March 10, 2019

We know who gives us the strength

from Sister M. Dagmara Könen

Echoes about Maria Rast,
the Schoenstatt Center near Euskirchen,

from visitors, seminar participants and volunteers

The shrine in Maria Rast is the first daughter shrine on European soil. It is visited daily by many people.

The seminar participants of a city administration who met here in Advent, said in the evening when saying goodbye: Thank you for the nice atmosphere here in the house. It is always like coming home for us!

A younger woman holding a responsible position in a pastoral area came to Maria Rast for a few days for the first time, having previously critically inquired about all the circumstances of our home. She wanted to get out of her stress situation. Already after the first day she told me how well she liked the peace and the ambience of our house. She realized how well the guests of the house, who were there over New Year, fit to each other. One could have very good conversations during the extended meals and laugh together. As a farewell she wrote a small greeting and thanked all the sisters for the warm welcome and loving care. The time was very good for her, and she had not been here the last time.

Here a very special climate prevails

A young artist who holds her own courses in our house told me as she looked out of a window at the park, she did not know what it was about this place. For years, she often comes and is often in the house. But here there is a very special climate in which one just feels accepted – in the park, in the rooms and in the chapel.

Maria Rast 2019A couple who works here voluntarily, wrote in their Christmas greeting: Maria Rast is our middle point, the center for heart and soul, where one can approach and reach the people. The woman added: I am sure our salvation lies in Maria Rast.

Several times a year, the Rhineland Region organizes several-day seminars for educators who want to gain special qualifications in trauma education. Three seminar modules, spread over 1 ½ years, are required for this additional education. One group received their certificate in the last days of January after the seminar. This time, a particularly nice group of educators had come together. At the graduation ceremony Mrs. Küpper, our house manager, and I were invited. As we have often heard, also this time our house was highly praised. The young people, the event organizer said, needed a place where they could feel completely protected and comfortable for their difficult work with traumatized children and adolescents. She emphasized that they deliberately want to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of our house. This was a major contribution to the success of their education. The enthusiastic applause of the graduates and the presents for sisters and employees underlined this clearly.

I felt that I was “decelerating”…

A young family man who came here for the first time last Sunday commented: When I drove through the gate of “Maria Rast”, I sensed that I was “decelerating”. Here is a very special atmosphere, which is good. I will definitely come back.

We know who gives us the strength to do our job and we are grateful for it.
We thank God and the Mother of God that through us they give people the gift of the grace of home, conversion and mission.