September 8, 2021

Inspirations for the Congress of Women 2021 – Part 1

Dr. Bernd Biberger
Juli 2021, Anbetungskirche, Berg Schönstatt

Without women Schoenstatt would not be what it is


On December 8 of the previous year it was 100 years since the first woman sealed the covenant of love with the Mother Three Times Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt. Since then, the Women’s Movement has been an essential part of the Schoenstatt Movement. The spread of Schoenstatt throughout the whole world is due in no small part to the commitment of countless women who have given and continue to give witness to the covenant of love through word and deed and who have brought and continue to bring the message of Schoenstatt to many others. Without these women, whether they have chosen the virginal or married path in life, whether they live in community, in the world, or wtih a family, whether they are mainly involved in Movement work or pursue a profession in society or have chosen their own family as their main field of apostolate, without these women Schoenstatt would not be what it is today.

100 Years – 100 Profiles of Women

In the course of commemorating the day last December, a homepage was created with the testimonies of 100 women from various communities and branches and from different situations in life. 100 women – 100 Profiles of Women allows us to recognize what it can mean today to be a woman. In an original way, each one of these women gives testimony to the importance of the contribution of women in the formation of a society worth living in, in the formation of a Church that responds to the questions of people today, in the formation of the Schoenstatt Movement which has beome a spiritual home for many. Each one bears witness to how the covenant of love with the Mother of God forms her in her womanhood. Each of these testimonies is a piece of a mosaic that taken together presents an image of the human person that is lived in Schoenstatt and that taken together ultimately allow the image of the Mother of God to shine forth as the great model for the modern woman of today who lives and works from Christian values.

100 Years of Women in Schoennstatt – that was supposed to be taken up last year during a Congress of Women. But on account of the coronavirus crisis it couldn’t take place. Instead of a centralized, unified congress, regional events are now being held in which the planned theme of the Congress for Women is taken up. Women from the local region have been invited to be in Schoenstatt yesterday and today.

In the service of life, in the service of relationships

The theme of the Congress for Women is “You are making an impact. Take action more from within.” On the one hand, this motto encourages us to perceive how women work in different areas of life—often unnoticed, often in small ways, often in the background, sometimes also perceptible to the broad public, always in the service of life, in the service of relationships. We cannot esteem enough that which women bring to the formation of lives, but precisely because this is often done in a very selfless way, we only notice this when it is missing.  Nevertheless, or exactly for this reason: “You are making an impact” just then when little recognition is received.

From the depth of one’s personality

On the other hand, the motto makes it clear how important it is that this work happens from within. If it comes from within, from the heart, from the depth of one’s own soul, then it can be fruitful. Something done which does not happen from within remains superficial and doesn’t endure. An action that takes place from within, from the depths of one’s own personality, will be fruitful pecisely because I am in this action, because I put myself into it. So, in order to be moved more from within I have to plunge into the depths of my self.  I must discover my sources. Above all, I have to strive to strengthen and form my own personality so that it can mature. The covenant of love is a great help for this.

The Mother of God is not only a model for us in our humanity and of woman in her womanhood and thus the ideal image for our self education, but she is also the great educator who in the covenant of love is active so that the core of our personality which was placed in us by God can unfold.   The covenant of love helps us to come in contact with ourselves by allowing ourselves to be touched by God. The interiority that makes our work fruitful grows from our union with God because we can be completely ourselves before him.

(continued on September 12, 2021)

Link: 100 stories of women