COSTA RICA, Michelle Ramírez de Monturiol •
“We have already experienced that 18ths are filled with heavenly graces, but today was very special for us, the teachers from Mary’s Garden. The experience of each one of the children made every moment worthwhile.
The children from Mary’s Garden prepared to sing to the Blessed Mother with their favorite songs, such as Mary of the Covenant, Mary, Look at Me, The Virgin of Nazareth and many others, on a day, when our Family of Hope Shrine celebrated seven months since its blessing.
In this Year of Father Kentenich, we have many activities to celebrate with the little ones also, such as making our beloved Father known through stories and narratives about his childhood. Moreover on November 9, six teachers from the Garden will seal their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother. They have been delicately prepared by Rocío González, a beloved friend who visited Costa Rica from Madrid, Spain, with great enthusiastic collaboration and service, and now we express our gratitude for that great enthusiasm and joy that she shows to the teachers. Very Happy Covenant Day in the Year of Father Kentenich!” Marianella Coto de Montero, Principal of “Mary’s Garden” Kindegarten, related.
An agenda filled with life
Since very early, the agenda for October 18th was filled with life and with as much intensity as Costa Rica’s seasonal winds.
At 8:30 am everything began with the children from “Mary’s Garden’s” visit that discovered the presence of dozens of Pilgrim Mothers. Then throughout the day, there were Youth cantatas, the prayer of the Rosary, Marian Meditations, a Eucharistic celebration, burning of the contributions to the Capital of Grace, the celebration with a birthday cake and even the inauguration of Father’s Reading Club, inspired by a project in Encarnación, Paraguay.
They have “stolen my heart”
Definitively, the ones who “stole” all the pilgrims’ hearts and attention along with the Blessed Mother were the children that happily, tenderly sang and presented their gifts made with paper flowers and hearts that they had painted.
“Since I got up, I felt a happiness that flooded my body and my mind. We had prepared ourselves with so much love and dedication to give the Blessed Mother her day. It finally arrived! During the previous weeks, I saw how their eyes shone in their little faces and in hearing those sweet little voices that intensified with every rehearsal, was something wonderful. We arrived at the Shrine and my heart was filled with an indescribable peace and happiness. We were all here, as one family, one heart, to sing and to love the Blessed Mother. Hearing the children sing in the Shrine will undoubtedly be one of the best experiences of my life, and I felt Mary’s presence there among us. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for allowing me experience this very special day at your side,” Johana González, a kindergarten teacher, shared excitedly.
Testimonies of love and mission
Seeing the expectation that my students had in visiting our beloved Queen reaffirms the unconditional love that she has for us, and how fortunate we are to be chosen to be a part of her mission.” Mariam Calvo, kindergarten teacher.
“There is no doubt that our Mother was happy to see her little ones singing and praying with such love. The sheltering and the blessing were felt throughout the place. The shrine became a strongbox that gleamed like gold, since inside there were treasures from each one of the homes and the children from Mary’s Garden.”
Rita Mora, teacher’s-aide.
“Seeing how all the boys and girls prepared and gave their greatest effort during every rehearsal and seeing those eyes shining with excitement and the joy overflowing in each one of them, from having visited the Shrine singing to the Blessed Mother was my greatest satisfaction as a teacher. I can tell you that since I began to work in the Mary’s Garden Kindergarten, there have been great changes; I have had to learn, know and to better understand the whole story about the Blessed Mother. Little by little my family has also become involved, which has been a beautiful opportunity to unite it even more.”
Alexandra Torrealba, teacher.
“My life has always been marked by the Virgin Mary and my love for her has been immense, but there is something wonderful with Our Lady of Schoenstatt: the beloved Blessed Mother has taken charged, little by little, of seeking me in incredible ways. She came into my life through my sister, who has been in love with her since she was very small and also through my uncle who helps with the Madrugadores. The Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt arrived at a very difficult time of my life, when I was unemployed and I was desperate. One day, my mother and sister knelt and very anxiously prayed to the Blessed Mother to intercede for my work. They told me to cling to her. I did, and that same day, she, with her infinite motherly love, led me to Mary’s Garden. It has been the most beautiful gift that she has given me. I love her deeply, and I realize that she has loved me every day of my life, when she led me to my work, I arrived, and I met with all the children and each one of my co-workers that I love and admire.”
Alejandro Castro, teacher’s-aide.
“Today we had the blessing of going to the Schoenstatt Shrine of the Blessed Mother with the boys and girls of Mary’s Garden; it was an indescribable experience. Upon arrival the children’s excitement to see their beloved Mother was evident.
They had prepared drawings for her, and they also took flowers to offer them as capital of grace. When they left them at the altars, they blew kisses to the Blessed Mother, and their eyes overflowed with love. When the boys and girls were singing to the Blessed Mother with so much passion and so much love, I got goose bumps upon hearing them. Surely, our Mother “melted” seeing them from heaven.
When I came to work at Mary’s Garden, I did not know Our Lady of Schoenstatt. After some time, I realized how important it was to allow her to come into my life. Witnessing times like today, seeing the faith and love that the Blesse Mother provokes in the hearts of the children (who are the purest and sincerest there is), I realized that this is really something that I want to belong to.”
María Phillips Iglesias, teacher.
And while I wrote this article, I providentially received a “tweet” from Pope Francis:”
Let yourself be guided by the tenderness of God so that you may transform the world with your faith” (Pope Francis, 19 October 2017)
Happy Year of Father Kentenich, from Costa Rica!
Original: Spanish. 21 October 2017, Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA