GERMANY/ ORIGINAL SHRINE, Roberto Gonzalez •
During the last weekend of May, close to 250 families with their respective children from all Branches of Germany met in Schoenstatt to celebrate the Festival of Families with the motto: “We all win.”—
For me because of how the festival was presented around the Original Shrine, it was a gathering that was out of the ordinary, of course from being an outside observer. For me because of how the festival was presented around the Original Shrine, it was a gathering that was out of the ordinary, of course from the standpoint of being an outside observer. From my view it was like “The Night of the Shrine,” just for families and all their members. At certain times, the children and teens were on one side and the parents at another, some playing and others at talks, but there were times in which everyone participated together and they enjoyed this large celebration.
At certain times, the children and teens were on one side and the parents at another, some playing and others at talks, but there were times in which everyone participated together and they enjoyed this large celebration.
The Original Shrine flooded with family activities
Everything was perfectly organized, as it usually is, when a large event is held around the Original Shrine, but at the same time, an enormous variety of simultaneous activities in which each family could choose where to go or what to do was noted.
Looking at it from a certain distance, it was really an incredible celebration. Seeing some families with their children seated in front of the Original Shrine, or at the closing Mass, going in procession through the church, where the children played an important role jointly with their parents, is simply a bit different from what we are accustomed happening around the Original Shrine.
Friends’ joyful re-connections despite the distances
This celebration, at least for me, reminded me of the how alive the Schoenstatt Movement is in Germany, but also, the long distances and sacrifices that had to be carried out to organize and participate in a gathering with the entire family. Thinking that 250 families from allover the country were gathered here, when during this same weekend in the Diocese of Asunción, Paraguay 250 families joined the League…It was not at all easy, but I saw first-hand, the love and joy of a living Schoenstatt in the faces of each one of the families, above all in a meeting of friends who live far away, even among the children, where time stood still, and only the joy of meeting again and renewal of the mission wafted in the air.
Photos: Roberto Gonzales (4), P. Egon Zillekens (1)
Original: Spanish. 14 June 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA