Bethlehem – A New Beginning

                 We sealed our Covenant of Love on August 17, 1997. We did this on a pilgrim’s day in Lamar, as our daughter Alaina was due to be born very close to the family retreat date. Later we sealed our Covenant with the Family Branch. 

                Our Home Shrine Dedication was held on February 11, 1998. We had a beautiful Holy Mass and Ceremony with Father Langsch. 

                While we were preparing, we read the book My Home A Shrine. There was no question about what name we would give our shrine: Bethlehem – A New Beginning. Our family especially enjoyed the Advent and Christmas Seasons and we were inspired by the words in the book about the name Bethlehem. “We are reminded of the birthplace of Jesus. In this Bethlehem Home Shrine, the Blessed Mother will offer us special graces to begin each day anew with joy and ardent zeal. We have a great task to fulfill; We are called to let Christ be reborn in us each day, to adore and serve Him, and to bring Him into the world around us.”

                We each chose a symbol to strive for in the shrine. The Foundation, the Crown, Saint Michael, the Sword of Saint Paul, and a pink rosebud which later became the Key to the Shrine.

                Throughout the years of family life, many offerings were made to the Blessed Mother and many graces were received. Gifts, flowers, report cards, diplomas, Cum Laude BA Degree, acceptance letters for ballet schools & company contracts, acceptance into elite hockey teams, achievements of the rank of Eagle Scout, and many more were always offered first to the Blessed Mother. The ups and downs of being small business owners and family life were also offered and accepted. Many graces were received. The Blessed Mother is never outdone in generosity.

                In conclusion, let us pray the 3:00 AM Office from Heavenwards:

“Your Shrine is our Bethlehem, pleasing to God through its sunrise.
There you gave virginal birth to the Lord who chose you as his bride and mother.
In your miraculous fruitfulness, you brought forth the Sun of Righteousness.

You have graciously established Schoenstatt so that our times can see the eternal light.
From there you want to go through our dark world as the Christbearer sent by God.

Jubilantly place the Lord into my soul anew, so that like you, I may perfectly resemble Him.
Let me be a Christbearer for our times, that they may shine in the brightest radiance of the sun.

Glory be joyfully given to the Father through Christ with Mary, highly praised,
in the Holy Spirit full of splendor from the universe now and in all eternity. 


Blake and Loretta Eaton, Trophy Club, TX, Apostolic Family Federation

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