GERMANY, Maria Fischer •
During the last days of a radiant autumn sun this year, more than 100 Schoenstatters from the Barnberg region came together on the afternoon of 30 October at the Roman Hall in Böbingen, where a large Schoenstatt flag waved in the soft autumn breeze. It was the annual regional gathering although it dealt with a worldwide subject: the mission of Belmonte’s International Schoenstatt Center in Rome and how the region’s Schoenstatters want to be connected and to do more work for this center.
An elderly woman, who worked at the Belmonte information stand said, “I am delighted with Belmonte. I have already been there three times, now I can no longer travel, but I am interested to know about everything that happens at Belmonte!”
Belmonte for Barnberg
Belmonte’s International Schoenstatt Center in Rome is not unknown to Schoenstatters from this region, not only thanks to the visits, of which there is always someone who can tell about it, even when it goes back years. Karin and Kuno Leibold, the regional leaders, added brochures with information about Belmonte to the regional newsletter; they always emphasize Belmonte and its mission. The participants were curious about and open to everything “Roman” presented that afternoon. Moreover there was plenty!
There was a well-stocked information stand with the Pilgrim`s Brochure, which included information about general and current donations, Belmonte vouchers, and all kinds of beautiful and lasting Belmonte souvenirs such as mugs, postcards, and souvenirs that do not last such as the yellow, red and green Belmonte pasta in the shape of St. Peter’s Basilica with the shrine.
Beside the stand, there was a raffle with attractive prizes that attracted attention: the money obtained was for Belmonte. “Truly one can win something,” one of the women, who had bought a ticket, said, before the gathering, and she went to claim her prize during the break. At the end of the gathering, they raffled a special prize among the non-winning tickets. It was a voucher for a night’s stay at the Domus Pater Kentenich Pilgrim House with breakfast included. One more reason to ensure that the construction of the house is completed and the prize redeemed.
A promise will be fulfilled
Fr. Georg Egle, who just returned from Belmonte with some trouble because of a strike (another one for a change), was invited to give a talk. The atmosphere was set with a video and some photos from Belmonte, and then he spoke about the history and something about the meaning of the three visits Fr. Kentenich made to the grounds. Fr. Geog Egle reaffirmed that Belmonte is a promise that the Schoenstatt Movement made to Fr. Kentenich, which will now be fulfilled. Besides Belmonte is a place to go to follow Fr. Kentenich’s footsteps.
During the Holy Mass in the reading from the Old Testament about the current that flows from the shrine (Ez. 47:1-12), he deepened the idea of Belmonte as a shrine of Schoenstatt’s second century, as a point that converges with the richness of the last 100 years, transformed into a current from the first source, which is the Original Shrine. A current that wants to flow into the world and the Church’s sea and broadens into a delta transporting all varieties of richness in its different currents. At the same time, it receives what is real and important from the right and left side of the road.
That is, a pilgrim Schoenstatt, just like the post-conciliar Church, “She has to take up the most varied
elements from the left and right of her pilgrim way, of her pilgrim existence, of her pilgrimage through history. She has to see to it that these elements set their stamp in an essential way on her features, her time-bound features. She is a pilgrim Church.” (See: Conference of 8/12/1965, on the occasion of the symbolic laying of the Foundation Stone of the Shrine of Rome, 8/12/1965).
This speaks of the great demand for the book with Fr. Kentenich’s conferences about this new image of the Church and of Schoenstatt, and unfortunately, it sold out quickly!
Besides everything that gladdened hearts and minds, the financial result was also very satisfactory. They collected 2,124 € for Belmonte from the proceeds of the raffle, the sales at the stand, the cake sale and the collection. It is a much-welcomed contribution as they are trying to finish the construction at this time.
Original: German. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA