Newsletter September 2018
Dear benefactors, volunteers and friends:
August 25, 2018
First of all we want to thank each of you for your continuous interest, concern and support for us as community and for our shrine and center.
We can thank the Triune God and our dear Mother Thrice Admirable Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt for their constant protection and guidance in this time of re-construction.
Through your concern and continuous support during this time marked with special challenges, we have experienced God´s mercy and the reality of the Covenant of Love. And for this
we want to extend our gratitude to everyone.
As we all know it is already one year since Hurricane Harvey hit our place leaving us with much devastation and destruction. During the past months we have been able to accomplish a lot through your help and assistance. Our property already looks clean and beautiful. We have lost many trees and consequently do not have as much shade anymore but we are very blessed to have our Shrine and Fr. Kentenich Statue standing, as well as our large houses. No doubt, the Blessed Mother has an essential mission from this Shrine, our Confidentia Shrine.
Of course, you also want to know more about the houses. Many people are asking how things are going and when we will be open again for retreats, events, etc. Without question we have made some progress but not at the pace we would have liked. Things are moving slowly due to lack of personnel and due to many challenges that come in between. After the hurricane we started immediately to re-build the Training Center, House Schoenstatt and the Girls´ house. House Schoenstatt is an older structure and has sustained much more damage. For this reason the process is taking much longer.
The present situation is a very challenging one since everyone in Rockport, Aransas Pass, etc. is trying to rebuild their homes and businesses. In a recent article of the diocesan magazine it said that in the area of Rockport/Fulton, approximately 16,000 homes were either severely damaged or destroyed, and at this point, one year after the hurricane, 12,000 of these are still in need of repair, and many people are still without adequate housing. Workers are overtaxed and they are in demand everywhere. As you all know, when one is going to remodel a house one plans ahead of time and looks for the pros and cons as to how to do it. This planning gives time to look for options and for solving issues that have been a problem. One of our great challenges is that we have to plan and to rebuild at the same time, trying to find solutions to problems that were in the houses already before. Besides this, it is hard to receive information from companies or to get them to come or get the materials we need in a short period of time. Another challenge is that we have discovered many other hidden damages from the hurricane, that are seen only as time passes, such as uncontrolled humidity, leaks, crucial problems with windows, A.C., etc. The consequence of this is constant delays.
At the same time we had a few events that have brought more damage to our houses:
- Tornado winds in March brought a lot of water into some houses, and we had to demolish some areas and re-do some of the work in the girls´ house
- Water leaks in March and again in August in House Schoenstatt have caused us to have to do more demolition and re-do sheet rock work.
- Flooding in the Training Center due to an AC problem
- Rain for almost 3 days in June that caused much damage in some houses
Even though the rain caused more damage, we can say it was also a blessing since we were able to see more issues that need to be addressed. These things can help us better understand the situation and are an invitation for you to continue supporting us with your prayer and patience.
We have the confidence that all this is in Our Lord´s hands and he has a plan for us, for our center and for the Schoenstatt Family as such. At the same time we can also realize that in this process we have never been alone. We have been very blessed, first of all, with Our Lord´s and the Blessed Mother´s guidance and protection and, secondly with each and every one of you. In this spirit of gratitude we want to announce to you that we will have a
Holy Mass in Thanksgiving
to our Mother Thrice Admirable Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt
for her protection, for enabling us to re-build our houses,
and for all your help and support in this process after the hurricane.
The Most Reverend Bishop Michael Mulvey
will celebrate this Holy Mass on
December 8, 2018.
We will begin at 2:00 pm in the Training Center
with a time of sharing and a video about the re-building process.
We will continue with the Holy Mass followed directly by a procession to the Shrine.
Dinner will then be served.
Please SAVE THE DATE and join us!
For this occasion, we want to compile pictures of all the volunteers and benefactors who have been here at our place. We would be very grateful if you could send us some pictures of when you came to volunteer. You can send hard copies to
Sr. M. Lorena Segura
134 Front Street
Rockport, Tx. 78382 – 7800
Or digital copies to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or text message to: (262) 309-7895. Thanks!
Now, the update of our houses:
The roof and the interior are finished, it already looks beautiful! We still need to do the exterior paint job! We hope to give the gift of the finished Shrine to our dear Blessed Mother for her feast day on December 8.
The two sections, the Sisters´ wing and the Father wing which had the most damage, are under construction. The roof is finished and some of the interior work has been done. We are waiting for the installation of the new windows in order to continue the work on the interior. The middle section, that had been remodeled three years ago, also needs some repairs. Most of the sisters have moved to the Training Center so that this work can be done. After all the interior work is completed, we will proceed with the painting of the exterior.
The inside work has been completed and we can joyfully share with you that we have already opened this place for pilgrimages. The Auditorium has its full capacity again and the bedrooms are now finished and occupied by the sisters. The Father room has also been finished and is again open. Some spaces are still used for storage. We still have some exterior painting to do and other outside repairs that will be done later.
As most of you know Mel and Cathy Garten took over the responsibility to complete and direct this project–not only the construction work but the interior design as well. It is a beautiful house! We thank them, and all volunteers and benefactors who made this “dream” possible. We can joyfully share with you that we have already used the house for some groups. But, after a heavy rain storm, we realized that we have to change the windows, so we are now in this process and hope to complete it soon.
HOUSE CONFIDENTIA (former Province House)
Since we are concentrating all our strength and efforts on the other houses, the work on House Confidentia has been minimal. As some of you know, this house had extensive damage; therefore we are only trying basically to keep it dry and safe from more damage. Currently we are working on the roof and hope to install the new windows soon. In the meantime we are also in the process of discerning how to best use this house in the future. In view of all this, we plan to do some remodeling. The restoration of this house will take a long time since we intend to finish all the repairs on the other houses first, so we can open them for you.
As you know, the GIFT SHOP is back and has been up and running for some time.
On behalf of all the sisters, I want to say once more a
for all your help through your prayers, or hours of work at our place, your interest, encouragement, support, generous financial or material donations, visits to our place, etc. The contribution of each one is helping us to restore everything, including the cemetery!!! There is still much work to do, but our dear Mother Thrice Admirable will show us the best time to continue with each project. We do not know when we will be able to open the doors of our retreat center again, but we are confident that it will be soon. We will keep you posted. Thank you also for your patience and understanding!
At this time, we have space for day groups only. For more information for the use of the house please contact the new administrator of our retreat center: Sr. M. Jacinta Brunner by email: email@example.com or by cell phone: 361-695-0677.
(Please note: the number 361-729-1868 is not yet a functioning number for our house, but unfortunately it still appears on most caller id’s. If you want to reach us by land phone it is necessary to use the number 361-729-2019).
We ask you for your continuous prayers for all people in our restoration team: engineers, architects, contractors and all other workers, that they may be guided to do what is most beneficial for each house.
In gratitude we also include you in our prayers in the Shrine and ask our dear Mother Thrice Admirable Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt to reward you and your families abundantly.
In the Covenant of Love, sincerely
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Sr. M. Lorena Segura