A Day of Hope: Our Covenant 2020
A Warm Celebration from the Original Shrine.
Written by: Luciana Loyola P.
Days before October 18th, the weather reports had been alerting us of possible rain and winds; already with the distancing measures due to the pandemic, it was feared that it would be a not very warm celebration. The great concern to offer a program full of spirituality was evident, especially in these times of so much adversity.
Against all odds and with the help of our MTA, a day of celebration for the foundation of Schoenstatt was held free of rain with special conferences, commemorative Masses, and the participation of people from different regions of Germany, some who sealed the Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine.
At the beginning of the day, families, youth, children, and members of the different Schoenstatt branches arrived at the Original Shrine to celebrate the 106th anniversary of the foundation. Applying security measures, about 250 people participated in the German-English Mass celebrated by Father Ludwig Güthlein, in which a special dedication was made to the theme of the day, Mary, hope for all. Flags from different countries made a formal entrance into the Pilgrims’ Church representing the internationality of Schoenstatt and giving way to the auxiliary image of the Pilgrim Mother.
Simultaneously, in another corner of the valley, 20 members of the Portuguese-speaking community had moments of prayer and reflections on the Covenant of Love, led by their advisor, Sister Isabel of Brazil. Two young couples plus 11 members of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign gave their Yes to the exchange of hearts with the Mother Thrice Admirable in the Covenant of Love. During the warm ceremony, which was celebrated by Father Antonio Bracht, Member of the General Council of the Schoenstatt Fathers, the children also made a special consecration to the Blessed Mother in which each one received a special medal.
“This is a great joy, we are very happy to be able to consecrate our marriage and our Benjamin to Mary” – this is how Mateus Cançado Moura and Anneliese Neumann described it; they are a Brazilian couple who have been living in Germany for 4 years and traveled from Munich with their 5-month-old son to Schoenstatt.
Soon after, the secretariat of hispanic language, led by Sister Carolina, offered more than 60 people a moment of singing and prayer. With the participation of Father Pablo Pol, Rector of the Original Shrine, 17 people sealed their Covenant of Love, 10 children were consecrated to our Blessed Mother and 4 images of the Pilgrim MTA were blessed and sent out.
“It was a very beautiful experience! We came with a group from the Catholic mission from Hannover to be able to consecrate our children to the Virgin” commented Sharon Jiménez Delgado, from Costa Rica who has been living in Germany for 13 years with her daughter Maria.
At this time of day, a Spanish-Portuguese Mass was celebrated in in the Pilgrims’ Church along with all the families who traveled to Schoenstatt. During the homily, Father Antonio Bracht made a brief reflection referring to the context of the pandemic, about how for some people, hope is the vaccine while for others the vaccine is hope, offering words of comfort and encouragement regarding the circumstances in which we are currently living. He concluded by saying “truly, our hope is Mary!”
And this is how the afternoon was going. Each minute brought us closer to the exact moment when Father Kentenich, from the small chapel in Vallendar, decided to seal the first Covenant of Love.
With great care for the health and safety of all, more than 430 visitors were able to participate in the ceremony which was translated into 4 languages and transmitted through the internet by official channels. It is good for us to be here, let us build three tents! Without a doubt these words are a symbol of shelter which during this rite of renewal solidified our commitment to the Shrine and our dedication to the Mother Thrice Admirable. The atmosphere was spiritual and full of joy. The celebration concluded with the traditional burning of the offerings to the contributions to the Capital of Grace and several songs to our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.
You can access to the video of this event through this link: www.bit.ly/sch106