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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

We renew the Covenant of Love by the light of May 31st

By: Dr. Gertrud Pollak

Dear Schoenstatt Family all over the world,

Special congratulations on the celebration of Covenant Day in this Jubilee month in May 2024.

With gratitude, joy and renewed contemplation, our thoughts drift together to Bellavista for the Jubilee on May 31st. This third milestone touches all of us around the world and we look forward to celebrating it with all those who are able to be there.

An ongoing mission that depends on us

The prepared program and many other events in the original location as well as in our countries highlight the significance of this milestone today. Father Kentenich did not write in vain his insightful thoughts and prophetic words in this long letter of the Epistola perlonga.

Today we are certainly not only interested in the first part, which he wrote in Santiago as his first response to the bishop’s visitation report. With the participation of the Sisters of Mary, our Founder celebrated the end of the month of May on May 31, 1949, and placed his letter on the altar at the Bellavista Shrine, which was not yet completely finished. In his address to the Sisters, he emphasized that the pages now resting on the altar were drafted, among other things, thanks to their prayerful commitment.

What our Father is carrying out with the Sisters at that moment is an exchange of helplessness with steadfast trust in Our Lady’s faithfulness. Humanly it is to be expected that the attempted response will fail and provoke indignation. The Founder knows that he is clearly called to “somersault after somersault” and surrenders everything to Our Lady. She will glorify herself. But this will only happen with the cooperation of the people who allow themselves to be educated by her. The union of all in the Covenant of Love demands fidelity and joint steps.

In each another, with each another, for each another

It is significant and appropriate that the Jubilee preparation group has taken as its motto the concluding words of this address to the sisters. The unwavering resolve is to remain faithful to each other in their daily journey towards God and, therefore: In each another, with each another, for each another – as the motto says.

Of course, from today’s perspective, a new reflection is necessary to realize the concerns that Fr. Kentenich raises in his five-part letter. That is why it is important that throughout the world we realize together the significance of this milestone and initiate steps for its implementation in our respective cultures.

This Jubilee has real meaning for us

That is why it is also important for us, as the Institute of the Ladies of Schoenstatt, that a Unity Cross is to arrive at the Cenacle in Bellavista for the Jubilee. We had promised the Chilean National Presidium that we would pray and would help to put an end to the loss of the stolen cross with a new cross. After all, the Unity Cross plays a major historical role for this Shrine.

Knowing that many of us had the same concern, we were surprised that our community, to whom our Father and Founder gave the original cross – as he did then – was now allowed to present the new cross. That is why we did not want it to be just any cross, but preferably one of the first copies of the original cross. So, for the jubilee, we will be presenting a Unity Cross that was in Africa until 1976. It was probably made for our Tanzanian community sometime around the time the first copy was made for Bellavista. So, this jubilee has a real meaning for us: Christ, in unity with the Blessed Mother, will make Schoenstatt’s mission fruitful for the Church and for the world today. We are happy that for months this cross has been traveling throughout all the important places in Chile, to then arrive at the Shrine as a communal gift in joy and gratitude.

I wish for joy and hope for the whole world, but above all faithfulness to what was and is important for our Father.

Dr. Gertrud Pollak
General Superior of the Ladies of Schoenstatt and member of the General Presidium

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