“It is an experience which touches one deeply,”Sr. M. Paula Vicentina Quessada begins her report about the second Mission ‘from door to door’ which is carried out by the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Atibaia in the State Sao Paulo. In order to prepare families for Christmas and to proclaim the presence of Christ and his mother in the world, a group of 15 sisters visited about 40 families in the poorer section Caeletuba in the city of Atibia.
The Mission took place from December 15 to 18, 2017 with the motto “Child, your hour has come, you are my letter!” This motto was inspired by the sermon of Bishop Heinrich Tenhumberg at the Mass for the burial of Fr. Joseph Kentenich (Sept. 20, 1968) where he said, “The life of our father and founder is a letter from God to us. The book of his life is our book of God.”
Sr. M. Shaiane Machado explains: “This motto should make us aware that we should be living witnesses for our father and founder because with this Mission we want to bring to families Jesus, the Child in the crib, so that they can live Christmas in this spirit; We also want to bring the family closer to the person of Father Kentenich during this Kentenich Year.”
There were four days of apostolate, home visits, and programs for children, youth and adults in the parish St. Sebastian. Sr. Juliana Maria Nogueira reports: “In the time before Christmas people are more open for a Christian experience, and more ready to talk about what would make them holy. It was a very important experience. Practically, we really didn’t do much, actually only a visit, but by that we could experience: God shares himself, we saw and experienced God.”
Sr. M. Paula Vicentina Quessada remembers: “You come to people who have hardly heard anything about God; the sisters could bring the presence of God closer to them. We could experience people in great misery who were happy in spite of it because the little that they had, they owned, and for them, it was much.” Sr. M. Shaiane explained that the Institute of the Sisters of Mary tried to have this Mission exactly in the poorest section of the city. In the first two years –2016 and 2017 – they chose that part of the city where there is the child care center “Raio de Sol” (sunrays) which is directed and maintained by the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. During the Mission, the sisters could live in this child care center.
Sr. M. Dulce also tells us: “The Mission was a time of special graces. We had this Mission in the preparation time before Christmas when people are more open for the supernatural reality. This year I could experience that the families were more free and open for a discussion with us. And it was not only them that were “missioned”, we were also.”
The Sisters of Mary began with the Mission to proclaim the love of God and to bring the Pilgrim Mother into the families, but they themselves also returned with precious experiences. “The Mission is a powerful moment in the life of the people, but also in our lives, that we cannot deny and where we saw possibilities we had to go out to the people. One can learn a lot from them. We tried not to talk so much, they were the ones who spoke; then we had come to them in order to listen to them. We could observe that the people were poor in every way, spiritually as well as materially. I can also say that it was a unique experience one returned greatly enriched,” said Sr. M. Dulce.