USA, Carlos Cantú •
The annual Queenship of Mary Celebration sponsored by the Schoenstatt Movement of the Diocese of Brownsville in Texas, was held on Monday, August 22, 2016, at 7:00 P.M. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in La Feria, Texas. The Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Brownsville, presided at the Eucharistic celebration.
Due to it being the first day of school, attendance was around 200 people. Usually there are 300 or more people who attend the annual celebration. The celebration is an annual gathering for the Schoenstatt Movement, and members from all branches collaborate to make the celebration a success. Also invited are the coordinators/missionaries and participants in the MTA’s Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. Their presence adds greatly to the celebration, and they come with the many Pilgrim MTA images, which visit many of the homes in the diocese. We were very happy for the presence of Sr. M. Gloria Mauricio who represented the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, and one of the choirs from St. Pius X Catholic Church in Weslaco, Texas provided the beautiful music we enjoyed. They did an outstanding job and joyfully lifted the spirits of those participating.
As the choir sang, “On this day, oh beautiful Mother,” the Auxiliary Shrine of the Rosary Campaign led the entrance procession. She was followed by approximately 50 Pilgrim MTA’s. Most of these were beautiful decorated and were carried lovingly in the arms of the coordinators/missionaries. Then came our dear Bishop donning a beautiful vestment with the MTA image on the front and a beautiful crown on the back. After the customary greeting to our Bishop, which was accompanied by a round of applause, everyone was welcomed and Bishop began the Holy Mass.
Connecting with one another
Bishop Flores delivered an inspiring homily. Following are some of the main thoughts that I tried to take note; I hope I am doing justice to his beautiful sermon:
“Everything we do as an act of devotion to Blessed Mother, God blesses. She is our link to Christ because she gives him his humanity. Jesus loves his Mother; we are involved in the same love that Jesus has for his Mother. He shows her his love. His love for Mary spreads out. We give thanks to God for that.
Salvation began with a greeting. The Angel greeted Mary. They shared a dialogue – the Gospel – Mary greeted Elizabeth. Mary accepts the message and goes to greet Elizabeth and the baby leaps in his mother’s womb. Very human to greet someone. You open up to a relationship.
The Holy Father says the world is lacking in kindness, tenderness. A greeting is necessary. Today we cut people off. We are protective of our space. We pretend people are not there. We don’t greet people. Don’t pretend as is nobody else is there. Relations are when I choose and whom I choose – dangerous – we turn people off!
Be cognizant of this as Christians. God puts people in our lives. Sometimes they don’t greet each other even in the same household.
Mary went to see Elizabeth because there was a need – she (Elizabeth) was in her sixth month. She didn’t “unfriend” her like on Facebook. We can’t turn each other off. It is not easy. When we love someone, we have to die to ourselves so love can start.
Jesus wants us to be related to each other.
When he arose, he wished us peace.
In Blessed Mother, we are connected to God.
“Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Every moment is a gift. God reconnects with us.
The beauty of love is not sought in the world. For us it is shown in Mary’s sacrifice. She gave her whole heart.
The artist of the MTA captured her mystery in her eyes, and we want that beauty in our homes. She carries her son. She gave her son to us. We want to go where Mary is with her son. We want to learn to give even till it hurts.”
After the homily, we followed our tradition of honoring Blessed Mother on her Queenship by reciting the prayer, HAIL HOLY QUEEN, in both English and Spanish. This was also followed by a thunderous applause for our Mother and Queen.
After the closing prayer and before the final blessing from our Bishop, we renewed our Covenant of Love, also in both English and Spanish.
Refreshments and fellowship concluded the celebration and already there is great anticipation for the celebration in 2017.
Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA