COSTA RICA, Michelle Ramírez de Monturiol •
It was a sunny Sunday Mass; it was 10:00 a.m., but many felt it was already late afternoon. There was much physical as well as spiritual preparation to welcome more than 300 people.
They rushed to make everything beautiful. Flowers, chairs, food, details as if it were a daughter’s wedding! Everything was carefully prepared and filled with beautiful details to welcome the Schoenstatt Family!
Cars began to arrive. The parking lot was full, but many men collaborated to open more space for additional cars ensuring a space for everyone. The women finalized the altar’s details, and others organized the sale of food. Excitement abounded in everyone’s hearts, and the visits to the new Movement House in Santa Ana drew smiles. Children ran and happily investigated the area of what will be their new playground and training space, but most especially, it will be the Blessed Mother’s new home!
Not even a splinter more could fit in the house, so they looked for space in the gardens for the overflow crowd to be able participate in the Eucharist. Families found space beneath the gigantic trees and vegetation. The shade of the trees was the perfect place to endure the very hot summer morning!
“Foundations of Hope”
A song by Tony Gazel, Costa Rica’s Schoenstatt composer, began at 11:00 a.m. However attention was concentrated on the most important thing: the Mass, which would lead to the ritual of putting everything that was to be buried in the foundation of the much-desired shrine. Everyone took something very small, but important and meaningful: a photo, medal or accessory and all the collections of soil or stones from different holy places and shrines of the world will be present in the foundation of the Family of Hope Shrine, in this new holy land of hope.
“Heartbeats, in a single procession”
Diocesan Schoenstatt Priest, Fr. Douglas Aragón, was in charge of the celebration, which touched hearts. He announced that there would be a procession to the gardens, where the shrine will be located. Everyone could deposit whatever he/she brought physically, or spiritually in the wooden box, which would be buried under cement so it will sink into the foundation of the shrine. He led the procession and blessed two acrylic boxes with everyone’s “treasures,” and they were placed in a large wooden box, where children and youths from the Boys’ Youth had shoveled sand, stone and cement preparing the construction material, which would seal these “jewels” of sentimental value.
Fr. Douglas read all the places represented, he sprinkled them with holy water, and he placed the first shovel of cement. Immediately afterwards, the Family had the opportunity to place cement on the large wooden box surrounded by orange flowers, until it was completely covered.
The mission was accomplished, the gesture was satisfactorily evident in the Family, with many teary eyes, expressed emotions, and the unique experience of being FOUNDERS: “Nothing without You, Nothing without US.”
The Blessed Mother’s gift was real and miraculous! Writing HOPE’s history has begun…!
Contact for participants from outside Costa Rica: [email protected]
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA