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This is perhaps the most frequently asked question of young people as they discern their vocation in life! It is not easy to give a clear ‘recipe’ in this regard. The process of discernment requires a lot of prayer and serious consideration.
At the same time, a clear knowledge of a given vocation or a community can be a great help to the discernment process. There are many different communities of consecrated life within the Church, and each one has a unique focus, mission, and charism to which the members are totally dedicated. For example, in Mother Teresa’s community, the Missionaries of Charity, one must have a deep love for the poor and a life of poverty. Now we can ask the question: What is our focus as Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary?
Beyond these basic requirements, We can look more deeply into the essence and mission of our vocation as Sisters of Mary. What other qualities would be helpful for a young woman who would be interested in our community?
We are a Marian community - this is our charism, essential to our mission. As Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, we have a deep love for Mary, and a longing to embody her features in our life and being. We realize that when Christ came into our world 2000 years ago, he chose to come through Mary. Therefore we want to be images of Mary, so that Christ can come into our world anew and renew it with his love and life. Our founder wrote a beautiful prayer that inspires us:
Our founder had the longing that in all things we would strive to imitate our Blessed Mother. In his own words, he encouraged us to be “Always Mary” - in our thoughts, words and actions, at each moment of the day. Especially at the hour of the Annunciation, Mary embodied a free, love-filled and generous ‘yes’ to God’s wish and will - and it is this spirit of generous love that we wish to also embody for in our daily lives, whether it be in our work or prayer, apostolate or community life. This generous love should be the fundamental attitude of a Sister of Mary, her way of “being Mary” for the world.
Again, we look at our name! Our Schoenstatt world and mission is the heart of our existence! We were founded to be the soul of the Schoenstatt movement. Therefore our hearts are on fire for our MTA as she dwells in our shrines, for her great mission of the renewal of the world in Christ! Through our covenant of love with her, we give all for the mission of our founder, Fr. Kentenich - God’s instrument in bringing the message of Schoenstatt to the Church and world at this decisive time in history. As Sr. M. Emilie, one of our founding sisters wrote, “We may not indifferently and superficially disregard the present time of need. The more clearly we grasp the present state, the stronger will be the longing in us and the more will our zeal be aflame to contribute what we possibly can to a holy springtime of God.”
Our mission is so vast and great that we could never hope to fulfill it without the grace of God and our MTA - but we also could never fulfill it without one another! It is important for anyone who enters our community to have a certain ability to live in community with others. You all come from families and you know what that is like! There are some people who simply prefer to live alone, to be totally independent, which is fine - but a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary must be willing to live and work together with others in a family-like way. This, of course, is a tremendous gift at the same time - it provides us, as consecrated women, with an experience of a family, with the support, strength, and education that a family provides. As consecrated women, we are called to give a great deal, but we also receive a great deal, especially as Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary through our community life.
For every Sister of Mary, as well as every young woman who aspires to belong to our community, the willingness and openness to strive for these qualities is the most important. We take it as self-understood that one needs a lifetime of striving to embody them fully!
They can also be a good indication for you: if you have a deep love for Mary, feel drawn to a life of generous love, if you are on fire for Schoenstatt’s mission, are drawn to the MTA, the shrine, etc., and are open for a life in community, then it might be that God is calling you to be a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary. Please open your heart to him, and answer with love!
“Let us walk like you through life, let us mirror you forever.
Strong and noble, meek and mild, peace and love be our endeavor.
Walk in us through our world, make it ready for the Lord.”
We have some very basic requirements that correspond to our way of life and mission: