December 12, 2022

An alternative takes off

Sister M. Doriett Moellenkamp

Thanks to the Coronavirus:

An Online Course

“Covenant of Love”

When, during these weeks, I look at the beginning of the online courses “Covenant of Love,” I can only say: Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, we are doing this! That’s how I can summarize things after offering this course eight times. For the year 2020, we as a team at the Pilgrim Center in Schoenstatt, Germany, planned to make the covenant of love known to many people. But during the pandemic it was not possible for pilgrimage groups to come to the Schoenstatt shrine. Thus originated the alternative online course “Covenant of Love.”

Meanwhile, the course has developed into a joint effort of the Pilgrim Center and the Apostolate of the Pilgrim MTA. In autumn a course took place over three evenings.

Who are the participants?

I always have exciting questions before the course begins: Who will sign up? Do the people know Schoenstatt? What exactly would the individuals like to know? Looking back, it can be ascertained: The participants of the courses are of all ages and come from the most varied places.  Sometimes even from foreign countries: For example, there are always registrations from Switzerland. But people also register from places nearby such as Vallendar. Some belong to the Schoenstatt Movement and others are interested pilgrims. Mrs. M. from the Schoenstatt Family Institute participated in a course so that she could make this topic known in the pilgrim circles that she accompanies. She was looking for practical suggestions on how to pass on the covenant of love. A woman from Vallendar found the flyer in the Pilgrim Church. She moved to town a few years ago and is discovering more and more about the spirituality of Schoenstatt.

The goal of the courses

To awaken interest in the covenant of love is the goal of the course. The three evenings are organized according to these topics:

  • How everything began … the covenant of love of October 18, 1914
  • The covenant of love – way and hope for everyone! For me, too?
  • Living my faith with the Mother of God

Often valuable exchange follows the inspirations given. “For me, especially the idea that the covenant of love is a renewal of the Baptismal covenant was new. I often visit the Schoenstatt shrine and I could absorb more about the pilgrimage graces.” This feedback was received from one of the participants.

Summing up the covenant of love

If and how the individuals seal the covenant of love is left to God’s providence. We invite the individuals to visit a Schoenstatt shrine in a diocese or to come to Schoenstatt, the place where the Schoenstatt Movement originated. For example, October 18 —a Schoenstatt day – is always a fitting day. In the year 2020, a family with two teenage daughters sealed their covenant of love. A lasting gift, as the parents sum it up today:

“The preparation for the covenant of love and the encounters during the covenant of love are yet having an effect on me and make me look joyfully to the Blessed Mother. With confidence even in difficult times, I can say MPHC[1].“ (Mr. I.)

“I have the feeling that since I made the covenant of love I am being guided ever more toward my vocation. Moreover, it is easier for me to endure difficulties because I have become more aware that I am not alone. SHE is with me!”  (Mrs I.)

I am excited about what is yet to happen!

A doctor made the day of her covenant of love very special: She invited almost 50 people to it. Afterwards, there was a common dinner, during which the individuals shared how they discovered Schoenstatt and when they sealed their covenant of love. She confessed, “When I look back at the last two years, I am amazed at how I have experienced the three graces of the shrine/Blessed Mother.  Even before that, I felt at home in the Original Shrine and treasured the Eucharistic Adoration very much. Since then I have increasingly experienced a ‘transformation’ and ‘mission’ to ‘being active’, e.g. in helping to organize hours of adoration or in the evening service at the Original Shrine (among other things with auditions: I would never have imagined that …). I am excited about what is yet to come!”

Interest for this online course has also come from our co-sisters in foreign countries. Thus, the texts have been translated into Slovenian and Vietnamese.

[1] Short for: Mater perfectam habebit curam (Mother will take care perfectly.)