AUSTRIA, Viena, by Tita Andras •
It was exactly a week ago that I was on the return trip from Memhölz to Vienna having just participated in the first international gathering at Schoenstatt’s auf’m Berg Schoenstatt Center about Belmonte with a Schoenstatt group. What did this group have in common? Simply those present had hearts on fire for Belmonte, for the Center and for the Shrine of all of us. I had met some of the participants, Norbert and Gertrud Jehle, Albert and Alisia Bush and also Carmen and Jürgen Reinle, in October 2014, at Belmonte when we worked as volunteers welcoming the pilgrims who came from all over the world to visit the center that belongs to all of us.
I was happy to meet other members of our schoenstatt.org Dreamteam: Rodolfo and Conchita Monedero, who work and live in Memhölz, and of course, I had the pleasure and time to be with our dear Maria Fischer. I arrived a day and half before the meeting, so I had time to converse, to meet and simply to dream awake about this precious land Belmonte signifies.
What moves my heart when I think about Belmonte
The gathering began Friday after dinner. A bright orange folder at the hall especially designated for this meeting with material about Belmonte including the history of the place, a very clear-cut letter about the center’s financial situation, as well as brochures and coupons, was ready for each one of the participants (a total of twelve). As we say in Chile, Maria, you did an excellent job preparing for this gathering!
That Friday, we allowed our hearts to speak; we briefly presented what moved our hearts when we thought about Belmonte, using a modern and very good methodology that Maria presented. The other question referred to allowing our imagination go and to present what we wanted to happen at Belmonte.
Saturday we continued to work on the subject in the morning, summarizing and realizing more on what had resulted from our conversations. Then a fundraising expert presented a talk about how to look for concrete ways to finance this center. It is impossible for the Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers alone to carry the enormous and heavy burden of paying for everything. The center is a promise that all the Schoenstatt Institutes made to our Founding Father. In short, we call on all the Schoenstatt Institutes, Federations, Leagues, and Pilgrims worldwide to collaborate.
Dreams that become a reality
To my regret, about midday, I had to start the trip home. The meeting was still going on that afternoon, but the almost seven hour return trip with snow and bad weather obliged me to leave earlier. However they advised me that during my absence, they continued to work, and they concluded the gathering with five daring dreams for Belmonte and more than ten concrete projects were assumed to make them a reality.
The dreams we share are:
- We have many more collaborators.
- There are many international activities in Belmonte.
- In all Schoenstatt activities, there is a time to dream about Belmonte and to commit to the Shrine of all of us once again.
- Construction continues at Belmonte.
- It is a place of prayer for all of us.
We did what we already know in schoenstatt.org: communicate and share true stories
I am extremely grateful to have met with my family members who also resonate with Belmonte! Those days were work for something vital; we did what we already know in schoenstatt.org: communicate and share real stories. I wanted to share this experience with all of you because it will surely not be the last. We need to continue enkindling hearts for the Shrine of us all!