IN THE PANDEMIC PERIOD
By: Schwester M. Liliane Dias
MANY PILGRIMS VISIT THE SHRINE
Since March 22, 2020, the gates to the Schoenstatt Shrine “Tabor of the Everlasting Presence of the Father” in Atibaia / State of São Paulo – Brazil have been closed due to the “Covid-19” pandemic. This prompted a ‘fire in the embers’ in the sisters to “go out from the shrine” in order to “go” in a virtual way into the houses of the families who would otherwise come to the shrine of the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt on the occasion of their diocesan pilgrimages.
For us, who live in Atibaia, it is almost inconceivable that day after day no pilgrimage buses come with the many pilgrims, who otherwise enter our shrine with a yearning heart and greet our dear “Pilgrim Mother”.
We had to cancel the holy Mass with the renewal of the covenant of love on March 18. In addition, one, two, three, four, five, six and finally many diocesan pilgrimages could not take place, sometimes with five thousand pilgrims. This prompted us to draw up a plan for the shrine to use social media, especially Facebook and YouTube, to make the shrine with its graces accessible to thousands of families and pilgrims.
WE GO AND PILGRIMAGE FOR YOU
If the pilgrims cannot come to the shrine, we will pilgrimage in their place, with them, on their behalf. They cannot come, but we bring the shrine to their homes, cities, and dioceses. Inspired by this desire, inspired by the boundless love for our Mother and Queen and the children who love our Mother and Schoenstatt Queen who is three times wonderful and her shrine of grace, we planned daily programs to enable the Schoenstatt Family and pilgrims to participate online.
MANY HOURS A DAY – ONLINE PRESENCE IN THE SHRINE
We begin every day at 9:30 am with the transmission of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which continues and is broadcast on YouTube until 12 noon ending with the prayer of the “Angel of the Lord”. In this way, a personal encounter with Jesus and the Blessed Mother is possible for everyone. At 3 p.m. we have holy Mass in the shrine with the online participation of hundreds of people. We conclude the day with praying the rosary in praise of the Queen and a request for physical and mental health around the world. Every mystery of the rosary is prayed by a person or group.
On March 23, after our diocese and city council ordered our gates to be closed, we began our spiritual pilgrimages. We accompanied the dioceses who had entered their annual pilgrimage on that day to the shrine each Sunday, as provided for in the program.
It was impressive to see the participation of every diocese who signed up, who joined us on the Internet for a spiritual pilgrimage at 9:00 a.m. Everything happened as if they were really here: with a welcome, with songs, prayers and much applause and applause for our heavenly Mother and Queen – on the other side of the cell phone: Such happy hearts, united with the Blessed Mother in the shrine to receive the graces and blessings of their pilgrimage to the shrine.
The joy of the spiritual pilgrimage of the dioceses, the spiritual presence of the pilgrims in the daily worship, the online participation in the celebration of the holy Mass and the rosary prayer in May gave us great joy. In this month of May in the pandemic, we wanted to bring our May flowers to our dear Schoenstatt Queen instead of all the pilgrims. Because they couldn’t physically come to their shrine, we wanted to prove our love.
VIRTUALLY UNITED IN PRAYER
The month of May ended with the transmission of the Pentecost vigil. United with our dear Mother and Queen in the Coenaculum shrine, we pleaded for the descent of the Holy Spirit with his gifts and fruits over the holy Church and all of humanity.
The words of our father and founder become concrete:
“Schoenstatt, our shrine… should above all be our Cenacle. That is the silent waiting and hope that brings us together here at this time. We hope in our Cenacle for the great Pentecost miracle, similar to how it filled and transformed the soul of the apostles at the time. “(The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of Peace”, p. 360)
With thousands of pilgrims, virtually united in prayer, we converted our shrine into a Cenacle.
The online program will continue to run in the coming months until the pandemic ends. The door of the shrine is virtually open so that many can get to the heart of the Blessed Mother and allow her to help them overcome the challenges of this time.