We encountered the Blessed Mother in 1996, through some homeschooling friends of ours. However, unbeknownst to us, Schoenstatt really entered our lives a few years before. We were experiencing difficulties in our extended family, and after sharing our concerns with a dear friend, we had been given the Schoenstatt novena to Our Mother Thrice Admirable, without knowing anything of the Schoenstatt Movement. We experienced so many miracles through her intercession, that when we did meet the Schoenstatt Movement through our friends, we were very open and ready to make our covenant of love, with open hearts for the home shrine a year later!

It seems that God’s plans are so perfectly put together. Looking back, we can see how our dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which we had made with the help of the Schoenstatt Family and the Sisters of Charity) had also prepared a place in our home and in our hearts for all the gifts that God wished to share with our young family. It was as if Jesus said: Here I am, and I bring along my Mother to help you.

As the journey began, and as we were so open to inviting Jesus and his Blessed Mother into our homes and our lives, we truly did not realize the great powerful gifts we were given. But a different world unfolded day by day in our little home and in our hearts. She became more and more present in our daily lives and we now cannot imagine life without her, here in our Cana Home Shrine. We grew up in the Shadow of the Cana Home Shrine, all decisions and all-important family discussions took place here, as well as daily prayers and family routines. Annual liturgical practices were celebrated here. Decorations to match the change of the liturgical seasons were acquired – rituals for Lent, Easter, All Saints, First Communions, Confirmations, May Crowning, Graduations, sending off of children with blessings, important decisions, petitions, thanksgivings, simply daily greetings – all took place in our Cana Home Shrine. Through our MTA’s intercession, her request to our Lord They have no wine we entered into that first miracle each time. She wishes to accompany us in our marriage and family journey and for that we are so ever grateful for our Blessed Mother.
We have seen many miracles in our children, in our lives, and in the lives of those who come to our home and present their hearts to her here. She is real and she has the heart of a very tender loving mother, and she wants to help all her children, all the children of God, so that we may join her forever in his heavenly kingdom. Do not be afraid to experience Our Mother!! What a blessing she is to us all.

With heartfelt love, we thank you Mother dear, with you to guide us we need have no fear, when all around seemed dark and drear and gray, you stood as beacon for a brighter day. Your smile illumined every wakeful hour, you did uphold us with your gentle power. Thanks, a thousand thanks to you, to God shall be now and for all eternity. Amen.

Lisa and Mike Arth, Apostolic Family Federation, Southlake, TX

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