is the word that a group of five Sisters of Mary spoke on the day of their perpetual consecration – December 8, 2019 – and that was solemnly celebrated with their families, relatives and acquaintances on January 12 in the Holy Spirit Church.
The parents and brothers of
– Sister M. Paula Blum and
– Sister M. Raquel Puñet Olijella came from Ecuador and Spain. And from Viña del Mar, Temuco and Valdivia came the families of
– Sister M. Isabel Margarita Elorrieta,
– Sister M. Martina Winkler Muñoz
– Sister María José Errázuriz Quiroga.
Bellavista has decorated for a great festival. The families were seen in the garden with their daughters before noon. There was an atmosphere of joy and sharing. During lunch in the courtyard of the Provincial House, experiences and memories of the past years were exchanged. About forty people were together with the Provincial leadership and the leaders of the formation period.
At 5:30 pm the members of the Movement, acquaintances and friends joined them. In the Holy Spirit Church near the Cenacle Shrine of Bellavista, more than three hundred people gathered for a Eucharistic celebration. The Sisters entered accompanied by girls carrying the flags of the Girls’ Youth. Those present applauded for a long time. The parents and brothers actively participated in the ceremony, liturgical readings and intercessions. An excellent choir with instruments created a festive atmosphere.
At the end, Sister M. Martina’s brother gave a testimony. He told what it meant for his own family to have a sister as Sister of Mary.
Finally, Sister M. Isabel Margarita and Sister M. Martina spoke on behalf of the children of the feast. They expressed their gratitude because “with time the joy of belonging to God in our Sisters family has grown in us.” They thanked their families “because in the family our vocation has grown and developed, we have grown in faith with you and learned to love.”
It was really a strong testimony to say yes forever. Sister M. Isabel Margarita expressed it with a modern image: “Today sustainability, recycling, reusability is fashionable … and sometimes we run the risk of applying these criteria to our type of relationship. It almost seems strange that something can be ‘forever’. We have taken the risk of saying not only forever, but ETERNALLY. Yes, with joy we can say: We are Sisters of Mary forever.”
Several Schoenstatt priests celebrated Holy Mass, led by the Bishop of Valparaiso, Monsignor Pedro Ossandón. He appreciates Schoenstatt and its contribution to the Church. He spoke very personally and touched the core of the vocation: “Dear Sisters, you are good news for the Church. You are good news because Jesus continues to call … Like the Virgin Mary, the Lord chose you before all eternity, and he has come close to your life by giving you all the necessary gifts so that you may listen attentively to the Son of God the Father, on whom he has placed all his joy”.
The liturgical celebration culminated in a pilgrimage to the Shrine where all the guests prayed for the fidelity of these Sisters with a prayer from Father Kentenich: “Hail Mary, … give me the grace of fidelity until death.“ The prayer had previously been distributed on a card, and so everyone could pray along.
Finally, all those present were invited to coffee and cake in the courtyard of the Sisters’ House to celebrate. Everyone was happy and grateful because the joy and happiness of the sisters radiated. The atmosphere was so inviting that the celebration did not end until sunset after 9:00 pm.
The Sisters of Mary and the entire Schoenstatt Family are happy to now have five Sisters who are totally dedicated to the mission that Father Kentenich offers to the Church today.