AUSTRALIA, Sr. Julie Brcar with Melissa Janknegt •
“It was a miracle everyone was fed!” Sr. Julie Brcar remarked happily, following a day of celebrations at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Mulgoa on 16 July, marking 75 years since the founding of the Schoenstatt Family Movement. A combined celebration uniting families from other continents including Lamar, Texas, USA, Santa Maria, Atibaia, Londrina, and other locations in Brazil, and from the least likely place on earth — a place of death, hunger, violence, and atrocities— the site of the former Dachau concentration camp, celebrating the Schoenstatt Family Movement’s foundation in 1942.
For the celebratory Mass and lunch, the Schoenstatt Sisters had been expecting close to 200 people but around 350 showed up instead.
Overwhelmed and delighted by the numbers, the Sisters were pleased to see everyone was provided for.
“Fortunately one family fixed up a lamb on a spit, and many other families helped out, which enabled us to feed the unexpected crowds,” said Sr. Julie.
Mass began the day, and following lunch there was a presentation on the Schoenstatt Family Movement history, which encouraged member families to strive to reflect the Holy Family in Nazareth in the midst of today’s world.
Paul and Anne Toutounji, who grew up in the Schoenstatt Family Movement— 40 years of marriage with four children and nine grandchildren—and Carmen Cecilia Lunardelli, a member of the Schoenstatt Family Union from Brazil, gave testimonies.
After a time of Eucharistic adoration and the Benediction, a children’s group sang a song to the We Are Australian melody, by re-wording the chorus, “We share a God and sing with one voice, I am, you are, we are a family.”
Members of the Schoenstatt Family Movement had prayed a novena in preparation during the nine weeks leading up to the anniversary celebrations reflecting on the words and spirituality of Father and Founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich.
From one continent to another
On 16 July1942 at Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany, where he had been imprisoned for his faith, Fr. Kentenich founded the Schoenstatt Family Movement. Since then, the Schoenstatt Family Movement has spread allover the world.
At Mulgoa, Mt. Schoenstatt is just over an hour west of Sydney on 50 acres of rugged land and open fields. Offering both accommodations and conference facilities, it is the center of the Schoenstatt Movement in Eastern Australia. Another Schoenstatt Shrine in Western Australia, is at Armadale near Perth, and Kew near Melbourne is home to another Schoenstatt Shrine, however it is not an exact copy of the Original Shrine, built on the grounds of the Pallottine Center that was blessed in 1952.