Author Archives: Sr.Isabel

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Father Kentenich on the Holy Spirit, Words Spoken in 1965

“Let me reveal to you an important secret of holiness and happiness…” Make it your life-long resolution to withdraw for at least five minutes each day. During this time veil the images of your imagination and close the gates of your soul, especially the gates of your eyes and ears. Then look more deeply into your own heart and inner life, and recall anew that our hearts and souls are a temple of the Holy Spirit in the true sense of the word. Aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit, try to have a dialogue with him saying:

 

Holy Spirit,

you are the soul of my soul.

I humbly adore you.

Enlighten me, strengthen me,

guide me, comfort me.

Reveal your wishes to me

as far as this is in accordance

with the plan of the eternal God and Father.

Let me recognize what Eternal Love wants of me.

Let me recognize what I should do.

Let me recognize what I should suffer.

Let me recognize what I should quietly, humbly and thoughtfully accept, bear and endure.

Holy Spirit, let me recognize your will and the will of the Father because my whole life should be nothing but a continuous, an everlasting yes to the wishes, to the will of the eternal God and Father.

 

The maxim then adds: If you make an effort to do this, you will not only remain content and cheerful but also happy even in the most difficult situations and moments of suffering. Rest assured that the measure of your trials also determines the measure of grace which the Holy Spirit will bestow on you. If you so stand one test after another in your life, one day you will stand before the gates of eternity, filled with innumerable merits. You see, surrender to the Holy Spirit is the way to true holiness.

Why do I quote this prayer and maxim just today? We understand why. I hardly dare advise you to withdraw for five minutes each day and have a conversation with the Holy Spirit, a dialogue with the Holy Spirit, with the Father, and the Son. But I think I may ask you to follow this advice at least today on Pentecost.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, come

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!…

 

We should do two things today. Perhaps I ought first to explain what this maxim implies and then ask ourselves how we should apply it in practice. Let us reflect on two statements. What are they?

 

  1. Our soul is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit is the soul of my soul.

 

My soul is a temple of the Holy Spirit; that is to say, my soul and with my soul the whole person is consecrated to the Holy Spirit who dwells within. This is intelligible only in the light of faith.

Let us ask St. Paul who is our interpreter of old. He says: “Do not stifle the Spirit… and avoid any semblance of evil” (1 Thes 5:19-22).  And a second quotation: “Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30). What does this mean? When do we sadden him? We sadden him when we forget him and do not think of him, when we fail to seek him (Father J. Kentenich, Excerpt from a sermon given in St. Michael’s Parish, Milwaukee, June 6, 1965).


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In a Few Days our Journey Begins

In a few days our convention begins, 

our missionaries from more than 13 states will begin to arrive, and new doors will open for us to discover how to be instruments of God in these times.

Our main goal is to evangelize the world, that is, to bring Christ and His message to others! We do so by bringing the picture of Jesus and Mary. In this way, we make him known. The graces from the shrine secure this experience for us and for others. We see how our apostolate helps rescue families, inspires youth, unites parish communities, and reaches out to places where the pastors often cannot.

Three points will be the focal points of discussion: the image, the missionary, and those who receive the image. We want to discover the dynamics of our apostolate under a new light and how we are to fulfill our mission in these times.

The image awakens love and devotion, but it also brings a message contained in the gospels. The missionary becomes fruitful through childlike attachment to Mary and willingness to build the kingdom of Christ. The ones who receive the image receive the graces and make them effective in as far as they become aware of their call to live a Christian life.

On Thursday, June 8, we will open the registration table at 2 pm and begin the program with Holy Mass at 5 pm at the Schoenstatt Center. See you soon!

En unos pocos días nuestra convención comenzará, 

nuestros misioneros de más de 13 estados llegarán, y nuevas puertas se abrirán para descubrir cómo ser instrumentos de Dios en estos tiempos. 

 

Como misioneros de la Virgen Peregrina descubrimos cómo nos convertimos en instrumentos de la Mater y sus tres gracias. Nuestra meta principal es evangelizar, es decir, llevar a Cristo y su mensaje a los demás. Hacemos esto portando la imagen de Jesús y María. De esta forma, damos a conocer la persona de Cristo. Las gracias del Santuario están ahí para asegurar esta experiencia para nosotros y para los demás. Vemos cómo nuestro apostolado ayuda a rescatar familias, inspira jóvenes, une comunidades parroquiales, y alcanza a dónde muchas veces los párrocos no logran llegar.

 

Tres puntos de enfoque guiarán el fin de semana: la imagen, el misionero, y los que reciben la imagen. Queremos descubrir lo que implica nuestro apostolado bajo una nueva luz y cómo cumplir nuestra misión en estos tiempos. \\

 

La imagen despierta amor y devoción, pero también lleva un mensaje contenido en los evangelios. El misionero se hace fecundo en su vínculo   filial con la Mater y en su disponibilidad a levantar el reino de Cristo. Los que reciben la imagen reciben las gracias y las hacen efectivas en tanto y cuanto viven convencidos de que tienen un llamado a vivir una vida cristiana.

 

El jueves, 8 de junio, comenzaremos con las inscripciones a las 2 pm. La apertura de la  convención será a las 5 pm con la Santa Misa.  ¡Nos vemos pronto!


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May 20 – A Day to Remember

On Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 1945, Father Kentenich returned to Schoenstatt from his years as a prisoner of the Nazis. The war was over, the persecution a thing of the past, and the rejoicing of his spiritual family knew no bounds. Indeed, God had seen fit to return the founder in the best of health. As Father Kentenich said to the [Schoenstatt] Sisters of Mary in Bruchsal along the route of his return:

I can tell you that I feel physically and spiritually better and fitter than at any [other] time in my life. It is apparently a sign that nothing can harm us as long as we remain faithful to the Triune God (May 19, 1945).

With Father Kentenich’s own words we join the whole Schoenstatt Family in thanking God for the great mercy of seeing our founder come back from the concentration camp of Dachau unharmed and ready to continue serving the Church and his foundation. May we also follow in his footsteps and accept all trials with patient endurance, in the spirit of Christ’s childlike surrender to his Father in Heaven (Fr. J. Niehaus, Brushstrokes #4).

I cannot thank God enough for all I have seen. It has been a great blessing, superb training,
And I have to thank everyone
Who sent me to the concentration camp.

Most of all I would love to kneel silently
Before the picture of the Mother of God,
Giving myself up wholly to the vision of the Triune Go,
And, with all of you, simply gaze, love, and praise
From now to the end of eternity.

With these words Father Kentenich and with him, the entire Schoenstatt Family, thanked God and Mary, Queen of the Concentration Camp , for the years in the hell of Dachau, years of shelteredness under [her protecting mantle], years of true inner freedom, and [of remaining totally at God’s disposal.]

Those years were as fruitful and blessed as few others had been (The Father Kentenich House).


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Small but Powerful Token

By Melissa Tebben

This token was first inspired after witnessing a young man sobbing alone on the side of a busy roadway. Wanting to give him something to show God’s love, a miraculous medal was the only token that was available.  Months later, the inspiration came stronger when a dear friend, who suffered of dementia, had a habit of repeatedly giving away St. Pio tokens.

Our Mother gave me the final inspiration to have a token inscribed with her image and the Divine Providence prayer on it. “Yes, Mother for you anything.” Thousands of these tokens have been given away throughout the world.  Now our MTA can be placed right into the hands of everyone.

This token is meant to be kept while it is needed and then to be passed along.  To those who suffer, it offers a tangible sign of God’s love and comfort. Everyone can hold on to it as a reminder of God’s love for them in their suffering and the promise of the Divine Providence Prayer.

One powerful example is when a friend gave an MTA token to a young, poor boy, who was asking for money at the grocery to help people carry their grocery bags to the car.  The boy was hungry and wanted money for food and was willing to work for it.  The friend gave him money and an MTA token. Fast forward a couple months and this same friend, a police officer, is called to an apartment where there was a hostile boy with a knife.  The boy was not listening to another officer’s command to put down his weapon and he was viewed as a threat to his partner.  Seconds away from pulling the trigger to protect his partner, the officer recognized that this was the same boy he had given the MTA token to.  He mentioned the token and reminded him about its giving.  Immediately the boy’s demeanor changed.  He dropped the knife and began to cry.  Someone had stolen his food and he was willing to fight to get it back.

This MTA token has already saved one life.  Will you join us to share our Mother’s Token of Love?

 


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Father Kentenich on the Meaning of Fatima, 1965

Words from Father Kentenich, St. Michael’s Parish, August 22, 1965

What is really the meaning of the history [of Fatima], what does God want to imprint upon us through its history? To understand this, we need to interpret the expression consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Mother. What is the meaning of a consecration? It means to surrender, to surrender oneself unconditionally. Hence we want to strive for the unconditional surrender to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Mother. Since every word from the lips of the eternal God, from the lips of the Blessed Mother, obviously has a profound meaning, we could now begin pondering and explaining.

Surrender, unconditional surrender to the heart of the Blessed Mother. What is the meaning of heart? It has a twofold meaning. The heart is, first of all, the symbol of love and then the symbol of the entire personality. A symbol of love! We may surrender ourselves to the Blessed Mother’s love, but we must emphasize from the very beginning that this is her love for God and for us. Once more, it presupposes that the Blessed Mother has not only a head, not only a will, but a heart as well. The heart is what is essential; love is what is essential. We should surrender ourselves to the immeasurable, to the moving love of the Blessed Mother—her childlike love for the Father, her motherly love for us, her bridal love for Christ; but it is always selfless love, love suffering for the sake of love, love sharing in suffering for the sake of love. Surrender [to her heart and to her love]. Her love is always a symbol, a mirror of the love which the Father has for us. We surrender to the Blessed Mother’s love for the Father and for us as a symbol of the infinite love which the eternal Father lavishes upon us.

 

The world is in disorder, in disarray, the world is breaking down, is hopelessly falling apart. The Blessed Mother’s heart is in order to an unparalleled degree. If I give myself to the immaculate heart of Mary, I give myself to personified order, I give myself to an incarnate microcosm of order. The effect will be that my heart becomes ordered too. The effect will be that from my ordered heart order will be restored in my surroundings (if I belong to a community, order in my community) because my environment is the sum total of personified microcosms put in order. Again, if I belong to a community, to a Catholic family, what does the embodiment of peaceful microcosms of order look like? If our Marian devotion, our piety fails to bring about [this type of order], if we live together like cats and dogs and everything is upset… It is the great, great mission expressed in the Song of Songs: He put order into love. In the Blessed Mother, love is ordered in all its ramifications.

Dear Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt, transform us into three times admirable children of a constant divine smile amidst the human cry (Game of Love). Transform our hearts through our love for you. Bring order into our hearts, by granting us the three pilgrimage graces from the shrine. Then you can bring order into our world. From this shrine, educate the Catholic faithful of our times. Take us under your protection, educate us, and send us out. Amen. My Queen, my Mother…

 


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We Owe Him a Lot!

We pray in gratitude for the Ken Theisen’s service to the SRC. We owe to him the fruitful and prolific beginnings of this powerful apostolate. For over ten years, Ken prepared thousands of images of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother. Let us remember him and his family in our prayers.

Kenneth M. Theisen, 93, who passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, with family members at his side. He was born in Madison on Oct. 28, 1923 and married Dolores Kurt on Sept. 12, 1944, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Madison.

Ken was a very humble man, but he was most proud of his support for the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign – he worked for over ten years crafting over 4,000 pilgrim shrines which were critical to the continuing success in the campaign to promote the praying of the daily family rosary.

Ken proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy in 1943-1945, and he played a key role in developing a new torpedo to keep up with enemy subs. He worked at Gisholt and Madison Kipp as a machinist, and then as a plate-maker for 32 years at Webcrafters. He could fix anything, and was a patient teacher to his children and grandchildren, and sons-in-law. He was well versed in math, electricity, small engine mechanics, home construction, as well as auto, appliance, toys and bicycle repair. He loved gardening and raising vegetables to give to family and friends.

He was deeply committed to his Catholic faith, and along with his wife Dolores, raised their five children to love God, and be generous with others. Ken was very devoted to their children, Teri (Dave) Kinney, Sue (Dan) Bailey, Jean (Bob) Dye, Bill (Glo) Theisen, and Jeff (Dee) Theisen. He is survived by 10 grandchildren, Steve Kinney, Jill (Dave) Yanke, grandson-in-law Dennis Owen, Theresa (Kevin) Hanko, Dan Dye, Kris (John) Ehle, Brent Theisen, Derek (Marcy) Theisen, Andrea Theisen, and Becki (Carlo) Arellano. He also leaves 22 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson, who will be born in July. He is survived by a sister, Dorothy Theisen.

He was a member of St. Bernard’s for 50 years, and St. Dennis for 43 years. Ken and his late wife, Dolores, attended daily Mass, were active members in the Schoenstatt Movement in the Catholic Church, members of East Side Club for over 30 years, and the Catholic Knights Insurance Society. He was a member of the American Legion Post 329, Briggsville, Wis.

He wrote a family history book, “The Way I Remember It,” and followed this up with many years of remembrances in annual, eagerly awaited Christmas letters to his children and grandchildren.

Ken and Dolores will be remembered as a couple who were very much in love, and always walked hand in hand. They enjoyed 70 years together, traveling throughout the U.S. as well as Europe. In his later years, he was a big Badgers, Packers, and Brewers fan. His favorite activity was enjoying his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was an avid card player, specializing in euchre and 500.

Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores; his parents; his brothers, Vince, Neil, and infant brother Steven; and a granddaughter, Julie Owen.

Taken from: http://host.madison.com/news/local/obituaries/theisen-kenneth-m/article_9f53d889-b69b-5ce0-bf12-858f9c0176f3.html


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About the Annual Convention Registration

At this point, all the rooms in the Schoenstatt Retreat Center are taken. We have reserved 15 double bedrooms in Country Springs Hotel.
To make your reservation at the hotel please:

  • call 262-547-0201 and identify yourself with Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary or Schoenstatt Retreat Center
    • The hotel prices for us:
      Thursday 6/8 night $79.00
      Friday 6/9 night $79.00
      Saturday 6/11 night $109.00
  • Make sure you register before May 9, in order to secure this price, which does not include tax.
  • You may accommodate 4 persons in a bedroom. The third and fourth person, 17 years old and up, pay an extra $10.00 fee per night.
    • Check-in / check-out time:
      Thursday 6/8 4:00 PM
      Sunday 6/11 11:00 AM
  • You need $79.00 deposit to reserve the room, and will pay $25.00 cancellation fee two days before the event.

For any other information, you may contact the Schoenstatt Sisters in Waukesha: 262-522-4326.


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Missionaries’ Pilgrimage Day in Texas

by  Carlos Cantú, Rockport, TX

The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign sponsors two special days each year at the Confidentia Shrine in Rockport, Texas for Missionaries and those who receive the Pilgrim MTA in their homes.  These two days take place in November and March.  The most recent one took place on March 12, 2017.  On these days, new missionaries are commissioned, re-commissioning takes place for those renewing their commitment for another year, and it is also a day for those who have been prepared to seal their Covenant of Love.

Although the day was cool and rainy, it did not deter the participation of approximately 200 pilgrims.  The day began with serenading the Blessed Mother at the Shrine and receiving a heartfelt welcome as well.  Afterwards, everyone gathered in the auditorium for a talk.  Presiding at both the talk and the Holy Mass was Schoenstatt Father, Fr. Johnson Nelissery.  Father’s talk was focused on the Texas motto, MISSIONARIES OF MARY, BUILDING COVENANT CULTURE.  Father also emphasized the meaning of commissioning and re-commissioning.

156 Pilgrim MTA’s graced a side altar.  122 were being re-commissioned to continue on their journey in the great visitation for another year, and 34 were initiating their journey for the first time.

After lunch, everyone gathered anew in the auditorium for the recitation of the Rosary.  After the Rosary, a missionary  gave a moving testimony on how Our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt  had come to the aid of her family.  In summary, her testimony went something like this:  Her husband was in the process of securing his legal and permanent residency in the United States.  As part of the lengthy process, he would have to travel to the Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.  Before beginning the journey, their parish priest, who is devoted to our MTA, prayed with them and entrusted the whole matter to Our Blessed Mother.  They had to travel to Monterrey, Mexico and there board a plane for Ciudad Juárez.  Everything was proceeding normally and they were praying fervently to Our Blessed Mother.  They followed all the steps in the process: go here, go there, sign here, now do this, come back in an hour, etc.  Time was running out and they had to board their plane at 8:00 PM.  It was almost 6:00 PM and the husband tells his wife that she should go on so they would not lose both plane fares, but she would not do so.  She reminded him that they had entrusted the matter to Blessed Mother and She would take care, so she went to a corner and continued to pray fervently.  There was a long line ahead of her husband, there was only one clerk, and only 50 resident documents would be issued that day.  It looked hopeless, when suddenly another clerk appeared, he took the stack of applications and flipped them over, and he called the first name which originally was at the bottom of the pile and it was that of her husband.  Blessed Mother had taken perfect care, She had answered their prayers, and the gentleman had received the longed for documentation which now made him a legal and permanent resident of the United States.  With hearts filled with gratitude, they were able to board their plane with plenty of time.  A round of applause and cheering confirmed what our Father and Founder always said, “She will work miracles!”  It is important to note that on March 12, 2017, this missionary who gave this testimony was re-commissioned for another year, received her second Pilgrim MTA which would visit another 10 families,  and  she sealed her Covenant of Love.

Holy Mass now began with many grateful and joyful hearts.  Immediately after the homily, a beautiful floral crown was brought up in solemn procession.  As Blessed Mother received the crown, the following prayer was recited in both English and Spanish:

“Dear Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt,

as Queen of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, we thank you with childlike gratitude and confidence for the graces you bestown on us your joyful instruments.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit and as Missionaries of Mary, we want to share the love of the Blessed Mother and extend the mission of the Rosary Campaign, growing in love, unity and sanctity in our daily life.

As we follow in the footsteps of Joao Pozzobon, not knowing the destination and the way in these challenging times, let us evangelize, serve and bring Christ into the culture.

In this spirit we crown you: “Queen of Covenant Culture.”

Immediately following Holy Mass, 12 persons who would be sealing their Covenat of Love in the Confidentia Shrine led the procession to the Shrine.  Carlos and Elizabeth Cantú had prepared the 12 persons from the Diocese of Brownsville for their Covenant of Love and assisted Father Johnson with the ritual.  With great joy and gratitude, they received their covenant medals and signed the Covenant Book.

It was a day of many graces and blessings for all.

 


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Taller de Formación para Misisoneros

Misioneros de Winnipeg, Canada, en la parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, se reúnen el 21 de enero para ofrecer un día de taller y formación. Allí han de participar todos aquellos que reciben la imagen de la Virgen Peregrina de Schoenstatt, y por supuesto, todos los misioneros que portan la imagen a distintos lugares.

Los Patiño, de Paraguay, y los Larrea, de Ecuador, buenos conocedores de Schoenstatt, dirigiran una reflexión en torno a la historia de Schoenstatt, sus cuatro hitos, y cómo nos debemos dejar inspirar por estas fechas y estos eventos.

Su fuente de inspiración es la novena del Padre Kentenich que resume su vida y su obra.


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Be Genuine, Presume Nothing, Bring Christ and Mary

By Curtis Kneblik
In reaching out to others it is best to be authentic and real.  I mean, don’t put on a holy atmosphere as if you had something they don’t have. It’s best to just be yourself!  We are all sons and daughters of the Father, we are already special. Being a missionary of the Pilgrim Shrine doesn’t make us any more special, it doesn’t raise our dignity higher than we already are, sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.  Therefore, be yourself, be a son, be a daughter, share your love for Mary and Jesus through your gestures, your words, your simple faith.
I like holy cards, and I use them quite a bit.  I wish I had an MTA with the Lord’s Prayer on the back… The Holy Card is an easy way to share the image with someone and I allow the picture to do the work.  I become small and even make light of my business card.  I say, “I don’t have a business card but I hand out these pictures of Jesus.”  I leave it at that. I let them take the next step if they want to comment or ask a question.  We don’t have to teach them the catechism, but allow Mary to do the work through her picture.
Offer the picture to someone at church and say,  “have you seen this picture of Mary, isn’t she beautiful?”  then just wait and see where the conversation goes.  Our goal is not proselytizing but sharing the image.
Why do you approach them?  Because I love the Blessed Mother and I want to share them with others.  Presume nothing.  Someone may be needing a lift that day and you offer a picture.  Let the Spirit guide you…look for signs.  “Be on the lookout” it says in one of the evangelization documents.  We are to be on the lookout for opportunities to encounter, and authentically encounter, not proselytize.
Are you genuinely kind and interested in the person or just trying to pass out MTA cards or shrines?  Think about your encounters with people and then think how you would hand out the card with the image of Christ and Mary, without feeling awkward.  If you feel awkward then they will feel awkward. How would you want to be approached? That could also be a guide into how you approach others.
I have felt intimidated by people who have an agenda and are trying to sell me on their viewpoint.  People generally don’t like salesman – so don’t be one!  Be genuine, be caring, and share out of love with NO preconceived expectations on how they are to respond.  Some will respond in a grateful manner, some will be suspicious, some will reject it out right.   BE OPEN TO LISTENING INSTEAD OF TALKING!  People want to be listened to more than being talked at.

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