”You have made me
a better person.”
A blessing of the parish priest after Holy Mass on the third Sunday of Lent for our two sisters, Sr. M. Inez Strnad and Sr. M. Rebecca Sampang. They are about to leave West Australia to begin their news task in the East of the country, in our provincial house near Sydney.
Our Schoenstatt centre and shrine at the outskirts of Mt Richon near Perth is incorporated into parish life with a weekly holy Mass on Fridays in our shrine, with adoration hours and frequent events for young adults, families, children etc.
There is something just for everyone, even for handy men in their retiring age who love to come to the shrine, not necessarily for lots of prayers, but to fix whatever has become loose and to paint whatever the sun had bleached out. They not only want to be helpful but also look for the kind word and friendly smile of the few sisters working at the centre and in the vicinity.
From time to time people knock at the door with the produce of their gardens or even with a cooked meal but most of all for a little chat about the ups and downs of every day life. They are grateful for listening to all their many concerns, for our support and prayers.
Rural West Australia is the place where our first sisters began their Schoenstatt mission in 1951. In the course of the years the community moved to the East near Sydney and established there the headquarters of the province.
Some sisters stayed in the West where the shrine was built in 1991 to help Our Lady
“build from her a world pleasing to the Father”
according to our founder’s vision. It’s a rugged ground, parched by the hot sun beating down on the sandy ground.
It has become a home for many, for God’s animal and for many people who, in lots of different ways, are searching for the fulfilment of their lives and for a spiritual home.
- Young couples learn from those who belong to Schoenstatt since years,
- young mothers learn from those who made the spirituality of Schoenstatt their life,
- young people gather to find meaning to their lives.
- The Pilgrim Mother Apostolate is blossoming in many parishes in the surroundings.
Most of all it is the presence of our sisters in the parish that gives people a sense of Church, of spiritual life, of a refuge where they can go with that which moves their heart. The door of the shrine is open all day and people come early in the morning, at night, at all hours of the day.
“You have made me a better person”,
a lady told one of the sisters when she bid farewell from them. And she reminded her of the moment when her faith began to blossom: “I was lapse in my faith when you invited me and my husband to take an hour of adoration in the shrine. I refused, an hour, impossible! But then you kindly suggested to just take half an hour. Yes, half an hour I think I could manage. And that did it! From that time onward I stayed for an entire hour, every Friday. Sister, you made me a better person,” she gratefully confessed.
“Sister, I miss your kind glance, your understanding heart, your smile, your presence, your witness.”
Small miracles of grace occur in the hearts of so many who come to the shrine and meet the sisters who are there to serve in so many different ways.