At noon the crowd rules Mount Schoenstatt. When rain showers the pilgrims find themselves some dry places to sit in a large catering tent, but for now the sun is shining again from behind the clouds. There are always more and more pilgrims in the area in front of the tent, separating each other into countries and slowly make their way to the Adoration Church. In the time of the jubilee we are building the heart of the spiritual centers.
Oases of Peace and Prayer
Four places in Schoenstatt are building some ‘spiritual centers’ during the jubilee pilgrimage: The Adoration church, the Chapel, the Shrine of the Adoration Sisters, and the Pilgrim Church. When the Original Shrine is in the middle of the Pilgrims energy that they have brought on their historic pilgrimage, and the people, often for the first time in their lives, come to this holy place and feel the stone beneath their feet and sing and pray loudly and proudly, these places are places of peace and quiet.
My Eyes and my Heart will always belong here. (1 Kings 9:3)
When you walk up the great steps of the covenant church behind the heavy doors the peace rules. The sun streams down onto the high walls. The sacrament stands alone. It feels nice, to come in here. To let the father look at you there. In the pews sit some girls from Brazil. Some of them are writing something down. Two african ladies are kneeling in front of the tabernacle, heavily dressed for the cold of October. The are still in their prayer. On the steps of the altar is a basket with prayer slips in various languages. Each of them starts with My Eyes and my Heart will always belong here. (1 Kings 9:3)
A group of young girls rush towards the picture of Mary. Each one wants photos of this special moment, so that they remember this special place, at this very special 100-Year-Jubilee of Schoenstatt - for that their families at home, for their friends, for everyone who couldn’t make the trip.
A place in Schoenstatt
All of these people have received a place in Schoenstatt in the recent days. In the Founders Chapel as well as the tombstone of Father Kentenich are towers of photos and letters that the pilgrims have brought with them from all over the world, signs of their love, their desire and their creed. Also here he strong prayerful atmosphere prevails. Many are kneeling with closed eyes towards the sarcophagus, with their hands on the stone atop.
A special gift
Also near the Chapel of the Sacrament of the Covenant Sisters the Pilgrims have been invited to a quiet prayer. Four times a day the sisters pray their together with those who have made the journey, to make the hourly prayer of the catholic church. The Sisters have their own shrine, that is normally not open to the public, but is open for the duration of the Jubilee. A small present for all those who otherwise know every nook and cranny of Schoenstatt.
The day of anticipation. The doors of the Pilgrim Church are wide open, and light guitar music is playing. This is where todays mass will be celebrated in spanish. The Church is full to the brim, and there are always in the song of the chorus. An inspiring song — anticipation in the days of the coming jubilee that it will be spectacular.