AUSTRALIA/BELMONTE, Fr. Denis Foley •
Australia already has brought the crucifix that will one day tell those, who spend a night or more in guestroom102 at Belmonte, of Australia’s culture and history. It is called: “The Gathering.”
The artist who painted the crucifix, The Gathering, is an elder of a tribe from south of Sydney. Their land extends taking in an area from the mountains to the sea. The wavy line depicts the waves of the sea. Each dot in the picture represents a person. Australians come from overseas. There is a circle of white dots where the arms of the cross meet; this signifies a gathering. Aborigines gathered for sharing stories, trading, and education. The length of the meeting depended on the source of food. For over tens of thousands of years, Aborigines have developed a spirituality that is closely connected to the land which they care for and that supplies food for them.
Christ is in the center of the gathering and supplies us with the food for eternal life. There are eight figures dancing inside the gathering depicting the joy of being united with Christ.
In Schoenstatt, our land is the shrine where our Blessed Mother distributes graces won by her Son on the cross. As baptism is for the Church so our “covenant of love with the Blessed Mother, our founder Father Kentenich, in the shrine” brings us into this gathering giving us the responsibility of caring for the land and the people it supports.