Crazy for Jesus: Mary, Let us Walk Like you Through Life!
Reception of Young Women into the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
(Kathrin Bieler) Sunday, September 2, was the day of a "crazy idea" come true: seven "totally normal young women", as one of their friends said, had become crazy – crazy for Jesus and the call they had heard to surrender their life totally to him in order to serve the Schoenstatt Movement and countless persons as Mary for today. The young women from Germany, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Romania and from the Philippines became Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary; the dress they received is the message: "Mary, let us walk like you through life." During the day and on the day before, a manifold program was offered for their guests and many young people who had come – a program marked by the come 75th anniversary of the founding of the Schoenstatt Sisters.
The day before, seven young women from Brazil had celebrated their reception in Atibaia, Brazil. On the same day, a young woman from the Czech Republic had reception in Rokole, by the first Schoenstatt Shrine in her country.
Already on Friday, many guests arrived in Schoenstatt, among them 150 or so young people from the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth. What attracted these young people? Was it just the reception, or the wish to congratulate their friends, or also a certain curiosity – or call it interest – to get to know a bit more of the life of the Schoenstatt Sisters?
Schoenstatt Sisters Sharing
Those who had come with this wish found several possibilities on Saturday as the Schoenstatt Sisters invited all to join in their feast day preparations for a couple of hours. Some girls worked on the flower deco, others helped preparing the meals, and others tested their luck with cake and cookies. Talks and testimonies given by Schoenstatt Sisters were offered as impulse to think about one's own vocation. The life of Sr. Emilie, one of the first Schoenstatt Sisters, was a good starting point for discussion on ideals, longings, calls, obstacles, surrenders and victories. The Shrine of the Schoenstatt Sisters was open as a place of silence and prayer.
Crazy for Jesus and Mary
"The novices are crazy! Many who know them may think so, and they are right: they are crazy for Jesus and Mary. This was the leitmotif of Monsignor Zimmerer's sermon in the festive Mass on Sunday. The Director General of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary encouraged the guests and the novices to be like Mary and lead people homeward to the Triune God. For all those visitors who found no place in the crammed Adoration Church (or did not want to stand all time), the celebration was transmitted to a big screen in the aula under the Church. "I never saw so much," admitted one woman who had found a place here.
During the festive Mass, the seven young women revealed their new name, and received the dress, the veil, the medal and a candle as sign of their Marian mission. They want to walk through life like Mary and be a sign of God's presence in a world that seems far from God but at the same time desperately searching for him. The Schoenstatt Sisters' choir, and a choir and orchestra from the Girls' Youth provided the songs and music. Young people from Romania sang a Marian song in their language. During the prayer of the faithful, novices also spoke in Spanish and a Philippine native language – a touch of internationality.
After the Mass, the new Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary processed to the Shrine on Mount Schoenstatt to say thanks and renew their Covenant of Love. After this, all could congratulate, talk, meet, sing, ask, and share with the novices.
A Jubilee Course
This new course is a jubilee course, as the Schoenstatt Sisters are celebrating their 75th founding anniversary. On October 1, 1926, the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary was founded by Fr Joseph Kentenich who saw himself always as an instrument in the hands of Mary and the Triune God. During the afternoon, the guests could get some ideas about the Schoenstatt Sisters' mission, life and history.
Lead People Homeward to the Triune God
The Schoenstatt Sisters share Schoenstatt's mission to lead people homeward to the Triune God, to the Father God. A video presentation in the Mother House gave some insights into how they work for this goal. All visitors were offered refreshments and cookies; some sisters were waiting to give them tours of the house – also to those parts that are usually not open for visitors. In the Father Kentenich House, a video was presented on Sr. M. Emilie Engel – her life as a journey homeward to God the Father. The Adoration Sisters shared about their mission and life and invited all into their house. Sr. Dorithee shared about the prayer, the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament through 24 hours, and the mission to carry the needs of the people to God, and to give praise and honor to Him. Each need and petition directed to the Adoration Sisters is given into the personal prayer responsibility of one Sister who
From the Schoenstatt Sisters' Family Album
The guests were also invited to look at the Schoenstatt Sisters' "Family Album" – a presentation in the aula. Pictures and stories gave an idea of the beginnings of the community; testimonies from Schoenstatt Sisters from then and now complemented the historical presentation.
The program ended with a common benediction in the Adoration Church – a moment of thanksgiving and mission for all who had joined in the celebration – the novices' relatives and friends from Germany, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Romania, youth from Germany and several other countries, and a good number of people from Vallendar and the surrounding area.
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