The Blessed Mother came to dwell in our house through the Home Shrine in the year 2005. Although, I was the only one in Schoenstatt at the time (Mother Branch), my family welcomed the Blessed Mother. In a few years everyone was drawn into Schoenstatt! Our daughters grew up in the SGY and my husband and I joined the Family Branch about 10 years ago.

We decided on the name of our home shrine primarily for two reasons:

– Bethlehem is the cradle of sanctity and we strive to be saints formed by the Blessed Mother from this graced filled place.

– Bethlehem is the place where Mary gave birth to the Savior. We discerned that our mission is to “birth” Christ to each person we encounter.

For the first year, our home shrine was placed in the master bedroom. Then during Lent while praying in the home shrine, I was wondering what to give up or sacrifice? I heard the Blessed Mother urging me to move the home shrine downstairs where all the family could easily access her. This I did not want to do! This was my shrine, my place of grace and solitude. Such a sacrifice, I thought…

Our home shrine relocated to the core of our house. From every outside door you can see the MTA as you enter. Just like the dinner table, it has become the area of many family discussions, decisions, prayers, celebrations, and personal reflections. Both front door guests and back door visitors can be greeted by our home shrine. This has brought numerous questions over the years from visitors and given us the opportunity to share a little about our Catholic faith. Moving and sharing the home shrine was such a small sacrifice in return for countless graces and blessings.

Over the past 16 years as the Blessed Mother has dwelled in our home shrine, she has also taken up residence in our hearts. “Mother takes perfect care” … each family member’s heart shrine has developed in its own individual manner and authentic timing.

Kim and Julianne Davis, Diocesan Leaders, Family Branch, NTX

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