September 4, 2019

Being a little Mary and renewing the world …

from Sister Mariana de Souza Almeida

through “Pastoral care in the environment”

There are many ways for a Sister of Mary to help the Blessed Mother renew the world from the Shrine. Every personal talent is at the same time a gift of God to the community, which each Sister can develop according to her possibilities.

With a lot of administrative and logistical skill, Sister Mariana de Souza Almeida ensures that the large area of the Provincial House is always clean and tidy.

 She tells us:

 I like my job very much

For 14 years I have been allowed to walk a path of blessing as a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary. The vocation is not something that God gives us: The vocation is a daily decision. In the consecrated life that we choose, it becomes concrete
–   in prayer and devotion to God,
–   in the devotion and help of the neighbor
–    and also in a task which involves the mission entrusted to us by God through the superiors of the community.

Since I joined, I have performed various tasks in our homes.  At the moment I am working in our provincial house and I am in charge of the whole house and the laundry. I like my job very much. At first glance one might think: “Wow, she has left so much and consecrated herself to God to do something she could do at home with her own family that she loves so much. None of that. My job suits me very well and is completely in tune with my nature. That makes it easy and pleasant!

We are all at the service of our family

 When we think of a sister, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the one who works in a parish, school or hospital, helping people in need on the street or in emergency shelters. But there are many ways to fulfill your vocation as a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary. Our community life also needs those who work indirectly in the apostolate and take on internal tasks in the service of the community. This apostolate can be just as fruitful as the direct work with people. We are all at the service of our family and can learn a lot from each other, help each other and grow from it.

I create a good atmosphere: I cultivate bonds

 In our time, in which relationships are unfortunately so superficial and personal contact has become something rare, my task enables me to fulfill the “service to my surroundings”. In spite of everything that the digital age offers us, it is nice for every sister to find a clean and tidy room when she arrives and, for example, a nice bouquet of flowers to welcome her on the table. When I prepare a room for someone, I think of the things that fit this person and that could give her joy. How nice it is to come home and feel comfortable. These are details that can often go unnoticed in the hurry of everyday life. But they are personal and therefore important.

Mary gives a home

I think the Blessed Mother behaved the same way. We know that right after the Annunciation of the angel, she hastily departed to help her cousin and prepared everything she needed. Surely Saint Joseph and Jesus were also able to experience this natural joy in a home. When they returned home tired after a busy day, the Blessed Mother waited for them with everything they needed: good food, clean clothes, and a comfortable home.

I can be a little Mary

This is why I enjoy my task, because I can be a “little Mary”, following the example of the great Mary who always takes the best care of her children and prepares everything for them. When washing, cleaning and tidying up, I do not hurry my work.  There is a Marian way of doing all this. Even in what is so small, unnoticed and simple, in everything I do, I try to make the manner and love of Mary transparent. In this way, my task, which seems so simple, takes on a profound meaning, because connected with the Blessed Mother and her Son, I offer my daily work for the renewal of souls and the world, especially for each person who, in great distress and without hope, turns to the Blessed Mother for help in her Shrines.