August 9, 2021

A Testimony of Faithfulness – That Speaks to Others

Sister M. Sandra Maieski

Sr. M. Sandra Maieski, Sr. Lucia Maria Menzel, Sr. M. Ana Paula R. Hyppólito, Sr. M. Gislaine Lourenço und Sr. M. Glaucia Couto

The celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of our incorporatiaon into the Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary brought us great joy and gratitude. We are deeply aware that God chose us, called us, formed us, and sent us! Therefore we can sing the Magnificat with Mary: “My soul magnifies the Lord, for he has looked upon the lowliness of his handmaid.”

How does one preserve the enthusiasm of the beginning?

In preparation for the jubilee we reflected upon what was important in our 25 years of consecrated life for the preservation of our enthusiasm of the beginning. We came to the conclusion:

  • Faithfulness to our prayer life in order to cultivat our friendship with God – That is the foundation of every Christian vocation.
  • Begin every day anew overcoming challenges, difficulties, failures without becoming discouraged.
  • In the midst of work not forgetting to foster joy, always taking time to cultivate natural and supernatural joy;
  • It is always important in consecrated life to remember what was the basic motive that brought us to say “yes,” that captivated us: the experience that we call “our first love.”
  • It is important to always be conscious that it is God who called us to this mission and it is he who strengthens us on the way. We cannot rely on our own strength.

Belonging to the Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary has given us a new home, a new family and much spiritual richness. What is most beautiful is that our surrender to God becomes concrete through our commitment to the mission of Schoenstatt, each one in the task that the community has entrusted to her in the name of God and that together we all are: the presence of the Blessed Mother in the world! That fills our hearts with deep joy!

We are a sign of the presence of God

In a time of separation and disunity in families, of lack of credibility due to scandles in the lives of priests and religious a testimony of faithfulness makes people happy and grateful. In the greetings that we have received from people who learned about our jubilee via social media are so many expressions of joy and gratitude.

As consecreated people we are a powerful sign of the presence of God. Many people know that our province center in Atibaia/São Paulo – Brazil is our home, our family, and they sense our joy when we say that we are going to Atibaia! They know that our sisters‘ family is a central value for us and this is also a testimony to families. To love the family also means wanting to be with it always!

We celebrated our jubilee during the pandemic and we experienced that our shrine was and is a support for many people. Through online transmissions we helped many people to strengthen their faith. Countless people phone us or send us reports and ask for our prayer or simply share their fears and worries with us.

The love for our vocation is a greater than our challenges

For those who are now beginning their vocational journey it is important to keep in mind that love for your vocation will be greater than all challenges if your love grows in freindship with God and devotion to neighbor. There will be difficulties on every vocational journey and they will almost all be overcome the same way: by keeping your first love intact – that means to devote your time to the main thing: your life with God, with the Mother of God, and ever anew to meditate on the love and mercy that they generously bestow on you each day. Beyond that, see each suffering as an opportunity to grow and to work together so that humankind returns to the heart of God.