TRENTON (SNR) – Thirty parishioners from St. James Parish in Trenton, Holy Family in Palisade, Sacred Heart near Hayes Center and St. Patrick in McCook participated in a celebration Oct. 22 with Father Lothar Gilde officiating, ‘Crowning of the Pilgrim MTA.’
The Pilgrim MTA (Mother Thrice Admirable) refers to a picture of Mary that goes on pilgrimage between homes within a group of 10 families.
Father Gilde said there are about seven such shrines moving among groups of families in the area.
“It is called a Shrine because the picture is held in a frame that is in the shape of the Schoenstatt Shrine,” he explained.
The promise with the Pilgrim MTA is that Mary herself is coming to the homes to bring three graces: being at home, which Father Gilde said is an assurance that God has you and those around you fully being home where God’s will can be fulfilled; inner transformation; and apostolic virtue.
“The MTA Pilgrim Shrine helps assure that these graces stay on the move,” Father Gilde said.
A parishioner shared a newsletter “The Pilgrim Mother” which explained the crowning: “We want to pull [tug] on her [Mary’s] mantle, so to say, and remind her of our many dire needs in these times of extreme confusion, persecution, and disasters.... We want to unite across the USA and implore that she protects all persecuted Christians around the world, and those subtly persecuted in our country. We want to ask her to continue using us as her instruments in this time and age.”
Across the nation Oct. 22 and 23, more than 3,000 shrines were crowned in honor of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign.
The crowning event of the Pilgrim MTAs in Trenton included a procession into St. James Church with a Marian hymn led by Katie Dubas.
There was a table set up to hold the Pilgrim MTAs, and Father Gilde and three others led prayers. The Pilgrim MTAs were crowned by members of the households who had brought them from their homes, while Dubas sang another Marian hymn. At the conclusion, a helium rosary balloon was used for an outdoor living rosary.
Father Gilde called the balloon release an amazing moment.
“It was carried by a strong south wind up to the ridge north of Trenton,” he said. “It rose higher and higher above the ridge as if Mary was communicating to us that she was watching over the region and promising to bring us blessings from heaven.”
The ceremony concluded with refreshments and social time for all who attended.