MEXICO, Ana Lucía González •
On October 18, the Schoenstatt Family from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, in the southwest region of Mexico gathered around their wayside shrine. The large celebration was preceded by nine days of rosaries, Mass, and many families came on pilgrimage also including some communities, diocesan parishes, such as San José Terán, Santa Cruz Terán, San Martín de Porres, Immaculate Conception, and the Missionaries of the Living Christ religious community and the Archdiocesan Family Ministry. Like every year, pilgrims from Huixtán, Carranza, Las Trinitarias, Tonalá and even a member of the Boys Youth from Querétaro accompanied them. Surely there were many more that are not mentioned in this brief summary, but they have remained in our hearts for the joy of sharing the Mother’s love and desire for the shrine.
The gathering of the diocesan priests at the wayside shrine and the reunion of the former Schoenstatt youths who founded the Movement in this city approximately thirty years ago were among the most important activities that were held during these celebrations. Moreover there was a virtual presentation of the project of the architectural complex of the greatly desired Tuxtla Shrine.
Diocesan priests accompanied the nine days of preparation
During the nine days that they prepared the Covenant of Love celebration, several priests accompanied us. Some missionaries such as Fr. Cesar Avellaneda, missionary of the Consolata, a Colombian who learned about the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in Brazil and who always speaks to us very simply and warmly about our “Schoenstatt reaching out;” Fr. Julio Díaz, of the Missionary Disciples of the Good Shepherd community, who invites us with his smile and who renewed the blessing the main picture of our Blessed Mother. Other diocesan priests were Fr. José Luis Espinosa, who sealed his Covenant of Love years ago, and who received the marriage ideal of the couples in the Schoenstatt community Mary’s Hands; and Fr. Luis Eduardo Beltrán, who during his seminarian years learned about Fr. Kentenich’s spirituality and he feels friendship and affection for the family. Fr. José Luis Hernández, vicar of San Jose parish arrived with his parish community, and he reiterated the commitment of a loyal, heroic and personal love for the Blessed Mother. Fr. Felipe Ruiz, who sealed his Covenant years ago, invited us to a more determined experienced of our spirituality. Fr. Juan José Muñoz transmitted his good humor and he blessed Jesus and Soledad’s renewal of their marriage vows on their 24th Anniversary; they are members of the Family Branch.
Holy Mass with Fr. Federico Kloetgen
On Sunday, 15 October, we had our large Kermés (carnival). Fr. Federico Kloetgen, a member of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests and adviser for the Schoenstatt Family in Tuxtla celebrated the noon Mass. Fr. José Luis Aguilera was in charge of the 6:00 pm Mass; he is a member of the same Institute, and he is the episcopal vicar of the diocese. He accompanied the organization of these celebrations and many matters of the Tuxtla Family.
On Tuesday, October 17, we met at 7:00 pm to see the architectural project of our future Shrine. At 8:00 pm, the illuminated Rosary began with the presence of Fr. Aguilera and at 9:00 pm, Fr. Eli Ballinas, diocesan priest and Covenant brother and founder of the Family of Missionaries of the Living Christ celebrated the Eucharist, Fr. Felipe Ruiz con-celebrated, while Fr. Federico Kloetgen assisted with confessions. Despite the imminent rain, pilgrims continued to arrive at the wayside shrine. Then a mariachi group sang Mañanitas, and mezzo-soprano, Marlene Velasco, sang Ave Maria. Our hearts were jubilant!
The Blessed Mother welcomed numerous pilgrimages in the Wayside Shrine
Wednesday, October 18 was a beautiful day and from very early that morning, the Blessed Mother received pilgrims’ visits. By 11:30 am, the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign convoked pilgrimage arrived, the Holy Rosary was prayed and at 12:00 pm sharp the celebration of the Eucharist began. Fr. Federico Kloetgen celebrated and Fr. Gabriel Hernández, pastor of Immaculate Conception – where the wayside shrine belongs territorially – along with Fr. Jorge Alberto Ramirez, rector of the Archdiocesan Seminary, and Covenant brother– con-celebrated. Then it was time to share a meal and music.
At 5:00 pm, Fr. Aguilera began Mass for the renewal of the Covenant of Love, where the Capital of Grace was burned. We welcomed the San Martin de Porres Parish pilgrimage that Fr. Manuel Victoria, their pastor led. The day ended with the ascent to the little hill where our Shrine will be someday and finally coffee and bread were offered.
Thanks to God, our Blessed Mother, for the priests the communities, families, and pilgrims who made this celebration a real encounter around our Mother. May the graces from the Shrine be abundantly showered upon each one.