mkf. María Elena Vilches from Ecuador was the first one to notice that during the Masses celebrated Saturday after Saturday in the Original Shrine in preparation for 2014: the sky is clearer each time. This is how it was in February, when it was still very dark at the beginning of the Holy Mass at 7:15 a.m., and on March 26th, when the Holy Mass Covenant with Indonesia began, the sun was already shining brightly…Perhaps this was not only a meteorological sign of spring, but rather of this pilgrimage toward 2014, toward the growing Easter light of the Covenant of Love in its creative missionary strength that is internationally attached and inter-connected.
In Covenant with Hong Kong
Every first Saturday of the month, the Holy Mass “in Covenant with…” is transmitted live through schoenstatt-tv, and so it was with the Holy Mass “in Covenant with Hong Kong” with the novices of the Sisters of Mary’s musical accompaniment. Perhaps the Covenant of Love arrived there through people from different nations working in that country…and “How could it be otherwise: through the Pilgrim MTA, who always finds a way to arrive wherever She want to go. She leaves the Shrine to visit the people and She is resourceful and persevering,” said Father José Maria Garcia on this clear, cold March morning.
After the Holy Mass, everyone was invited to breakfast at House Marienau, where along with the delicious bread, muesli, and coffee, the latest news about 2014 and everything pertaining to it is exchanged. There we talked about the meeting of the representatives from the district of Mayen-Koblenz with Team 2014, and how good the start of the joint work of preparation for the celebrations of October 18, 2014 has been. Father Egon Zillekens – Rector of the House – also invited everyone to the Holy Mass that would be celebrated at the Covenant House on March 19th, and he said that very soon the work of recycling would begin. Covenant House will be the “home” of Team 2014 along with the International Center of Communication 2014 (schoenstatt.org) and with this, the place will also attract everyone who is seeking information or inspiration for 2014, or better still, who wants to offer their collaboration.
In Covenant with Hungary
“If we want to have a place in the Original Shrine, we should be there at 6:00 a.m.,” said María Elena Vilches, on the eve of March 12th. The Holy Mass in Covenant with Hungary was expected to be the most well attended up until now, and surely it would be the most international with the participants from the European Conference of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign that had begun that night, confirming their participation. Although there was no one from Hungary among them, there were many representatives from other European countries. In any case, some Romanian Sisters of Mary, who just happen to speak Hungarian, attended Holy Mass. In Hungary, this Holy Mass “in Covenant” did not awaken any response, but from the Original Shrine everyone bonded with a Schoenstatt Family that is full of life. The Sisters of Mary, who were on their tertiary, prepared the Holy Mass.
In solidarity with Japan
Many petitions united to this Holy Mass were: for the growth and fruitfulness of the Schoenstatt Family in Hungary, where the Father Symbol visited last year – on its international pilgrimage – and which left a profound mark; the Campaign of the Pilgrim MTA among the small Schoenstatt Family in Tokyo, after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of the day before. The main celebrants, Father Ludovico Tedeschi – an Argentinean Schoenstatt Father, who works in Italy – and Father José Maria García, invited everyone to pray for Japan. This Holy Mass, which is celebrated every Saturday, makes it possible for Schoenstatt to react quickly and with flexibility to events that move the world, with common prayer, and with an interest that is expressed and felt. So on that morning, not only the readers of the Rhein Zeitung found out about the Schoenstatt Family in Japan (since an interview with Sister M. Elisabeth, a Japanese, Sister of Mary was published), but the participants of this Holy Mass were also informed.
A special moment: the Pilgrimage Prayer 2014 was not only prayed in Spanish and German, as it usually is, but, it was prayed in eight languages!
A Mass in the intimacy of the Feast of Saint Joseph
“Today I celebrated a very ‘Joseph like’ Mass in the Original Shrine,” said Father José María García on Saturday, March 19th, the Feast of Saint Joseph and Father Kentenich’s name day along with the many who have been baptized with the name of Joseph. “It was a quiet Mass.” There was no one from India or any other place to prepare it, the rest of Team 2014 was out… “In Covenant with India” was celebrated in complete intimacy…but that is also valid!
In Covenant with Indonesia
“About thirty years ago, three hundred holy cards of the MTA arrived in the Celebes Islands. A Dutch missionary of the Incarnate Word received them. They were in a care package sent by the Family from Kolping de Gütersloh-Avvenwedde. He had made a plea in this parish, where the Schoenstatt Movement is very strong. Since the end of 2003, the Pilgrim MTA has also been in Celebes; taken by Father Paulus, an Indonesian priest, who knew about the picture of the MTA since his infancy and had one in his home. There are also some Schoenstatters in the capital of Jakarta (Java). The Pilgrim MTA arrived in Indonesia through the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt. And they have prepared the Holy Mass today,” Father José María García said at the beginning of the Mass on the last Saturday of March. “How well prepared! One may think, but nothing had been planned.” Hildegard Beck, who was responsible for the preparation of this Holy Mass, googled the history of Schoenstatt in Indonesia the day before, and she was surprised how everything happened. That is how the Blessed Mother does it! Liling, a Philippine member of the Institute, read the reading in her maternal language, and the during the prayer of the faithful, we, of course, prayed for the Japanese people and for Schoenstatt in Indonesia…
Prayer cards with the Pilgrimage Prayer 2014 were sent to Hermosa Beach, California
At the end of the Holy Mass, there was a simple and touching moment. Father José María blessed a package of 100 Pilgrimage Prayer cards in English that had been on the altar during the Eucharist. Candy B., from Hermosa Beach, California, had requested them. She only knows about Schoenstatt through the Internet, and she wanted to prepare herself for the celebration of the centenary of the Covenant of Love – she is convalescing from a very severe cancer. I want to distribute these cards in my parish. “I do not know anyone here who has heard about Schoenstatt,” she wrote. “But I do not want to be the only one who is enthusiastic about the Covenant of Love.” And this is how the blessing was said on these cards, for Candy B. and for anyone, who may sometime pray this Pilgrimage prayer.
Video: Holy Mass in Covenant with Hong Kong – Mediatech ofschoenstatt-tv.de, March 5th