Thousands of pilgrims will visit Rome at the end of October to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Schoenstatt movement.
„As members of the church we come to meet the Holy Father, the apostles, the holy places, and the different charismas. We want to offer again the service of our Movement to the Church, which was so deeply loved by our Founder“, confirms Fr. Patricio Moore, who is responsible for the Schoenstatt centennial celebration in Rome
Schoenstatt turns 100 years on 18 October 2014. The international celebration takes place from 16 to 19 October in the valley of Schoenstatt where Fr. Kentenich founded a group with a strong apostolic spirit. The celebrations in Rome are from the 23 to 25 October.
The organizers wanted the movement members to come the celebrations in Rome as pilgrims to give thanks, appeal and recognize Jesus as the living God, just like so many in the history of the Church did before them. It is a pilgrimage of joy to celebrate that something new was born from God and continues to be a blessing (for many people). „We are especially moved by one of Fr. Joseph Kentenich’s expressions after returning from his exile in Milwaukee in which he expressed his dreams for the Church: a poor and humble church, free of pomp, that values brotherhood, and above all that is guided by the Holy Spirit“, added Fr. Moore.
Audience with the Holy Father
The main event during these days will be the audience of the Schoenstatt Movement with the Holy Father on Saturday 25 October at 12 p.m. They will visit Pope Francis with a heart filled with gratitude, to present the 100 year history of their Movement to him, and receive his inspiration for the 100 years to come.
Fr. Gerardo Cárcar – primarily assigned for the audience by the Schoenstatt Movement – hopes that this moment will bring the Movement members closer to the Church which enables community between different charismas and communities. Therefore, a short encounter with the various communities was arranged before the arrival of the Holy Father at 11 a.m.
They will meet in the spirit of Pentecost: the many charismas will gather with the Pope around Mother Mary, asking the Holy Spirit to send again a new missionary impulse. „With great joy we want to acknowledge other communities that have deeply influenced our Founder and our spirituality, like the Jesuits, Salesians and Pallottines. We are well aware that there are many on the same path with us and we consider them companions“, added Fr. Cárcar.
A third accent accompanies the days of the pilgrimage and the meeting of communities: the missionary evangelization. Father Patricio Moore – quoting Father Joseph Kentenich – shared with us his hope to renew the promises and longing of Kentenich to work for a renewed Church: „A Church that is, on the one hand, completely filled with soul and rooted in tradition; but, on the other side, a Church extremely free, that is detached from rigid traditional forms. It is a Church that is profoundly united in a fraternal sense, while at the same time being hierarchically governed and directed in a truly fatherly way. It is a Church that has the mission to become the soul of our present day and future culture and world.“
The celebration program does not only include an audience with Pope Francis on October 25th but also a pilgrimage from the grave of Saint Vicente Pallotti to St. Peter’s Square on October 24th. Vincent Pallotti, founder of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, to which Fr. Kentenich belonged to till 1965, was one of the strongest influences on the Founder of Schoenstatt. They want to go with this pilgrimage from their root and origin to St. Peter’s, through the streets of the Church, walked on by so many saints, through the streets of the history of the Church, accompanied by the cross of the World Youth Day, to give their 100 year history as a present and receive the live that beats in the Church today.
Both Schoenstatt Shrines in Rome - „Cor Ecclesia“ located in Via Aurelia Antica 112 and „Matri Ecclesia“, are prepared to welcome over 7000 pilgrims from all over the world during these days.
They will celebrate Holy Mass in different languages in meaningful basilicas and churches around Rome on the October 25th after the audience with the Holy Father. They take the Parish Holy Patrons of Rome as a starting point, to walk through the district of Trastevere carrying the image of Mary and the Gospel according to Jesus, symbolizing Schoenstatt as a movement on its way, present on the streets, just like Pope Francis invited us to be.
The highlight of the celebrations is a sending out Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, held by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who belongs to the Community of the Schoenstatt Fathers.
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More information: www.schoenstatt2014.org
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