Welcome to our Covenant Mass on the 18th March in the Shrine. We are in the Lenten Season and so are looking forward to Easter and searching for ways to focus more on the God of our lives. The Holy Mass will be prepared by Hilda and Brian Madden who are members of the Cenacle Group. This month they have put a small article in out MTA magazine telling the story of how they got this name for their group. The theme of our Covenant Mass is Disciples of the Father. Brian and Hilda write that it was from the Cenacle that the followers of Jesus were sent out to the whole world to bring good news to many. We want to celebrate in gratitude the gift of our faith and the gift of redemption in Christ. Lent gives us the opportunity to concentrate on the more essential things in our life. Fr. Kentenich opened a new school of discipleship in the Church when he founded the Schoenstatt Movement. From the very beginning Father Kentenich wanted this movement of lay people to be an apostolic community, reaching out to many in the hope that through coming in contact with the Shrine and living their Covenant of Love as the concrete way of practicing their faith they would be a well of new life in and Church and a wellspring of grace for the Church in modern times. When Father Kentenich talked about the Cenacle as a school of discipleship he highlighted that the cenacle had a spirit of family, a spirit of prayer and the spirit of the apostles. Each of these aspects correspond to this season of Lent. We are called into a spirit of family. In a special way family reflects the spirit of solidarity. One of the main charisms of family is the generous spirit of hospitality – inviting people into our homes. When we cannot invite them we do so spiritually – Pope John Paul said when he spoke about solidarity that each of us and our families has a responsibility to care for those in need. One way we do this is taking part in the CAFOD Family Fast Day. We express our solidarity with those in need. Our home reflects the Church in miniature. Thus we are called to a spirit of prayer. During this time of Lent we have the special invitation of the Church to take more time for prayer – to spend more time at the feet of the Master. To take time to talk to our friend. It was St. Theresa of Avila who said that holiness is friendship with God. During Lent we are invited to go deeper into this spirit of friendship.
One initiative comes from our Young Adult group who are holding a “Retreat in the World” during Lent and you are invited to take part. The wonderful thing about Retreat in the World is that you can take part within the run of your daily life. Details of this Retreat are available form Fr. Andrew and the Young Adult group. Starting on Friday 18th March you are invited to the Early Morning Mass in the Shrine at 6.00am afterwards there will be a light breakfast for those heading off to work. Last not least we are invited to engender within our homes the spirit of the apostles. Perhaps you can invite someone to the Early Morning Mass or to the Taste and See Mass for families and of course you are welcome to the Covenant Mass on the 18th of each month in the Shrine. We look forward to welcoming you to the Shrine.