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April 23, 2017

From our readers: Stations of the Cross to be dedicated at Wayside Shrine

The Schoenstatt Wayside Shrine in Delphi is located on Highway 421, heading from Delphi to Monticello. (Photo provided)

The Schoenstatt Wayside Shrine in Delphi is located on Highway 421, heading from Delphi to Monticello. (Photo provided)

Editor’s note: Bishop Timothy L. Doherty will dedicate the Stations of the Cross at the Schoenstatt Wayside Shrine in Delphi on Saturday, April 29. Julie Haskell, assistant secretary on the Schoenstatt Board of Directors, provided The Catholic Moment with some background information about the history of the origins of the shrine in Delphi.

The international Marian movement was founded in 1914 by Father Joseph Kentenich in Germany, where the original shrine is located. There are now more than 180 Schoenstatt shrines worldwide.

By Julie Haskell

Our Lady of Schoenstatt — also known as Mother Thrice Adored (MTA) — came to Indiana in 1988, when Sister Ann Astell, a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary, arrived at Purdue University to teach English.

Sister Ann brought the traveling Mother Thrice Admirable Shrine with her and waited for Mary to guide her.

Those devoted to the Mother Thrice Admirable often say they do 1 percent of the work and the Blessed Mother does the remaining 99 percent. Sister Ann was known for often saying, “All I had to do was sit the MTA on my desk and before long professors and students wanted to take her into their homes.”

Suzanne Gardiner, one of the first members of Schoenstatt in Indiana, had a dream of having a shrine in Delphi.

She prayed during a visit to a daughter shrine in Wisconsin.

“I asked Mother to give me a sign — a card or something — so I would know it is what she wants,” Gardiner said.

At lunch, each place setting on the table was decorated with a beautiful card displaying a picture of the altar inside the shrine — a memento for guests to keep.

“That was my sign,” Gardiner said. The Blessed Mother wanted a shrine built in Delphi.

Miraculous stories abound relating to events surrounding the Mother Thrice Adored, including that of a heavy rain which led to the rising of the creek behind the Gardiners’ house. Suzanne and her husband planted medals of Our Blessed Mother around the outside of the house, begging her to protect the house from the flood. Then they left to pray and wait.

The water kept rising and flooded the yard. The equipment in the shed in the back yard was swept away. The water was inching its way to the back door. Just when the water was about to enter their house, it began to recede. Their property was spared from destruction. They believe the Blessed Mother answered their prayers.

Another instance in-volved Suzanne Gardiner’s uncle, Bob Morrow, who owned land on Highway 421. She asked him if she could buy a few acres to build a shrine in thanksgiving for the Blessed Mother’s protection and he said no. She was crushed. But, in his next breath, “I will give you the land to build your shrine,” he said.

In 2005, the Wayside Shrine in Delphi — located adjacent to the Erie Canal Interpretive Center and Museum — was erected and Our Blessed Mother had a new home.

Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi dedicated the shrine to Our Lady.

“Take possession of this little spot,” he said. “Choose this grassy woodland in Delphi, Ind., to be your true shrine where many pilgrims can experience your presence.”

The title given to the shrine was “Mother of the Eucharist.”

The recent purchase of the Morrow estate has renewed efforts to develop the land, create a sacred park and build a daughter shrine, similar to the original in Germany.

Betty and Jack Jones fashioned the Stations of the Cross on rocks that follow a path which begins at the Wayside Shrine and continues in a circle, winding its way back to the shrine.

“At times, we were not sure we would get it finished,” Betty said. “It was truly a blessing for us — between God’s help and my husband’s push, we got it done.”

Members of the movement believe that miracles of inner transformation occur through Our Lady’s intercession and that by bringing the shrine into their homes, they have entered into a covenant of love, with Our Lady taking over — educating and preparing them to bring others to her son.

The image for the Wayside Shrine came from Vallendar-Schoenstatt, Germany, and was laid on the tomb of Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, and blessed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.

The international Schoenstatt Movement also invites families to pray and make sacrifices for sinners, as was instructed to the children in Fatima.

Activities for the April 29 celebration include:

  • 9 a.m. — Recitation of the rosary at St. Joseph Church
  • 9:30 a.m. — Mass at St. Joseph Church. Father Cassian Sama, OP, will be the principal celebrant. The homily will be given by Schoenstatt Father Francisco Rojas.
  • 10:30 a.m. — Dedication of the Stations of the Cross by Bishop Doherty at the Wayside Shrine
  • Noon — Luncheon at the Delphi Opera House, with entertainment by “Nun and Nunner” and a slide show by Sister Ann Astell. RSVP for the luncheon is requested to or call 765-404-2183. Tours of the Opera House also will be available.

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