ECUADOR, María Fischer •
Actually, they have long been pilgrims, part of Schoenstatt’s popular and pilgrimage movement. They come to the Shrine (at least) once a month or perhaps more often, some even every Sunday. They seek an encounter with God, with Mary, the Mother of Grace, who is also the Bread Mother, as Father Joseph Kentenich made clear in the Dachau concentration camp. There, during the time of famine, he pointed out that as a mother, she not only cares for the spiritual well-being of her children, but also for their physical needs. She feeds her hungry children, gives them a home and ensures justice. We are talking about the families who once again came to the Shrine in Quito in September to receive the bags of charity. —
“Dear brothers and sisters, this is the warehouse where we organize the charity bags and which is filled every month with food, but also with hope for many people. Therefore, we ask you to continue to help us, may God be in your heart and bless you,” explains Father Rafael Amaya, the driving force behind this project, in the video that aired after the delivery in September.
“We will do it with a lot of love, so that people feel loved”
The line of people approaching the Shrine last Wednesday seemed to last forever. People approach in a hurry, but orderly, with faces full of hope.
“Today, Wednesday, we are at the entrance of the Shrine, and this is the line of people who will receive the charity bags,” Father Rafael said, adding, “We will do it with great LOVE so that people will feel loved.”
“We are in a time when the Shrine is very beautiful, everything looks very nice. We thank you and may God repay the people who give to us,” says a young man in a yellow jacket who, along with several people, is standing in front of the open door of the Shrine. He is one of the many who have been out of work and without income since the pandemic began.
“We are happy for the support we get, and we come here every Sunday, we never miss a Sunday,” says a young woman. “I come here and leave happy to hear the word of God, and all of us who are here leave happy.”
Shrine pilgrims, no question. And a Schoenstatt Movement that understands and concretizes the social dimension of the Covenant of Love. The Church is Mother, Pope Francis says. Here in Quito, Schoenstatt is Church, is Mother.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org