November 5, 2023

From House to House…

Sr. M. Margarit Baumeler
Quarten, Switzerland

The Pilgrim MTA of Schoenstatt

is Traveling from Home to Home

Sister M. Margarit Baumeler, together with a co-sister, has built up about twelve Pilgrim MTA circles in the area of Quarten, Switzerland. Now the Pilgrim MTA is traveling within each of these circles! In addition, together with a Schoenstatt mother, Sister Baumeler had already gone from house to house in various places in Valais offering the visits of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the sign of the Pilgrim MTA. Thus, about 50 images of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt have been sent out from the Schoenstatt Shrine in Brig!

Motivation: The joy of an encounter

Sister M. Margarit spoke about her special apostolate for which she said  she began to “live” when she started visiting people to bring them the Pilgrim MTA:

“Reading the biography of João Pozzobon, I caught fire for the Schoenstatt Apostolate of the Pilgrim MTA! However, in the beginning, I lacked the courage to go from house to house offering the visits of the Pilgrim MTA, but years ago, I did try to form a Pilgrim MTA circle during my home vacation. All of the families I approached said yes to the apostolate! That gave me the courage to begin in other places. Even today, my motivation is the joy of meeting people, including people of other faiths, and the openness that we always experience.

Concretely, we do it like this: We begin in the shrine with the Pilgrim MTA; we ask the Blessed Mother to come with us to the people. She should show us whom she would like to visit. We ring the doorbell, say who we are and from where we come. Most of the people invite us in [to their home] or we speak at the door or in their yard.

Happy, surprised. or embarrassed

There are always two of us when we visit. The people are confronted with faith and with the Church. The common dress of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary is a powerful witness. Often a nice conversation arises. Somehow it is clearly perceptible that the Mother of God wants to go to the people and that brings us deep inner joy and makes this apostolate so meaningful to us.

Of course, the reactions to our visits are varied! In general, the people react positively. Many are happy; many are somewhat surprised or embarrassed because we come unannounced. For this reason, it is impressive that so many people invite us into their home.
This is a sign for us that we are appreciated as sisters. When we are out and about in the surroundings of our center in Quarten–New Schoenstatt—we often experience people remembering our sisters from the past; for example, sisters in Spitex or sisters from the kindergarten. These are always very positive remembrances.

“Finally, someone from the Church is coming!”

 Once a woman spontaneously showed us her house simply out of joy that sisters came to visit her. An older lady said, “Finally, someone from the Church is coming!” Our conversation with her certainly lasted about an hour. In the end, she declined the Pilgrim MTA. That was fine with us, because participation in the Apostolate of the Pilgrim MTA is voluntary. We always leave the option completely open to accept the apostolate or not. Sometimes I also tell them they can’t lose anything with the Pilgrim MTA, at most they can gain something.

What I particularly like about this apostolate is that people are met where they live, in their everyday lives. Arguably, people generally need more time to talk than they did years ago. Many people feel the need to talk. It seems important to us to respond to this situation.

 “I have been waiting for you.”

In conclusion, two experiences that were particularly beautiful and touching for us. A younger mother of a family said, “Hopefully, Mother Mary will be with us for a long time!” When we looked a little surprised, she told us that when the little river nearby flooded, the gardens and cellars of her neighbors to the left and to the right were full of water and mud – but with her everything stayed dry. She attributed this to the Pilgrim MTA who was visiting her precisely during these days.

Another woman said,

“Welcome, I have been waiting for you.”

Her mother, living in the same village, had told her about our visit.”

Fotos: Sr. Ursula-Maria Bitterli, Quarten, Switzerland