At the time of its dedication we were both working and our children had “a bit much” extra-curricular activities.  We led a life of “busyness” and yearned for quiet and stillness that would help us develop a deep prayer life.  We chose the name Bethany because it was there that Jesus visited the home of his friend Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. In this home in Bethany is where Jesus’ “human” nature was most apparent.  We wanted this presence/nearness with Jesus as experienced by the family in Bethany. Our home shrine is the special place of communicating with our Lord — of “visiting” with Him in personal prayer. 

Our Bethany home shrine was dedicated on May 24, 1990, Ascension Thursday. We have been richly blessed with the graces of our home shrine. In and from our home shrine, we experience fruitfulness in our apostolic life…”Go therefore and make disciples….”

For thirty years, three generations of our family have received our Mother’s care and education.Every home shrine has its “uniqueness.” Our Bethany home shrine has been domestic church for our grandchildren with Grandma and Papa. Since 2002, we have had Camp Grandma – an annual summer camp for our grandchildren (Papa is facilitator for outdoor activities.)  Our Home Shrine is our campers place to start and end the day with prayer, to learn about our Catholic faith, to enthrone or renew the enthronement of the symbols.  Learning activities for feast days that are celebrated in the Church on the days of camp are included in the program.  It is a place to present flowers to Mary and to offer paper crowns designed by each camper and which are offered to Blessed Mother in the wayside shrine (first years), then in the Cor Unum in Patre Shrine.  This pilgrimage is special – other camp outings are field trips. 

Although the summer camp in 2002 started with three days a week for four weeks with either two or three grandchildren per year – fast forward, in 2015-2019 it has been only three days for the entire summer.  Each year camp has had a different theme. The time with Blessed Mother in the home shrine is a constant.

Julian and Pilar Huerta, Apostolic Family Federation, TX

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