The most beautiful gift
for Our Lady:
the altar for the Shrine.
On November 29, 2022, just in time for the beginning of the novena for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, our daughter house in Romania received its most beautiful gift to date: Our Lady made her entrance to the chapel of our house with the altar for the shrine.
How did it come about?
Divine Providence sent us as missionaries to our homeland, Romania, to serve the Church, to serve the diocese of Timisoara, to make Schoenstatt better known, and to establish the Schoenstatt Movement here. Our situation is similar to that of the first Sisters in Uruguay. We have a great desire to have a shrine, although our Movement is still small. Our longing is and remains for Mary to establish herself in a shrine here in Romania. We have been led in such a way that we now occupy a house in the diocese of Timisoara and have been given a great opportunity for Apostolic work thanks to the expansion of the basement. Our house, with its chapel, is a small center that is slowly developing as the center of the small Schoenstatt Family. We are looking for a place for a Schoenstatt Shrine, but we still have to take our time searching and discerning God’s plan. In the summer of 2021, we came up with the idea of looking for a Shrine altar for our house chapel. We want to offer people a true shrine environment where Our Lady “draws young hearts to herself”.
After many prayers and contributions to the capital of grace, in February 2022, quite unexpectedly, we came into contact with a carpenter who had just arrived at the Episcopal Vicariate, to work out the final details of a project for the altar of a parish church. After a brief conversation between us, we decided to go through this “open door” and presented our big idea to this carpenter. Just as surprising was his positive and quick response, so that we were able to sign a contract at the end of May.
With the help of our provincial superior, who obtained the original plans for the altar from the Brothers of Mary, we were able to hope that our dream would soon become a reality. Months of intense prayer and sacrifice followed, because it was important for us that the altar be truly a faithful reproduction of the original. In October the first sign arrived: the Archangel Michael, a gift from the university students. We prepared a worthy place for him in the house chapel.
A “delegation” from among us was able to visit the carpenter’s workshop at the beginning of November and be amazed at the almost finished altar (see photo) – our expectation grew increasingly and reached a new climax when the moment arrived on November 29: The throne of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt could finally be erected in our house chapel!
Our great joy was also shared by the helpers present, including the carpenter, who expressed his joy and enthusiasm with a reverent sign of the cross.
Since then, individuals and groups of visitors from our Movement have continued to come to our “pre-shrine”.
Now an important milestone has been reached for Schoenstatt in Romania, and for us this is just another sign that the Blessed Mother still has many things planned for us, and will also provide us with everything we need to continue to grow, because: