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Apostolic Movement

USA: Mount Schoenstatt celebrates 15th anniversary of Shrine dedication

By: Pamela Raines

Dedicated on October 18, 2008, Cor Unum in Patre Shrine is the ninth Schoenstatt Shrine in the United States. “Cor Unum in Patre” translates from Latin as “One Heart in the Father”.

On Sun., Oct. 15, the Schoenstatt Family of the Archdiocese of San Antonio gathered in front of Cor Unum in Patre Shrine to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the shrine’s dedication. Celebrated by Fr. Gonzalo Villaseca, Moderator of Professional Men & University Men for the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin, the anniversary Mass was preceded by the recitation of the Holy Rosary and was followed by a reception in Kentenich Hall. Fr. Gonzalo was assisted by Deacons Tony Ludolph and Paul Williams.

Many of the individuals who helped give birth to the Schoenstatt movement in San Antonio several decades ago were present for this important milestone. This in attendance included Kathyleen Colunga, Head of the International Council for the Federation of Schoenstatt Mothers.

It is where we open our hearts to be transformed by Mary

In his homily on the Sunday Gospel (Mt 22: 1-10), Father Gonzalo reminded us that we need to prepare our hearts for the wedding feast and that the preparation for the feast happens in the shrine where we sit and wait for the Blessed Mother’s consolation and patience – and for her education. It is where we open our hearts to be transformed by Mary and where she corrects us and teaches us in her gentle way to love the Lord as she does.

Over the past 15 years, through the graces that flow from the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine, the Schoenstatt Movement of San Antonio has grown tremendously. Mount Schoenstatt is open daily and is filled with weekly activity from the family branch, mother’s branch, boys and girls youth branches and the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Apostolate. The Blessed Mother continually calls her children to her, inviting them to make a Covenant of Love with her so that she may prepare them for the wedding feast.

As Father Gonzalo said, a great invitation and a great feast do not happen without great preparation: Nothing without you, nothing without us!

History of the Schoenstatt movement in San Antonio, Texas

Schoenstatt spirituality arrived to the Archdiocese of San Antonio in 1962 with the arrival of four Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary to St. Lawrence, the Martyr Catholic Church on the city’s far south side. After organizing a new school for the parish, the sisters established a girls youth group among the seventh and eighth grade girls as well as groups for boys, couples and mothers.

Soon, San Antonio’s first wayside shrine, the Shrine of Unity, was built adjacent to the Schoenstatt Sisters’ residence down the street from the parish. More Schoenstatt groups were established throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the Shrine of Unity became a place of pilgrimage. In 1973, the young Schoenstatt community crowned their Mother as Queen of Unity with the petition that she would help them build a replica of the original shrine for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

While the young Schoenstatt community waited to find the right property for the replica shrine to be built, a generous family donated some property to build a temporary shrine. With donations, the Fountain of Family Unity wayside shrine was built and was dedicated by Archbishop Patricio F. Flores in 1990.

Several years of searching passed before the beautiful 52-acre property that eventually became Mount Schoenstatt was finally found. Thanks to an extremely generous benefactor, the land, nestled in the scenic hills of Helotes, TX, was purchased, and, in 2008, the Cor Unum in Patre Shrined was dedicated.


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