ORIGINAL SHRINE, María Victoria Ramírez Jou and Maria Fischer •
22 May 2013, Schoenstatt was in the midst of spiritual preparation and especially organizational preparation for celebrating 100 years of the Covenant of Love Jubilee in the Original Shrine, according to what was almost unanimously decided at Conference 2014. After failure of long negotiations with the Pallottine community, the fact that our house would continue not being “our” house for the Jubilee of our Covenant of Love was accepted. During the afternoon of that day, some news went viral, the source was a press release from the Pallottines… —
Between amazement and astonishment by the surprise and overwhelmed by emotion, members of the Schoenstatt Movement throughout the world began to understand that a decade long dream had become a reality thanks to the generous gesture of the Pallottines, who as legal owners of the Original Shrine, had given it to Schoenstatt.
On a cold and dark February night, after an evening Mass in the Original Shrine, some Schoenstatt Fathers and a Paraguayan couple and their young children recalled that day and what the gift meant. On 22 May 2018, it will be five years since this event.
We remember the desires of generations, we also remember why we are so interested in this small chapel in the Schoenstatt valley that has few pilgrims compared with shrines like Tupãrendá, Atibaia, Querétaro, or Bujumbura.
“The Original Shrine is not only a place of interest for us to put our signs, but for us to be living signs of that which we proclaim as a Family and Movement. And our only way for this to happen is through our contributions to the Capital of Grace with which we can mobilize the Blessed Mother, so she will show that she is the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt,” Fr. José Maria García commented months before the gift of the Original Shrine.
“I thank you, and at the same time, I pray for graces for you”
Resuming an idea that emerged that night in front of the Original Shrine, Vicky Ramírez said: “I believe it would be beautiful to have an initiative of thanksgiving. This can have two meanings: giving thanks for the gesture and donation – which I think is fundamental – from the Schoenstatt Family to the Pallottine community, but also to give meaning to the expression of thanksgiving that is translated into the Family’s prayers towards the Pallottine community. I thank you, and at the same time, I pray for graces for you.”
On 22 May 2018, five years since the gift of the Original Shrine we take the initiative to:
- To thank the Pallottine community for their generosity, personally and as a Movement from shrines and wayside shrines,
- committing ourselves anew with the life of the Original Shrine and
- to vitally and apostolically show that this small place is our common home and our source of specific graces without which we cannot be or act, as Father’s Family or as an apostolic movement at the service of the Church and of society.
Five years of the Original Shrine as “our” home – and now what?
Original: Spanish. 13 May 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA