration in the National Shrine. The Family Branch reconquered its flag and each family has received a small replica. The Federations and Institutes have also offered countless offerings during this jubilee time.

The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign gave a new push to the Pilgrim Mother Campaign in the parishes and the Blessed Mother has been enthroned in several churches; all the missionaries of Ecuador received a small shrine to fill it with Capital of Grace.

The Liturgy Commission organized adoration on the 20th of each month for 11 continuous hours with the participation of all the communities. During the Mass in memory of our Father and Founder on September 15, covenants were sealed and the commitment to Father Kentenich was renewed.

Jubilee that awakens life in all corners of the world

The Commission has worked on monthly jubilee publications that include the most outstanding events of these 50 years, such as: being Father’s Family, desecration of the Shrine, Daughter Shrines, Home Shrines and Fruits of the Shrine.  Each publication was accompanied by a short video with testimonies.

The Events Commission organized the Jubilee Hymn Contest in which six songs composed by members of various communities participated. After a tough decision process, the lyrics composed by the Head of the Mothers’ Branch were selected. Three talks were also organized and transmitted through our social networks: 1) From the Roots to the Branches, with the participation of founding members, 2) Fire for the next 50 years, with the presence of the Archbishop of Guayaquil, Monsignor Luis Cabrera, and 3) Schoenstatt for the future of the Church, with Father Alexandre Awi. On October 18 we had the launching of the book Root of Clay and New Blood, which includes the most important life currents of these 50 years of history.

As a Family we are very happy with all the renewed life that has enabled the involvement of everyone in this Jubilee Journey and we hope it will be a renewal that awakens vocations and instruments to take Schoenstatt Ecuador into the next 50 years and beyond.

A gift from heaven: Bishops of the Episcopal Conference at the Jubilee Mass

The Blessed Mother offers us a magnificent and unexpected gift: The presence of the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador at the Mass of January 20, in our National Shrine. The bishops of the Conference will be attending their spiritual exercises in the Shrine’s Retreat House from January 17 to 21. Mons. Luis Cabrera, who presides this body, suggested that we invite the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Andrés Carrascosa Coso, to preside the central Mass, so that the bishops could concelebrate. We feel that it is a wonderful sign from a Church that wants to go out and of a Schoenstatt that wants to collaborate with its charism to reach out to the peripheries. The Blessed Mother will send all of us, members of the Schoenstatt Family and bishops, from her Shrine, to conquer the world for Jesus.

The following is the program of the Jubilee Triduum:

January 20:  8:00 pm. Holy Mass presided by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Andrés Carrascosa Coso, with the participation of the Bishops of Ecuador. The MTA image will leave the Shrine and remain in the Pilgrims’ Church.

January 21: 7:30 pm Golden Night. Virtual Adoration led by our Family from Quito that will arrive in Guayaquil for the Jubilee celebrations.

January 22: 5:00 pm Eucharistic Celebration presided by Mons. Luis Cabrera, Archbishop of Guayaquil and President of the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador. Guests from the Church, Ecclesial Movements and civil authorities will be present.

Health security measures and virtual participation

The wave of Covid infections in Ecuador is also of great concern to the Family, so important health security measures have been taken to ensure the peace of mind of those attending the celebrations. For those who wish to follow the events of the Golden Anniversary virtually, we invite you to join the live transmissions through the Schoenstatt Movement Ecuador Facebook networks.

For those who wish to have access to the materials and videos that have been prepared to take part of the Golden Jubilee, we invite you to visit the link: 




with your loved ones

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