February 2, 2021
Dear Missionaries of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother,
From the shrine, we receive the grace to go forth and fulfill our mission in this New Year! We look forward to a year dedicated to St. Joseph and also a year in which we want to focus on how the Pilgrim Mother helps us build the Domestic Church.
In view of these signs of our present times, a number of coordinators of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother have determined the following program for 2021.
For the Year of St. Joseph:
Beginning on March 3, we will pray – online – a novena to St. Joseph written Sister M. Anna, from the Schoenstatt Sisters. Each day is dedicated to a virtue of St. Joseph and reflects on a few words from Father Kentenich about St. Joseph and our Schoenstatt mission. Details regarding the text, its publication, how to acquire it, when to pray it, and so on, will be available on our website on February 18, 2021. Browse for schoenstatt-pilgrimmother.us on that date!
Planning our national convention:
Since 2015, our national convention of missionaries and coordinators has taken place every two years. Our last encounter was in 2019. At that time, we were fully equipped and sent out as missionaries of the covenant. Now, it is 2021, and we should come together again. However, the insecurities of finances and precaution measures brought about by the pandemic have inspired our coordinators to think of a totally different type of encounter.
In July 2020, some state coordinators determined a few elements for a distance convention. The first item they wanted secure was the Holy Mass concluding with a prayer of sending out from the shrine. Among other things, the coordinators also decided to stress the fruits of the pandemic as the visits of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother have helped our people become aware of God’s presence in their homes. Lastly, they expressed the desire to turn the event into an apostolic outreach. Recently, another conversation of coordinators took place and they narrowed the planning items down. This was the result:
Saturday, September 4, 2021: Online Opening Holy Mass for our national event, closing with a sending out from the shrine and the commissioning of new missionaries.
- Anytime on or after September 4, the coordinators and missionaries are encouraged to share with other missionaries, their parish community, people who receive the image, or anyone they want to invite, the material that will be made available to them for the occasion.
- The material will include: an explanation of the event and its purpose for any parish liturgy or for their pastors, petitions for a Holy Mass, audiovisual material of talks, testimonies, reflections on how the Pilgrim Mother helps us build the Domestic Church, and the prayers for commissioning the missionaries.
- At a later date, as many missionaries as possible will be invited to connect online and share their experiences from this outreach event.
The topics to be highlighted throughout this year and in the reflections for the 2021 event will depict the Blessed Mother as the compassionate mother who has accompanied the people in their homes with her presence. We also want to continue stressing the three graces from the shrine with special interest on how these graces help families build the Domestic Church. The shrine, therefore, is the place where we spiritually gather, pray, are sent forth from, and return to with our images, experiences, and aspirations to remain her missionaries in these difficult times.
In one of the biographies of John Pozzobon, we read the following memories about John’s outreach to the families through the visits of the Pilgrim Mother. Father Esteban Uriburu comments under the heading Year 1951:
As of September 10, 1950 night after night, without missing a single evening, John Pozzobon took the enshrined picture of the MTA on pilgrimage. He had the presence of mind to take a notebook along with him to keep record of the date when the Blessed Mother visited each family and a few remarks about that family. Were they married, was it a civil union or if it was blessed by the Church? How many children they had and if they were baptized? He also recorded the number of people who gathered to pray.
In addition to praying the rosary, Pozzobon seized the moment to do family apostolate. He arrived a little earlier at the home where they had received the image the night before. This gave him the opportunity to converse with the family. Rain or shine, come summer or winter, he devoted two hours daily to this task, as he had promised Our Lady (Fr. Esteban Uriburu, Peregrino y Misionero de María, 1999, 87).
Come pandemic, stressful situations, or social unrest, what is our commitment with our dear Mother and Queen? Each one can certainly report rich experiences from all the apostolic endeavors of the last two years since we gathered in Waukesha for our last convention. One last item of our preparation has to do with reporting, too.
It is time to update our lists! Therefore, we ask that you contact the missionaries in your areas, parishes, and dioceses, and confirm the images registered or inform of any new ones that are rotating at present. The information that we need is specified in the form below. The questionnaire also includes a short survey in preparation for our national event in 2021. Until our coordinators formulate a phrase to inspire us during this event, we will call it 2021 Missionaries of the MTA.
Looking forward to a richly fruitful year for our apostolate of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother, I send you my gratitude, special greetings, and continued prayers from our shrine,
United in our mission,
Sr. M. Isabel Bracero
Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother
National Coordinator, USA