Loyalty – a precious gift!
Our father and founder often emphasized that nothing moves him as deeply as real and proven loyalty. Twenty-five years after our incorporation into the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, we understand this confession better because fidelity is a precious gift that God gives us. He is the eternally faithful God, and only through his grace can we, despite our weaknesses, remain faithful to our calling.
We are a group of five sisters and are united as a small family within the large family of sisters in the same ideal and mission. Over the course of these 25 years we have been able to experience the love of God that guides us through our lives. This love, which sustains our faithfulness, awakens in us great gratitude for the grace of calling and perseverance.
On January 20th, the significant day for the Schoenstatt Family, on which we commemorate Father Kentenich’s decision to accept transfer to the Dachau concentration camp, we were able to celebrate the silver anniversary of our first integration into the sister family in the Tabor Shrine in Santa Maria. Father Gabriel W.Umfinama Ntenda, of the Community of Guanelian Fathers of the Republic of Congo, and who works as a missionary in Brazil, celebrated the Holy Mass. With great joy, this young priest, ordained three years ago, motivated us to remain faithful to our vocation:
“ You certainly have good reason to rejoice and be happy as you celebrate your anniversary: you have stood firm against all odds in the service of the Lord for twenty-five years! You deserve our warmest and most sincere congratulations. But this congratulation does not mean that they have already fulfilled the mission! We congratulate them to encourage them to keep going! Our wishes express our joy, our admiration and our gratitude at such a great example of faithfulness, patience and perseverance.”
What strengthens our loyalty? Sisters’ testimonies:
Sister Maria Aparecida – It has now been 25 years since we pledged allegiance to Jesus in our family of sisters. It has been 25 years since we were members of our Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary and in these 25 years we have been able to experience day after day the grace of God that supports us and the sisterly love of a wonderful family that loves us and supports us.
Sister Mariluci – Another moment that supports our fidelity is the covenant of love with the Mother of God in the Shrine, our attachment to the Shrine, the presence of Christ in the Shrine, which is always the source from which we draw strength to faithfully follow this way to go.
Sister M. Lisane – The connection with one another also supports us. It is very nice that we have training times together and support each other through dialogue, contemplative moments, prayer times and mutual help in overcoming everyday difficulties. … What also gives us a lot of strength is meeting exemplary people who are role models for us in faith and devotion. It means great wealth in our lives to know people who we can orientate ourselves towards, fellow sisters who have given themselves completely and have completely fulfilled their calling. The prayer life is ultimately the wood we add to the fire to keep the flame of faithfulness alive
Sister M. Olindina – We are truly a family, as our father and founder intended us, and in this family we have found a home: in the Blessed Mother, in the Shrine, in the hearts of all our fellow sisters. In our institute we receive all graces and natural and supernatural joys. As children of our sister family, we are allowed to realize ourselves and be happy.
Sister M. Rosangela – Above all, it is love for Christ that sustains our vocation. We consecrate ourselves to Him through our family. Love for the charisma of our father and founder, which we are called to follow in this time, in the middle of the world. The love of mission: We are in the middle of the world and there we have the great mission of being authentic images of Mary, a living presence of Mary who prepares the world for Christ. The love of the mission gives us strength in our everyday lives. Our calling is a personal call, but we support each other. We pray for each other, help each other to endure difficulties and overcome challenges. Our life as Sisters of Mary is a full and happy life!
The one who called us is faithful!
The one who has called us is also the one who carries our calling and gives us strength for the mission. We thank God, who never denies us his grace, we thank our family, who trusts in us and gives us everything we need to faithfully follow God’s call.
Over the course of these 25 years we have been able to serve in various tasks in the service of our family, the Schoenstatt Work, and the Church. Today we are sent anew to carry the light of Christ in the power of the Covenant of Love as living images of Mary.