• Greetings for February 15, 2023

    Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine!

    Today, we remember the death day of Gilbert Schimmel. He was born in rural Wisconsin in 1906 and grew up on a farm and later in a small town. His work took him to the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, where he met and married Joanna Hintz. As a worker at the famous Allis-Chalmers plant, he had to stand up for his rights in one of the most notorious labor disputes of the mid-20th Century. He did so with the courage and charity of Christ. As a husband and father of four children, he lived his Catholic faith out of deep conviction and tender love. 

    The couple met Father Kentenich in 1954, it was a true sursum corda moment, which changed their lives. They joined the Monday Night talks given by Father Kentenich which challenged the couple to live up to the high ideal of Christian marriage. During many encounters with Schoenstatt’s founder, Gilbert learned that his first apostolate as husband and father was his family. He wrestled with this idea since he liked to volunteer in his parish and collect funds for the missions.  

    In the end, he felt compelled to offer his life to the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt as a “Second Joseph Engling of America.” It was an offering that God accepted when he died of cancer in 1959. His biography was published under the title “The End Crowns the Work” and is available at our Schoenstatt stores.  

    The encounter with Father Kentenich changed Gilbert’s life. Surely, we can remember meeting a person who lifted us up and awakened the longing in us to change for the better. One of Father Kentenich’s observations during his first visit to the US in 1948 was the need for saints to be formed in the United States. For him it was clear:

    Personalities are most powerfully enkindled by other personalities. They can only find the full realization of life’s meaning in personal confrontation, in receptiveness and surrender to a personal you, in a personal and mutual giving of self and being accepted, in a covenant of love between the personal I and the personal you. (….) This can be experienced in either a great saint of the past or in a leading personality of the present.

    St. Valentine whom we celebrated yesterday, Father Kentenich and his spiritual son, Gilbert Schimmel, and above all, the Blessed Mother, show us the way. May we follow their example with a joyful sursum corda

    Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary

  • Sursum Corda Moments …

    • I like to compliment others in such a way that it also lifts me up too. Instead of saying: “I like your hair, I wish I had your hair,” I try to think, “I really like your hair – and I like mine too!” And even as I am a sursum corda for someone else, I am, too, built up instead of tearing myself down. – Angela M.
    • Discerning is really valuable when you’re looking to lift up your heart, but not looking for “what I’m going to get out of this”, but rather seeking to lift my heart into the heart of God, to fit my heart into his, in order to discover and surrender myself totally to his will for me and my life. – Adriana M.
  • Greetings for January 15, 2022

    Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine! 

    Much too fast, the Christmas season came to a close and by now we are well into the new year 2023. Only ten days ago, we buried Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, a friend of Schoenstatt. His first encyclical letter Deus Caritas est encapsulates the heart of the Christian faith in a single phrase: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). Being a Christian is essentially an encounter with a person who gives life a new direction. The late pontiff’s final words: “Jesus, I love you” attest to that. Our faith in Christ is not an “add-on” or an “extra”; it is the core of who we are as Christians.

  • Sursum Corda Moments …

    • In high school, there are plenty of people who are in need of a living Sursum corda. There’s this girl at school, and she doesn’t think she’s smart because she’s not “school smart”. She is talented in other ways; for example, she is a wonderful musician. Once I told her: “You’re not dumb, you’re just unconventionally smart.” Sometime later, she told me that touched her so much that she now has it on a sticky note on her bathroom mirror as a reminder. It really lifted up her heart! – S.V.
  • January Sursum Corda Days…

  • Summer events for girls and young women – Save the date!
  • Peregrinación para Parejas a Wisconsin

  • Pilgrimage to the Exile Places

  • Sursum Corda Moments …

    “Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land led us to the Shepherds Field. What a beautiful surprise and greeting we got as we entered the cave. We were moved to tears when we were greeted by our MTA. A genuine sursum corda moment! Of course, we prayed for all intentions of our Schoenstatt Family, especially also for the canonization of our father and founder. It was also a special joy for us that the texts from Heavenwards accompanied us throughout our pilgrimage in Jordan and Israel.”

  • Greetings for December 15, 2022

    Advent Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine, 

    The Old Testament knows a linguistic stylistic device called the prophetic perfect tense. It announces an event of the future but uses the past tense as if the event had already occurred. The idea behind this is: God has decided that something is going to happen, and if he has it decided, then it will occur as surely as if it had already happened.

    Against this backdrop, our Advent longing is not the anticipation of an event that is expected, but our longing is that of an unshakeable faithful conviction in God’s faithfulness and love. Therefore, the Old Testament readings encourage us to ask ourselves what the deserts in our lives are, where we feel paralyzed, blind, deaf, or dumb, and where we feel imprisoned or exiled. These situations exist in our own lives: when we cannot cope with our limitations, when we suffer from our relationships, when we feel constricted, when nothing seems to work out and we feel as if we do not live up to our expectations. These situations also exist in our Church and our society. In all these situations we are promised that God will come as a Savior who will bring us his salvation. This is not only a promise, but also an assurance. 

    As we begin the posadas today let us accompany Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem let us remember: “all the disappointments connected with earthly things call out to us again and again: Rise higher! Sursum corda! God is the ultimate, God is eternal Love, the eternal, infinite Good, and Gift!” (J.K.)

    United with you in our Schoenstatt Bethlehem,

    Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary