Lead from the Shrine… Cause of our Joy

Why did we choose “Cause of Our Joy” as the name for our home shine?

Simply said…. this title in the litany of the holy Rosary always settles deep in our hearts. The Blessed Mother says her YES in her fiat and heaven rejoices and earth receives the Savior! The Blessed Mother urges Jesus for his first miracle and the wedding couple receives not only more, but the choicest wine for their celebration! At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave his mother to us and she becomes our mother too! Mary is the purest and most perfect vessel of God’s love and unites her motherly tenderness to that perfection making us, her children, the most blessed benefactors! This is the joy of our lives!!!…. That the sweet Mother of God is our mother too!

On a practical level, it is a blessing to walk by our home shrine, which was dedicated in 1997, and see one of our children sitting there staring at our MTA.  With the onset of the Covid virus, our family was able to experience the extension of the graces that come from the shrine in our home shrine.  Since all of the churches were closed, we were able to livestream and celebrate Holy Mass(es) in our home shrine.  It is our place of comfort and joy, but also the place where we can take our sorrows and struggles to our Blessed Mother.

Elsa and Luis Dominguez, Austin, TX

Apostolic Family Federation

Greetings for October 15th!

Schoenstatters around the world prepare to celebrate the founding day of Schoenstatt on October 18, 1914. Last weekend the leaders of the league branches of the USA gathered at the International Center in Waukesha, WI to discern the course of the new Schoenstatt Year.

The convention took place at a critical time in history. The pandemic, local and international conflicts, growing impact of climate change, migration, forms of injustice, racism, violence, and persecution are just a few of the challenges we all are facing. Four catch words often characterize our reaction to these challenges: Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fooling around!

For us who have made the covenant of love, the words of the Second Founding Document challenge us to take a different approach. Father Kentenich told us:

“To her [our Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt] we owe the great grace that all the mighty stones which are meant for our destruction become a powerful stairway which lead us safely to God and into the world of our mission and task.”

Indeed, the covenant of love enables us to respond to our needs and sufferings with trust in Divine Providence and charity to all.

Please join us in person or virtually on October 18 for the covenant renewal celebration the Confidentia Shrine. We will begin at 5pm with adoration, followed by holy Mass and the renewal of our covenant of love.

United in the covenant of love and praying for all of your intentions in the Confidentia Shrine!

Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary

Lead from the Shrine… Queen of Courage and Perseverance

My sister Melba and I are the only ones living at home, but our home shrine becomes the liveliest when the immediate family (7 brothers & sisters, 16 nieces & nephews, 20 great nieces & nephews) and friends come to visit.

The most obvious symbol in the shrine is the crown on our MTA on which all 43 members of the Valdez family, as well as deceased grandparents, are represented. The other most important symbol, besides the jar for contributions to the capital of grace, is the scepter that represents our Mother Thrice Admirable reigning as queen of our household & family side by side with our king, Jesus Christ. The Sacred Heart of Jesus was enthroned in my home the same day prior to my home shrine dedication on October 26, 1991. We crowned the Mother Thrice Admirable in thanksgiving as Queen of Courage & Perseverance on February 18, 1989.

Mina Valdez

Women’s League, Corpus Christi, Texas

Greetings for September 15th!

Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine,

Today, on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, we commemorate the day in 1968 when God called our father and founder, Father Kentenich, into eternity. We truly owe him much! Just imagine if he had not responded to God’s call to the priesthood and to make the covenant of love of the Blessed Mother on our behalf on October 18, 1914. What would have become of you and me without Schoenstatt and therefore Father Kentenich?

This year’s motto summons us to detect Divine Providence in our lives and to trust that, from the shrine, a new initiative of grace for our time permeates the whole world. In gratitude, we are invited to help promote Father Kentenich’s beatification. Among the many possibilities to do so, did you know that there are people around the world who are praying daily for F. Kentenich’s canonization?  If you feel the call to join one of these silent prayer groups or want to know more, please contact Marcia at herasmarcia@gmail.com or 484-347-7575.

These are also the last weeks we spend with our motto Lead from the Shrine with Trust in Divine Providence and Charity to All! The annual delegates convention will take place October 8-10 in Waukesha and our new motto will be discerned. Please pray for this gathering and stay tuned for its results.

With Prayers from the Confidentia Shrine,

Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary

Lead from the Shrine… Veritatem in Caritate

Our Home Shrine was dedicated on May 18, 2018, under the name Veritatem in Caritate (speaking truth in charity).  For at least a year prior my husband, an entrepreneur, kept saying that he felt we should have a business with the name Veritas in the title.  He wasn’t sure what kind of business, but the name kept returning to him strongly.  As we prepared for our Home Shrine dedication, we began to discern the name in earnest.  Reading the Magnificat for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Bishop Barron’s reflection jumped out at me.  So much so, that I tore it from the book and have since framed it and placed it on our Shrine.  Bishop Barron quotes Cardinal Francis George saying, “You cannot simply drop the truth on people and then walk away, convinced that you’ve done your duty.  Rather, once you tell your people the truth, you must be committed to helping them integrate that truth into their lives.” 

This simple, yet profound and challenging statement solidified the name for our Home Shrine in our hearts.  I guess you can say we are in the “business” of helping one another integrate truth into our lives. It has been no small challenge to face the truth of our sinfulness and allow Mary to transform us and our relationships.  In our world truth has been distorted and confused by the father of lies. 

As we seek to live out Schoenstatt’s ideal of being new personalities and families for a new world, we take the name of our Shrine to heart as our family mission.  It is not enough to speak truth, to be right about an issue.  We must be willing to go deeper into relationship with others through prayer, edifying words, as well as corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. It begins with self-education and flows out “like ripples in the water” as Fr. Kentenich has said. 

This year’s motto Lead from the Shrine with Trust in Divine Providence and Charity to All   reminds us to look to our Home Shrine first.  Turn to God and Our Blessed Mother first before every decision or action.  What does she tell us?  What is the mission that has been entrusted to us?  Begin there.

Jill and Patrick Mach

Schoenstatt Family League, North Texas

Greetings for August 15th!

Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine,

“And the Heavens burst into song;

the angels with joy sang along.

Creation was silent with awe

for God had called you home!”

This refrain of a popular Schoenstatt Song invites us to join today’s celebration of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother into heaven. What happened on that day? And how is Mary’s Assumption different from any other saint in heaven?

Already in 1941, long before the solemn proclamation of the dogma on November 1, 1950, Father Kentenich explained that in her, who is in heaven with body and soul, we honor the only human being with a totally integrated and redeemed personality, the ideal of the fully redeemed person. Schoenstatt’s founder emphasized that Mary’s Assumption into heaven teaches us the meaning and aim of our human existence. Our Lady is the exemplar for all of humanity because of her faithful and generous cooperation with grace throughout her earthly pilgrimage.

Applied to our year’s motto, Mary of Nazareth led herself be completely guided by trust in Divine Providence: from the Annunciation to Bethlehem, Egypt, and all the way to Golgotha she never turned her back on God’s will. Her life became fruitful by bringing Charity personified, Christ our Lord, to All!

”What does the dogma of the …bodily assumption of the Mother of God into heaven tell us?” Father Kentenich directed this question to the leaders of the Schoenstatt Family in October 1950, two weeks before the solemn proclamation of the dogma. Here is his answer which we may want to ponder these days: “Each body … is intended and called by God to bear Christ; each body is intended and called by God to once participate like … the Mother of God … in the glory of heaven.  Obviously … these truths are threatened to such a degree nowadays that God had to apply the means of a dogma.”

We have made a covenant of love with her who is our Mother and Queen. In gratitude for this singular gift, we sisters will sing the fifth verse of the above mentioned song and ask you to sing along:   

“In Schoenstatt you live in our small paradise;

it’s heaven to be with you in the shrine.

Our longing for heaven increases much more

since that is what God has created us for.”

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