“What’s going on here?”
asked Mr. B, who bicycled to the Liebfrauenhoehe. “I was just going to make a visit to the shrine and I am amazed at how many people there are here.
The “Easter Trail”
on the beautiful property of the Schoenstatt Center Liebfrauenhoehe, drew many people during the week of Easter. It invited the people to experience Easter with all of their senses. About 700 visitors, among them many families with children, were attracted by the sunny Easter weather on the first two days. “When you go from the parking lot toward the Crown Church, the view is idyllic. Daffodils bloom on the lawn, and on the other side, the sheep greet you,” commented one of the visitors on Easter Monday.
Numerous volunteers helped us put into practice many ideas for the Easter trail. Carrots, Easter bunnies, and eggs were cut out of wood, painted, and fitted with fasteners. Large signage described each of the stations created for this event, a map was provided, and a leader named for that part of the trail. A variety of other things were prepared, equipping each station for the opening of the event on Easter Sunday.
The Liebfrauenhoehe Easter Trail took the visitors into a special time in which the Resurrection of Jesus was celebrated and it followed the life newly awakened by the Resurrection. Nature and supernature were experienced on this trail.
Mrs. X, from Kirchentellinsfurt shared, “There were flyers about the Easter trail in the clinic in Tuebingen, where I work. When I finished work, I went straight home, picked up my son, and then we came here quickly.”
In the middle of the meadow in front of the province house, parents and children scurried about searching for the “special Easter egg.” There were 25 large, colorful Easter eggs planted in this Easter egg meadow. They were planted in pairs, two eggs that matched. But one egg did not have a match. It was the special egg. Whoever found the special egg received a small prize.
While playing the Easter bunny toss, Senta from Haigerloch said, “That is my favorite game.” After she walked the entire Easter trail with her parents, she absolutely wanted to go back to the Easter bunny toss. She simply could not leave this station. “I always win. My dad needs to practice more,” said the eight-year-old girl during her visit to the Easter café with her dad.
“Now, we definitely want to go to the shrine yet,” said Mrs. G, who, with her husband and their three children, was in the Easter cafe after visiting some of the stations. “We can write something for the jar.” Her husband immediately asked, “And where is the mail box where we can write our prayer intentions so that the sisters pray for us?”
The jar in the Schoenstatt shrine was filled to the brim with notes. The special mail box received a mountain of prayer intentions day after day. It is an honor for the elderly sisters to pray for these many requests. The cards with the prayer intentions are intentionally brought to Jesus in the house chapel where the sisters pray for all the people during Holy Mass and during their prayer times. A special joy was the prayer request that read, “Dear God, please let the Sisters of Mary know how much joy the Easter trail brought us.”
Two girls who came with their grandparents lit a small candle from the large Easter candle in the Crown Church and carried it very devoutly to the image of the Blessed Mother. What might have been going on in the hearts of these girls and what might they have said to the Blessed Mother? “The Easter trail was prepared with so much love,” said their grandmother with praise, and she thanked us for all the effort we put into it.
Many families sat together and decorated Easter holy water bottles. Then the children proudly brought their holy water bottles to the Crown Church to the vessel with the holy water from the Easter Vigil and filled them. Mr. X from Haigerloch said, “We’re going to bring it to my father in the cemetery. He died last year.”
The Liebfrauenhöhe Easter Trail was a natural-supernatural experience. It included spending time in nature, playing together, fortifying oneself in the Easter café, entrusting Jesus with a stone that he can set rolling in one’s personal life, lighting a candle for others or for peace, and taking God’s blessing home with holy water.
“Tomorrow we will come again,” said seven-year-old Jonas enthusiastically after competing hard in the Easter run. “You can make an Easter trail like this every year,” confirmed a visitor who comes with her godchildren to the Liebfrauenhoehe.
An abundance of feedback like this is giving our team of Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary the impetus to prepare next year an Easter trail that is a small Emmaus experience for hundreds of people.