January 2, 2018

A “Golden Time” for Australia

from Sister M. Thomasine Treese, Australia

On May 20, 2018, the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary will celebrate the golden jubilee of the shrine in Mulgoa, Sydney. The year of preparation was opened already in May 2017 with the lighting of a jubilee candle by the diocesan Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv. This was at the same time the start of two further jubilees: the golden jubilee of the province of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Australia and the Philippines in November 2017, and the 50th anniversary of the death of the founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, in September 2018. The jubilee of the Schoenstatt Shrine thus takes place in the midst of a “golden time.”

 

A Little Jewel

Already in his homily at the dedication of the shrine on May 19, 1968, Cardinal Norman Thomas Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, pointed to the great things the Blessed Mother will do from this simple chapel. He described this place as a little jewel, even though the place was rather unknown in the area: “But I dare to say that in the coming years, this place will be so noteworthy and treasured like few other places.” Referring to the distance between the Schoenstatt Shrine on the extreme west end of the archdiocese and the Marian Cathedral in Sydney on the eastern end, Cardinal Gilroy pronounced a vision of the future. “This shrine creates the connection to the cathedral. And now the Blessed Mother will embrace all people from one end to the other from the cathedral and from her Schoenstatt Shrine. I hope, and am firmly convinced, that in the future this shrine will be a place of grace, thanks to divine initiative, and will attract more and more people.”

Oasis of Faith, Hope, and Love

This vision has come true. In the course of these 50 years, the shrine at the foot of the “Blue Mountains” has become a place of spiritual radiance. Not only Catholics, but also Christians of other confessions and people of manifold religions and cultures, above all from the Asian Pacific Region, often travel long stretches to bring their intentions to the shrine, to thank, or simply to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. For them, the shrine and its surroundings are a true spiritual home, an oasis of faith, hope, and love.

The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Australia are looking forward to a joyful jubilee feast of the shrine and cordially invite all those interested to the celebration in Mulgoa.