Year of Mission – Start now!

Message for the Opening of the Year of the Missionary Current

I am very close to St Peter’s grave and am looking onto St Peter’s Square as I greet you all over the world. Our Holy Father has invited me to take part in the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation for Passing on the Christian Faith. That is why I cannot be in the Original Shrine today. It is a sign from Providence that we are able to unite our shrines in this way with the great Cathedral of Christendom here in Rome. Our mission is the mission of the Church. We want to serve her with our charism so that through the working of the Holy Spirit the Church may be given new vitality. That is the greatest objective so far of the Synod Fathers. Some speak of a new Pentecost. That should also be our concern. Our pilgrimage to the jubilee and to the Original Shrine leads us into Schoenstatt’s original source. We want to drink from the deepest source and in this way renew our charism for the times in which we are living. Gratitude for God’s guidance through the hundred years of our holy history again awakens in us the spirit of the beginning. We drink from this spirit, from the Founding Document, from Fr Kentenich’s spirit of faith, and the strength of the witness of the lives of the founder generation. In the past year we have deepened our experiences with the shrine. We have again cultivated all the ways in which our shrine lives in our family – starting with our relationship to the Original Shrine and reaching to living in and from our heart shrine. This deepening now leads us to our mission: Your covenant our mission.  Continue reading “Year of Mission – Start now!”


Opening of the Year of Faith at the Shrine

On Sunday 14th October we have the opening of the Year of Faith at the Shrine. Our Holy Father Pope Benedict said in his invitation: “The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy- filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today – capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the “door of faith.” This “door” opens wide man’s gaze to Jesus Christ, present among us “always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). ” Our Shrine is an Open Door to Faith since as a place of pilgrimage and as a place of grace we seek our personal encounter with the God of our life and strive to deepen our friendship with Jesus our one true Saviour. Please join us on our October Day and the Taste and See Family Mass for the inauguration of the Year of Faith in the Shrine. We start our programme at 12.30pm. Mass will be at 3.30pm followed by a shared meal. (Click here for the Programme for the day)


Our Lady of the Rosary

October is the month to pray the rosary. Pope St. Pius V established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716. The development of the rosary has a long history. First, a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus’ life was attached to each Hail Mary. In the 16th century the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries (joyful, sorrowful and glorious). In 2002, Blessed Pope John Paul II added the Mysteries of Light to this devotion. The purpose of the rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Pius XII called it a compendium of the gospel. The main focus is on Jesus—his birth, life, death and resurrection. The “Our Fathers” remind us that Jesus’ Father is the initiator of salvation. The “Hail Marys” remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. They also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The “Glory Bes” remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Blessed Trinity. The rosary appeals to many. It is simple. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of God. We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life. We grow in hope that God will bring us to share in the glory of Jesus and Mary forever. Blessed Pope John Paul once wrote: “The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christ-centred prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb…. It can be said that the rosary is, in some sense, a prayer-commentary on the final chapter of the Vatican II Constitution Lumen Gentium, a chapter that discusses the wondrous presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church”.


Marian Procession Unites Faithful

The Marian Community of Reconciliation and the Christian Life Movement have brought a traditional Marian pilgrimage back to the streets of Manchester. Last Saturday’s event brought some 1,000 people to the predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Rusholme for a procession with Our Lady of Reconciliation. “It’s been fantastic,” reported one participant, Damian O’Reilly of Greater Manchester Police. “I remember the old days and it’s nice to get something going again and show that we’re proud of our faith.

“This is just going to get bigger and bigger. This year we’ve had 1,000 participants, but next year we’ll have 5,000.” Local school children, teachers, parishioners of different ethnicities and eight priests came together to pray the rosary and sing songs. Joseph Martin McDonagh, one of the volunteers who helped carry the platform, decided to go barefoot. “Today has been the most fulfilling day of my life,” he said. “I regret the way I used to live and I’m so happy I was allowed to do this.” “I wish I was still carrying her now,” said the 37-year-old. “I’ve always had a soft spot for Mary. My mother had problems when she was pregnant with me and promised Our Lady to entrust me to her if I was born safe.” Mary Patricia Fehily, 75, from Hale, is one of the many who remember-ed her childhood years. “I had tears in my eyes when they lifted Our Lady and it all began,” she said. “I was walking in the love of Jesus and Mary. Bagpipes were played during the walk and 12 drummers from India performed in traditional Kerala dress in the park. The superior of the Marian Community of Reconciliation, Andrea Velarde, said it surpassed all their expectations. “We realized that the best way to evangelize in this country is through Mary so that’s what has happened,” she said. “It was very moving to see people’s piety. The volunteers didn’t even want to stop carrying her to switch turns as they were supposed to.”


The power of the Rosary

The word Rosary means “Crown of Roses”. Our Lady has revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses. The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of all devotions and it is therefore the most important one. The Holy Rosary is considered a perfect prayer because within it lies the awesome story of our salvation. With the Rosary in fact we meditate the mysteries of joy, of sorrow and the glory of Jesus and Mary. It’s a simple prayer, humble so much like Mary. It’s a prayer we can all say together with Her, the Mother of God. With the Hail Mary we invite Her to pray for us. Our Lady always grants our request. She joins Her prayer to ours. Therefore it becomes ever more useful, because what Mary asks She always receives, Jesus can never say no to whatever His Mother asks for. In every apparition, the heavenly Mother has invited us to say the Rosary as a powerful weapon against evil, to bring us to true peace. With your prayer made together with Your heavenly Mother, you can obtain the great gift of bringing about a change of hearts and conversion. Each day, through prayer you can drive away from yourselves and from your homeland many dangers and many evils. It can seem a repetitive prayer but instead it is like two sweethearts who many times say one another the words: “I love you”…  The Blessed Holy Father John Paul II on October 16th, 2002 with the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae on the Most Holy Rosary has added 5 new mysteries of the Rosary: The Mysteries of the Light.

“Say the Rosary every day… Pray, pray a lot and offer sacrifices for sinners… I’m Our Lady of the Rosary. Only I will be able to help you. …In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”


May Day Celebration & Pilgrim Mother Rally

Pilgrim MotherTheme:

The little Marian Consecration Prayer

  • 15th May 2011
  • with Fr David

Program of the day:

1pm Arrival: tea, coffee – kindly bring your own packed lunch if travelling from afar
1.30-2.15 Prayer and input
2.15-3.00 alternative possibilities:
– Adoration in the shrine
– Handwork
3.15pm Holy Mass: 3rd Sunday of Easter
– Good Shepherd Sunday
– Recommissioning of Coordinators
– Mairan Devotion
Conclusion High Tea



What Makes A Good Mother?

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you see your child disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to cradle at 2am, to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a child’s murder, a fire, a car crash, a baby dying?

So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about the facts of life – and for all the mothers who wanted to, but just couldn’t. This is for reading The Hungry Caterpillar twice a night for a year. And then reading it again, “Just one more time.” This is for all the mothers who get it wrong. Who yell at their kids in the supermarket and smack them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired two-year-old who wants ice cream before dinner. This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for velcro instead.  For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed – when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green. Who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won’t stop. This is for all the mothers who turn up at work with spit in their hair and milk stains on their shoulders and disposable nappies in their bag. This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to kick a ball.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mum?” in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home. This is for mothers who put windmills and teddy bears on their children’s graves. This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them. This is for all the mothers who gave life to their babies, only to give up their babies in the hopes of a better life.

This is for all the mothers who couldn’t bear children of their own and who love the children given to them as if they were their own.

This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just fine once they got there, only to get calls from the school an hour later asking them to please pick them up right away.

This is for young mothers stumbling through nappy changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and  married mothers. Birth mothers and adoptive mothers. Mothers with money. Mothers without. This is for you all!