Lead from the Shrine…

The Pilgrim Home Shrine is the late Gene Raulie’s home shrine in Austin-Cedar Park. Gene is remembered as the Schoenstatt pioneer in Austin. Together with his wife Marion, he was loyal to the Schoenstatt Movement all his life following a daily prayer schedule inspired by Father J. Kentenich whom he honored with all his heart.

For many years, Gene worked tirelessly to make Schoenstatt known in Austin by establishing several wayside shrines, bus trips to Lamar, and in 1976 he attended the first Men’s retreat there. Since then, he never missed the Men’s retreat which is held annually in early December.  He made his Covenant of Love in 1980 and his Blank Check in 1997. In 1988, he became one of the first Rosary Campaign coordinators and brought the first traveling shrine to Austin. Gene received one of the first 3 Pilgrim Shrines that were made in Corpus Christi by Joe Rodriguez.  Laredo and Corpus Christi received the other ones. He led several Rosary groups, provided numerous people with MTA pictures, held monthly 18th devotions at the wayside shrine at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cedar Park, was a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus, and organized the prison ministry taking the MTA to the local prison every month.

                   Gene’s home shrine was erected and blessed in 1983 and for many years, it became the place of prayer and devotion for him and his dear wife Marion. Eventually, the home shrine was moved to. one of the spare bedrooms after their 6 children, 5 boys, and 1 girl had grown up and left the home.  His son David made the huge frame where the MTA picture resides and it served many people and friends as a place of grace and peace.  Gene’s home shrine always radiated its mission ” Pilgrim Home Shrine” as it was often filled with prayer groups, friends, fresh flowers, and pictures of loved ones. Holy Family Catholic School in Cedar Park, TX received an MTA picture for each classroom so that the young students could look at the Blessed Mother during their daily prayers. Holy Family also enjoys a wayside shrine on their school premises that was dedicated by the late Father Jonathan Niehaus.  Gene was a true servant of Mary and never stopped bringing Christ into the life of other people.  He passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on May 28, 2021, at his home surrounded by friends and family close to his beloved home shrine.

Greetings for July 15

Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine, 

These days pilgrims to the Confidentia Shrine encounter a painful scene: the demolition of House Confidentia. It is the last remnant of the destruction caused by Harvey in 2017. 

House Confidentia was built in 1989 with abundant spiritual and physical sacrifices from the sisters and the movement. It was the home of the sisters who lived in Texas and Mexico. There they received their formation, came for their annual retreat, and celebrated the major feast days together. From there they were sent out as apostles to serve Schoenstatt’s mission. House Confidentia also provided a home and care for our sick and elderly sisters. After Harvey, most of the sisters were evacuated and found a new home at the provincial headquarters in Wisconsin.  

During many negotiations including the Diocese of Corpus Christi, a full assessment of House Confidentia by a forensic architect revealed that the entire outer structure of the building is not safe and it needs to be removed if we wanted to restore this house. Needless to say, such an undertaking is a very expensive and long-term project. Led by Divine Providence, a realistic look at our sisters’ community made it obvious that neither the present nor the coming generation will be able to maintain such a large facility. 

We gratefully remember the kindness of our benefactors, who contributed to building House Confidentia. We ask our Mother and Queen to reward them abundantly.

Though it is painful to let go of an important part of our history, we hold on to the words of our father and founder, Father Kentenich: “Faith in Divine Providence convinces us that the Father-God has designed a plan of the world, namely a plan of love (…) and that the Father-God realized the plan precisely at the right time, at the right moment.”

With prayers and in gratitude,

Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary 

Lead from the Shrine… Home of Grace

Our story started when we joined a couples’ group back in 1991 and soon after that, we attended family retreats with our children Gina Lorraine and Noe IV. Even though no TV’s were available for the weekend retreats, our children quickly forgot about that as they were quite busy with all of the activities the sisters had planned. I clearly remember as we left the first family retreat, they asked, “Can we come back next year?” It was then, that we realized our journey as a family of God had sparked such happiness within our children, and in us as a married couple.

Throughout the years, we initiated a foundation of grace, by being kind and gentle with words, and everyday kindness by our actions as a couple and as a family. Through the years, we have had many ups and many downs, but in the end, we remain strong as a family and within our marriage all because of our Blessed Mother. We truly believe that it is our Mother that has chiseled us and continues to intercede for us to become more childlike, more loving, more respectful, more gentle and to learn to speak with a calm voice, as Father Kentenich did.

Our Home Shrine has been our anchor and our light in times of darkness and despair. It is a blessing to wake up and greet her every day and offer our worries, good intentions, and our work to the capital of Grace. We have learned to accept our joys and sorrows and realize that at the end of the day, everything is as it should be. Schoenstatt has become our home, a place that brings peace and quiet to our soul, which has helped us understand and develop our mission in life.

The reality of our Home Shrine during this pandemic has reminded us to trust in the plan of Divine Providence and move towards God, at all times. We are grateful that our Lady and Queen has allowed us to walk with her, taught us how to practice humility, taught us to be understanding of others, taught us to trust in God’s plan, and continues to educate us to this day. Our Home Shrine, the center of our domestic church, has been the key to our heart and love of others, especially during this time of seclusion.

Original Home Shrine – Family Prayer from 2004

Dear Blessed Mother as we dedicate our Home Shrine in your honor this evening we feel deeply proud of this endeavor you so well deserve. You have always had a place of honor in our home, it is with pride that we now have an official and true Home Shrine to acknowledge you and your son daily. This shrine has the potential to grow as well as change in the years to come; never losing sight of our love, dedication, and devotion which it contains.

Noe and Ruby Lou Moraida | Family Federation, TX

This year’s Motto continues to remind us that it is Mary who is sending us to “Lead from the Shrine with trust in Divine Providence and Charity to all.”

Greetings for July 15th!

Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine,

We hope you are enjoying the summer and perhaps even a vacation! It is a great gift that we can travel and gather as families again as you may have done for the recent July 4th celebration. Above all, we are grateful that we are free again to gather in our churches for the Eucharist! 

As Schoenstatt Family we are thankful for our priestly father and founder whose ordination to the Sacred Orders and first holy Mass we commemorated on July 8th and July 10th.

Every vocation in the Catholic Church is a self-gift of charity to God and the world. Priests are called in a special way to imitate Christ’s example of outpouring love and mercy. This essentially makes their leadership fruitful. In our shrines, let us pray for all young men discerning the priesthood. Let us also beg our MTA to lead many priests to our shrines and to the covenant of love. May we each be receptive to the open doors by introducing our parish priests to Schoenstatt.

In our Confidentia Shrine we pray that you have a peaceful and relaxing summer and for many and holy priests,

Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary