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Workshop for the Mosaic


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 31/05/2013

Workshop for the Mosaic

Mosaic Panel One AnnuciationPaul Cooper's design for the MosaicYou are invited to a workshop on building the Mosaic on Saturday 15th June 2013 starting at 1.00pm. The workshop will probably be about two hours in total. Helen Smyth and Paul Cooper will give a presentation on the progress so far and Paul will exhibit the first section of the Mosaic which has ben completed. Helen will lead us in a training session on how to build mosaics and we will conclude with each participant being involved in building the next section of out Mosaic. You may wish to join us for Holy Mass in the Shrine beforehand and if you wish you can bring a packed lunch. Light refreshments will be available during the afternoon.

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Taste and See Family Mass at the Shrine


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 28/05/2013

You are invited to our Taste and See Mass on 9th June 2013. We will start will Holy Mass at 3.30pm and then have a time of sharing led by Father Reginald and Liz and Gerry. Our children will have their own programme. At 5.30pm we will share a meal with one another before concluding at 6.30pm. When he came out of the concentration camp Father Kentenich held a course in which he talked about the Catholic vision of man and woman. He was convinced that we can only truly make human progress in a world after Dachau when we embrace a true image of humanity, a full image of the Church and strive to know more deeply the face of God. Matthew Kelly says the genius of the Catholic Church is that is has a worldview which helps us to become the best versions of ourselves. When we study our faith we want to find out more about the journey to become the best versions of ourselves  so that we can complete the task God has called us to do in our lives. We look forward to seeing you on the day. Invite a family to come along with you. You can also take part in our Faith in Action by bringing non-perishable or canned goods which we will pass on to the Brothers of Charity for their work caring for the poorest of the poor.

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Thank You, Lord!


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 27/05/2013

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf. Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind. Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden. Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud. Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely. Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced. Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry. Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job. Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest. Thank you, Lord, for life.

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Jubilee Gift to the Schoenstatt Movement


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 23/05/2013

With great joy the worldwide Schoenstatt Movement has receive the surprising news that the community of Pallottine Fathers has decided today at their Provincial Assembly to give the Schoenstatt Movement the Original Shrine and the Pilgrims’ Place as a jubilee gift for the centenary of its foundation. When God’s Spirit of Pentecost is at work, he creates something surprisingly new and gets life moving.In the days before Pentecost renewed discussions took place between Schoenstatt and the Pallottine Fathers in order to find a solution to the [ownership/use of] the Original Shrine and the situation in the Schoenstatt Valley. We now rejoice at this most generous gesture of giving us the pilgrimage area in Schoenstatt. We thank the Pallottine community for their good will and see this Jubilee gift as a sign of their readiness to continue to work together with the Schoenstatt Movement here in Schoenstatt in the time to come.Our gratitude is naturally directed to the Triune God who has obviously been at work in this process. And we thank the Blessed Mother who has clearly accompanied our prayers and petitions in the past days and weeks, and who has contributed towards opening new doors and showing such good solutions to this matter.

In joy and gratitude Fr Theo Breitinger Provincial Superior

In what follows we are publishing the Press Release of the Pallottine Fathers about this event:

The community of the Pallottine Fathers is giving the Schoenstatt Movement the pilgrimage chapel in Vallendar, Schoenstatt as a gift for their Jubilee Year 2014. This was decided by the Provincial Assembly, the highest governing body of the community, during their meeting on 22 May 2013 in the Provincial Centre in Friedberg, Bavaria, Germany. Besides the shrine, the gift includes the adjacent Pilgrims’ Place. (more…)

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Sparrow at Starbucks


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 20/05/2013

It was chilly in New York but warm inside the Starbucks shop just a skip up from Times Square. For a musician, it’s the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I’m told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right. During our emotional rendition of “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along. After the tune was over, she approached me. “I apologize for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?” she asked. “No,” I replied. “We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?” To my delight, she accepted my invitation. “You choose,” I said. “What are you in the mood to sing?” “Well… do you know any hymns?” Hymns? This woman didn’t know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest singer a knowing look. “Name one.” “Oh, I don’t know. There are so many good ones. You pick one.” “Okay,” I replied. “How about ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’?” My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine again and said, “Yeah. Let’s do that one. She began to sing. “Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?” The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. “I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow. And I know He watches me.” When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a deafening roar. Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, “Oh, y’all go back to your coffee! I didn’t come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to get somethin’ to drink, just like you!” But the ovation continued. I embraced my new friend. “You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!”  “It’s funny that you picked that particular hymn,” she said. “Why is that?” She hesitated again, “that was my daughter’s favourite song.” She grabbed my hands. By this time, the applause had subsided and it was business as usual. “She was sixteen. She died of a brain tumour last week.” I said the first thing that found its way through my silence. “Are you going to be okay?” She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands. “I’m gonna be okay. I’ve just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing his songs, and everything’s gonna be just fine.” Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night? Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favourite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it. God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time, and it’s no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a coffee shop in New York and turn an ordinary day into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs, everything’s gonna be okay.

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A Different Kind of Prayer…


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 13/05/2013

Heavenly Father, help us remember that the “so-and-so” who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children. Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t seem to get his life together is a worried 19-year-old student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking down-and-out, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares. Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the supermarket aisle and blocking our shopping progress are savouring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together. Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all the people around us. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, let us show patience, empathy and most of all love. Amen.

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Symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Shrine


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 10/05/2013

Arrival of the Holy Spirit Symbol 2003Ten years ago we brought the Symbol of the Holy Spirit to the Shrine. The Shrine should become for us the Upper Room where God can change our hearts and send us out into the world as apostles. It started as an initiative of the Groups in Liverpool and then the whole Schoenstatt Family got involved. Paul Cooper created a design – the Goldsmiths in the Brother’s remarked we can rely on England to have their own unique creative take on the symbols used in the Shrine. The gold and some precious stones were donated from the Schoenstatt Family and I remember being with Fr. Duncan at the Brothers when all the “old gold” was put into a crucible and melted into a small ingot of pure gold which was later to be hammered into the dove for the Holy Spirit Symbol for the Shrine in Kearsley. At the time Fr. Duncan said – of course the people did not give “pieces old gold”. They gave themselves. They put their hearts into the fashioning of this symbol of God’s love and peace and the Spirit who makes us holy. It reminded us of Fr. Kentenich’s word that the Covenant of Love is about a union of hearts – a melting of hearts into one! Ten years on we want to give thanks for the miracle of grace in our Shrine and in this Year of Faith we pray that we may be united with every fibre of our being to the heart of God and that he may continue to help us be apostles of the Covenant of Love. We will remember this this coming Sunday 12th May at our May Day. We start with Mass at 3.30pm and we invite you to come along and join us. For details of the May Day Click here

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