AUSTRALIA, Bernard Toutounji •
Amidst pandemic restrictions our Sydney family group (made up of five families) was – thanks be to God – finally able to consecrate our Home Shrines on 1 January 2021. We had been working toward consecrating the Home Shrines in early 2020 but, like so many things, Coronavirus put it on hold. —
In preparing for the blessings, we made use of the book My Home, A Shrine which was written in 1986 by Sr Thomasine. We were additionally helped by Sr Mary Agnes and Sr Elizabeth along the way.
The initial plan was that all our families would pilgrimage to one another’s houses for the blessings, but the tighter restrictions changed that. We were thankful to still begin the day together with Mass at Mt Schoenstatt with most of the sisters in attendance. Following that Fr Paul and Sr Elizabeth travelling home-to-home to bless and witness the consecrations and the rest of us attended it virtually via Zoom. As part of the preparation each family named their Home Shrine and adopted symbols as tangible signs for each member of the family.
One of the great gifts of the Schoenstatt Spirituality
The Home Shrine preparation experience has been powerful, and it has gifted to us one of the great gifts of the Schoenstatt spirituality. The blessing of the Home Shrines is a lasting gift for the whole family which invites the Mother Thrice Admirable to take up her throne in a way that just as tangible as the invitation of the founding generation inviting Mary to dwell in the original Shrine. This is just one of the gifts of our movement and we are grateful to God that we have finally been able to add our homes to the list of Home Shrines in Australia.
If you are reading this and never established your Home Shrine, we encourage you to prepare!