Making Austin History:
Last Sunday, atop a small hill in Bee Caves, beneath grey skies and cold winds, history was made. It was the ground breaking of the first Marian Shrine in
the Diocese of Austin. Approximately 300 people from across the Diocese and across Texas participated in the mass and groundbreaking ceremony.
During the next sixth months, the process set in motion last Sunday will continue full speed ahead. Many prayers will be offered, the grounds will be prepared, and the Shrine itself will be built. Then, on September 13, 2014, the Marian Shrine will be blessed and dedicated by Bishop Joe Vasquez – and history will be made again!
This Marian Shrine will be a gift to the Diocese of Austin, and indeed truly to all people who are searching for a spiritual home. Everyone is warmly invited to take part in the process of building the Shrine, and especially invited to be there on that historic day, September 13th, when Bishop Joe will bless the chapel and open it to the public for the first time.
Fr Jesus Ferras, ISP, the Movement Director for Texas, had this to say about the Groundbreaking ceremony:
“Yesterday we truly experienced the gift of being Family in Schoenstatt! It was a day in which the Schoenstatt Family of Austin lived a major milestone towards the construction of their Marian Shrine. Groundbreaking was a moment in which the faithful came and experienced the warmth and welcoming of the Blessed Mother through all those present in the celebration. That gift of Family is the gift of the first grace of the shrine that we start to experience now. What would it be like once we have the Shrine?”
Video footage from the Groundbreaking!
What is the Shrine?
The Shrine is at the heart of an international Catholic lay movement called Schoenstatt. The Shrine being built in Austin is one of hundreds of Shrines around the world, all replicas of the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt, Germany, where the movement was born nearly 100 years ago.
The Shrine is in its essence a spiritual home, a place of rootedness in our modern rootless world. It is a place where the Blessed Mother is especially present, a place where she makes Her Son especially present – indeed there is a tabernacle at the heart of every Shrine. Anyone and everyone are welcomed to make it their home, to feel at home there with Christ and His Mother.
As a spiritual home, it is also a place of inner transformation. It is a place where inner life reigns and is allowed the space to blossom, be challenged and bear fruit. It is a place where people
from all walks of life come to read, journal, pray, dialogue with God and truly work in relationship with Him to grow towards their truest and fullest self. Rooted in this covenant relationship with Christ through His Mother and centered in the continual process of renewal and growth, they can go out into the world again full of strength and passion to carry out the great tasks of everyday holiness.
Who is the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin?
It is families, couples, young adults, youth, homeschool groups, professional men and women, university students. It is priests, sisters, and consecrated women.
The Schoenstatt Movement of Austin is the local branch of the International Schoenstatt Movement. Schoenstatt is present across the world, in many states in the US, and in many diocese around Texas. The Austin movement has been around for over three decades. Everyone and anyone can participate, there are many ways to do so! There are retreats, faith formation, small groups, rosary groups and more. Please check out the links below for more information!
One more time, what is this about?
It’s all about bringing this special place of grace to Austin. It’s about the Blessed Mother opening those floodgates of grace so that just as Austin is the center for so much innovation, creativity and life in so many other aspects, so may Austin also be a center for spiritual and religious renewal. It’s about inviting everyone and anyone to experience the power of God’s renewing grace, it’s about renewing our own lives, our families, our diocese, our society, our Church and beyond.
Where can I find out more?
- Another blog article on the Groundbreaking Mass
- Dedication Day of the First Marian Shrine in Austin with Bishop Joe
- The International Schoenstatt Movement
- The Schoenstatt Movement of Austin
- Want to be on our list-serve or get more info? Write to Katie Martin, the SMOA Communications Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org