4th Anniversary of Schoenstatt Shrine in Costa Rica
Four years ago, on March 20, 2017, the Schoenstatt family in Costa Rica celebrated the gift of having the first Schoenstatt shrine in Central America. The Shrine is in the municipality of Santa Ana in San Jose. On that day, there was a great celebration with a mass presided by San Jose’s archbishop, Monsignor Jose Rafael Quiros while the Schoenstatt family rejoiced thanking God, the Blessed Mother and each person who made that possible
Lisandra Chaves Leiva, Communications Schoenstatt Costa Rica
26 March 2021
“The day the Shrine was blessed, there were Schoenstatt members from over twenty countries in America and Europe. The faith we have in Schoenstatt, in its mission at the service of the Church and the world, is supported by our faith in the extraordinary current of grace flowing from the Shrine. All of us, united as a family, experienced a sliver of heaven on earth”, said Catalina Cabezas, who, along with her husband, headed the project and are currently the coordinators for the Apostolic Federation of Families.
The Shrine’s blessing was a “blue flag” event, that is, it complied with all the requisites to be eco-friendly and in accordance with Laudato si. Everyone was wearing white and beige attires, just as they did when they sealed their covenants. Additionally, 250 MTA medals sculpted in agate, were received from Germany.
Dirk Sander, responsible for the shrine’s construction, remembers: “It was an honor, as if the Virgin was telling me “do this”, and I agreed immediately. It was a challenge because it was done in a short time (three months). With the Blessed Mother by our side, everything was perfect. We had the blueprints, the land. I had never built a shrine before, and the challenge was to interpret what is behind the design of a shrine which is a replica of the original shrine in Germany. This had to be better than any other project. The Blessed Mother was the designer and the one who guided us to do everything right”.
This year, due to the pandemic, the 4th anniversary celebration could not be as crowded or well attended, but the Schoenstatt family united in prayer and celebrated a mass in the Shrine following all the guidelines provided by the Health Department. Mass was presided by Monsignor Daniel Francisco Blanco, auxiliary bishop of the San Jose archdiocese, together with Father Jose Luis Correa Lira, national advisor for Schoenstatt in Costa Rica and Central America and continental coordinator for Schoenstatt in America. They were joined by a deacon and two seminarians.
“Mary is the path to reconciliation. She intercedes for us before her Son so we can be reconciled with the Lord. In the Blessed Mother, we can contemplate the loving and giving mother who has always been mindful of our difficulties. We see her promptly going to Isabel’s house. We see her concern for the newlyweds who ran out of wine. She is totally aware of what we need, of our lives, and guides us to her Son, to renew our hearts and continue on our way to the Father. She is a refuge for sinners, and we come to her as a mother and mediator who takes our hand and leads us to her Son. To celebrate the Blessed Mother’s maternity implies a commitment. We ask for strength to imitate her, especially by taking care of each other’s needs”, said Monsignor Daniel Blanco during his homily at the 4th-anniversary celebration.
As the mass ended, Monsignor Blanco said: “Thanks for the invitation to this 4th-anniversary celebration. We are grateful for everything that is being done from this Shrine. May this Shrine be a place of encounter, prayer, and blessing. It is a gift for the San Jose archdiocese and for all the Church”.