Nine novices received the dress of the Sisters of Mary of Schoenstatt

With an emotional celebration held at the Schoenstatt Shrine, Germany, the young women began the novitiate stage in the community, and received their dress and their new name

Nine young people celebrated the vesting ceremony to begin the novitiate stage of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Mount Schoenstatt, Germany. María Elina (Argentina), Catalina (Argentina), Belén (Paraguay), Estrella (Paraguay), Goshia (Poland), Christy (India), Margreate (India), Andrea (Mexico), and Verónica (Spain), arrived at the ceremony happy and excited to take a significant step on their path of consecration.

The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary are a community that seeks to make the Virgin Mary present as an instrument of God’s grace in and from the heart of the Church, and thus keep the world open for God. With a special mission, especially with the education of women and families, they want to transmit the fruitful love of Mary inspired by her attitude of purity and service.

Latin America present at the ceremony

Nine young women from Latin America, Europe, and India participated in the dressing celebration in Schoenstatt. Four of them come from the Province of Nazareth which, for the community of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, includes Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Belén (28, Paraguay), Estrella (24, Paraguay), María Elina (25, Argentina) and Catalina (25, Argentina) received the dress of the Sisters of Mary, which identifies them as a community and their new name of Sisters, a milestone that marks a before and after in his vocational path and his call to be a living presence of Mary who transforms the world. This is what Estrella experienced without even realizing it, but leaving a mark on the people around her. Her friend Cecilia commented: “Estrellita was my first caregiver, since I met her, being a little girl, I could feel and see the great woman dressed in the sun that she is. Estrellita for me is what fully represents the concept of being a little Mary, when I was just a little girl and didn’t know anything about the Blessed Mother, she was a source of so much learning, but above all inspiration in my life and in my spirituality, not only because she was my manager, but because of what I transmitted just by being in her presence.”

The community is a central aspect of Schoenstatt spirituality, therefore, this stage of the novitiate begins when there is a sufficient number of candidates who will share a time of introduction and preparation to be and lead the life of a Sister of Mary.

But what does it mean to live in community? “The family spirit strongly marks the imprint of the community. In the spiritual experience, the emphasis on the Marian and the patrocentric, together with the sanctuary as a home, speak to us about constitutive elements of a family of which we are daughters. Furthermore, the community allows us to give ourselves, but also, to sustain a harmonious community life, we must learn to give in sometimes, to be attentive to what the other needs more than to our own need” explained Sister M. Ilda who He lives in a branch of the community in Argentina.

The call of Pope Francis

The XXXVIII World Youth Day (WYD) was a key moment in the postulated stage for the nine young women. The dressing ceremony is a response to the call of Pope Francis who encouraged thousands of young people to “Do not be afraid”, neither follow the example of Mary and respond without delay to the personal call that God makes to each of them.

María Elina is originally from the province of Salta, Argentina, and moved to Buenos Aires to study at university. She had a great desire to fulfill the will of God, and her vocational concern arose in her, along with many questions to seek answers. At only 25 years old, upon hearing the Pope’s message at WYD 2023, she reaffirmed, as she had discovered years ago when she joined the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary as a candidate, that urgency to adhere to God’s plans. Sofía, one of her friends with whom she shared the meeting of the young people with the Pope, assured: “The postulants had fun with us, they shared talks, mates and told us about their new experiences in Germany. Sharing all those days together allowed us to see up close how they were having it, the challenges and joys of her formation. But, above all, it allowed us to “infect” her spirit as girls before God the Father.”

A new life with the Virgin Mary

In the clothing, they not only received her dress and her name, but they also began a path of life and dedication. A call that mobilized them to seek a deeper authenticity, a fuller freedom, an immeasurable joy, an infinite peace, a Yes so short and so immense at the same time, as the Virgin Mary did.

Belén was born in Paraguay and is a speech therapist. She had a question deep in her heart. That call was present in her life and she was waiting for her response: “I felt Peace when I was finally able to pronounce that monosyllabic word, so simple and short, but so important: Yes,” she said with conviction.

Their preparation for the novitiate began in 2021. In recent years the girls came into contact with the life of the Sisters of Mary, learned the German language and delved deeper into the charism, an important period to recognize the miracle of the vocation for each one. of them, for the Church and for the whole world.

Catalina, 25 years old, graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 2021 and that same year she began her path as a candidate for Sister of Mary of Schoenstatt. Her mother was moved when she remembered the first steps of her discernment: “Cata told us about it because she needed, as part of her discernment, for us to take her to know different communities. One day, while talking, I suggested one religious community or another. He stopped me and said: “Ma, I know you are doing it to help me, but this is not about choosing where I want to be, but about discovering where Jesus wants me,” and she assured: “We believe that it is a gift that God has chosen our little girl to be his, a true honor.”

God’s call to these young women is a gift to the Church and the world, a true testimony of the young face of the Church that, with courage, recognizes the value of giving one’s life for Christ. A decision that Belén, Estrella, María Elina and Catalina along with their peers from Mexico, Poland, Spain and India dared to venture, with the joy of those who have discovered a treasure that they do not want to let go.

About Sisters of Mary of Schoenstatt

The Sisters of Mary of Schoenstatt are a Secular Women’s Institute that is part of the Catholic Church. It was founded by Father José Kentenich in 1926. The community has a presence on the 5 continents with more than 1600 Sisters. They are called to be a living presence of Mary in the Church and in the world. Its special purpose is the education of women and the family. They carry out this mission as the soul of the Schoenstatt Movement that aspires to the religious and moral renewal of the world, which is why their mission is apostolic. The community is characterized by a Marian spirit, of generous, apostolic, community love, inspired by the teachings of its founder, Father Kentenich, and with the Sanctuary as a source of spiritual life.