On Friday 18th October 2013 Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko as “Ambassador of the Holy Father” came to Schoenstatt at the invitation of Fr. Heinrich Walter the President of Schoenstatt’s General Presidium and the Team 2014 to inaugurate the Jubilee Year celebrating Schoenstatt’s Centenary. (To download a summary of the programme click here) High Point of this celebration was the Opening of the Door of the Original Shrine for the new century of the Covenant and through live-stream TV coverage by EWTN directed by our Communications Officer, Fr. Andrew Pastore, we could join in these celebrations. It had been previously announced that our Holy Father Francis granted for the occasion of the Jubilee Year Plenary Indulgence for our Shrine and all Schoenstatt Shrines in the world. (Download Decree)
In Manchester UK we gathered for our Covenant Mass at 6.00pm (local time) and concluded with a pilgrimage to our shrine. The granting of Plenary Indulgence for our Shrine and all Schoenstatt Shrine was announced and we prayed to gain this indulgence for ourselves and all who come in faith to the Shrine. Then we had a short break with the chance of a snack (hot soup and a bread roll and tea and coffee)
We had set up the link with Live-stream EWTN in the Hall and we all gathered to participate in the event. The transmission provided us with the opportunity to take part in the event. Quality and clarity of the images was very good. Marge Fenelon was just brilliant in her commentary. Marge has a wonderful warm voice and her commentary was very professional. It was great for us to hear this in English.
We were delighted to have the programme in English – the amount of work to prepare so well and I know that it was done in other languages. We made the experience of real participation. We prayed with the congregation gathered in front of the Original Shrine. Our hearts lifted when Cardinal Rylko knocked on the door of the Shrine and it opened to the jubilee beginning of the new century of the Covenant. Together with Cardinal Rylko we crossed that threshold and we are on that journey of the entire international Schoenstatt Family toward 2014.
Words of Cardinal Rylko , Fr. Deogratias from Burundi and the Jensen family from Chile were truly inspiring and according to the wish of our Holy Father – words of truth ant touch and warm the heart. One other highlight was surely the arrival of the two torch-bearers bringing the light for the next century to Schoenstatt. In Latin America and in Germany the young men and boys belonging to Schoenstatt have said that they wish to be the renewed generation of “sodalists” or “congregationalists” who joined with Father Kentenich and made his vision “their own”. Like the first Disciples of the Lord they “left their nets and followed him”. Their wish was to become true apostles of the Covenant of Love. We join them and hope that we too can become Apostles of the Covenant of Love in the next hundred years in Schoenstatt. The stage image was of this flame of love burning in the shadow of the shrine. This year in Cape Town the Schoenstatt Family said Your Covenant our Hope! It is with hope that we look toward the future and pray that we may reach out to win many hearts for Christ. In Johannesburg they gave thanks to God and invited all in Schoenstatt and beyond to Celebrate our Covenant. We give praise to God and thank him for his goodness to us. In the Apostles Prayer we read:
God of my life,Help me to take my hand off the wheel and allow you to take over. Let my friendship with you be my passion. My ability belongs to you and where I am weak you work all the more. May I be a reflection of you. Give me anew the freedom to do what pleases you. I am certain that you will give me more than I ever expected. Amen
Mother Mary,In your life we see that it is worth trusting God completely! In you we find the strength to unite our lives with Him and one another. Our covenant with you encourages us to give our all and to look forward with joy to spreading the Good News. Amen
In renewing our Covenant we join the International Schoenstatt Family on the way to 2014. Your Covenant Our Mission.