February 6, 2021


Sister M. Nelly Mendes
Atibaia/State São Paulo – Brazil

Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart

At the end of 2020, a year of intense challenges, isolation, searching for new methods and new creativity, we asked ourselves the question: What can we do Online to reach pilgrims and what feeling can we awaken in the hearts of people in this Advent and Christmas season?

We came to answer that we could close this year with deep GRATITUDE.

GRATITUDE for the presence of God in our life, that in the midst of the turbulence, uncertainty, and fear—without vaccine, HE kept us united, strong in battle, and joyful in hope.
GRATITUDE for the protection, the love and solidarity that we could perceive in many people.
GRATITUDE  for the generous help we received.
GRATITUDE for all of that and much more.
So that every one could express their gratitude, the


was created. Thus, during Advent, weekly inspirations were sent to internet users through our social networks offering every one the opportunity to write the name of their family on a STAR OF GRATITUDE that would be in the shrine on Holy Night.

In this way the stars multiplied: 1,500 stars decorated the Christmas tree and Nativity scene in the Tabor of the Perpetual Presence of the Father shrinein Atibaia/State São Paulo-Brazil, and with the light of gratitude another 1,200 stars „illuminated“ the shrine: the Tabor of Victorious Confidence in the Father.

We thank God for giving us this initiative, because through much feedback and the numerous participants in this project it was clear that GRATITUDE really was a deep emotion that filled hearts. When we are grateful we awaken generosity in the other person!

During the Christmas Novena that was spread through social networks, we Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary could express our most sincere gratitude to everyone who–because the shrine had to remain closed to personal visits for months due to the pandemic–contributed to the maintanence of the shrine. Every day we presented to the Mother of God the special intentions of our benefactors.

Now we are in the process planning our activities for 2021 and we hope that our gratitude to the Mother of God will be a star that brighten this year.