The Goal of our Mission
Marian Formation of the World in Christ
Schoenstatt’s goal is the Marian formation of the world in Christ. We want to lead the world back to Christ and the Father through the Blessed Mother. Through the covenant of love, we want to create and foster a Marian culture in our world. A culture of Marian love for God, Marian faithfulness, Marian nobility, Marian freedom and generosity and Marian purity. We want to help Our Lady from her shrine to form new people in a new community. People who are free, firm, and strong and whose inner being reflects that of Our Lady, the Immaculate one! Our mission is to give the world a “Marian face.”
The Personal Mission entrusted to our Father
This God-given mission was first entrusted to our father and founder who then founded his Schoenstatt communities to secure this mission for all times. He compared himself with St. Paul who, according to Father Kentenich he had the mission to proclaim Christ to the world. Fr. Kentenich was convinced that he had the mission to proclaim Mary to the world. His mission has become our mission!
Our Mission for the Schoenstatt Movement
As a Sisters’ community, we were founded, together with the other institutes and federations of Schoenstatt, to be the soul of the Schoenstatt Movement. This means that our main task is to help inspire, form and give life to the Schoenstatt Work. Our task is to help preserve and pass on the mission of Schoenstatt.
We do this in a number of practical ways:
Prayer and Sacrifice
It belongs to our mission to pray and sacrifice for the fruitfulness of the whole Schoenstatt Work. The Adoration Sisters, the contemplative branch of our community, are especially responsible for this sacred task.
Education and Formation of Girls, Women, and Families
Our specific mission as Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary is to work in the Marian education and formation of girls, women, and families. We do this in particular through our direct educational work. Conducting group meetings, retreats, days of reflection and other experiences of faith in and around our shrines. Another main task is to help to train leaders of the Movement.
Wherever the Blessed Mother chooses a place for her special activity of grace from the Schoenstatt Shrine, she also creates centres of education and renewal. Our sisters help to staff these centres which serve as a natural and supernatural home for retreat participants.
Our Mission for the Church
Our founder wanted us as Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary to be a blessing for the Church he loved and for which he gave his life’s strength. Just as Mary has the official task to stand at Christ’s side in the work of redemption, so we as “little Marys” want to serve the Church in her mission to draw all people to Christ and the Father.
Schoenstatt: Our Founder’s Gift to the Church
The most valuable service we can offer the Church is to be loyal to the charism of our founder and fulfil the tasks he entrusted to us regarding the Schoenstatt Movement. In particular the entire Movement is meant to be our founder’s gift to the Church! He saw it as an answer to many of her needs. The words of Saint John Paul II to the Schoenstatt Family in 1985 confirm this: “An authentic Marian spirituality leads to a deep love for the Church.” In addition, we place ourselves at the service of the Church through our prayer and sacrifice. Particularly we foster the religious atmosphere of our Schoenstatt Shrines and centres of formation for all pilgrims and retreatants. Both Catholic and non-Catholic, groups, parishes and individuals are welcome. A number of our sisters also work in local parishes.
The New Evangelization
In this period of history, we believe that Schoenstatt as a Marian and apostolic movement has a special mission for the new evangelization called for by Saint John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. As Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary we want to make a valuable contribution not only through our own evangelizing work, but also through the formation of lay people, both youth and adults, capable of bearing the spirit of the new evangelization into the Church and world.
“Schoenstatt brings a remarkable missionary dynamic into the Church. How many initiatives of evangelization and formation it offers youth, adults, men, women, and families! Above all, many people can testify that their lives have been changed here in the shrine! How many young people have experienced through Schoenstatt the joy of the faith and the beauty of being a Christian! How much missionary potential both in individuals and communities has already been uncovered here and placed at the service of the Church!”
(Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko to the Schoenstatt Family, 18th October 2013)
We Pray with Pope Francis
“Today we look at Mary and ask her to help us proclaim
the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples
to become evangelizers in turn:
Star of the new evangelization,
help us to bear radiant witness to communion,
service, ardent and generous faith,
justice and love of the poor,
that the joy of the Gospel
may reach to the ends of the earth,
illuminating even the fringes of our world.
Mother of the living Gospel,
wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones,
pray for us.”
(Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)
Our Mission for the World
As a secular institute, we have a special mission in the world and for the world. We are called to lead the entire world back to Christ through his Mother and we do this specifically by living in the world while not being of the world. Our main mission for the world is to preach, not necessarily with words, but mainly through our being and actions, that God exists and that he is worth living and dying for. Wherever we go in the world, we want to create a Marian atmosphere, an atmosphere that in the midst of a darkened, materialistic society lifts the soul to heaven, to Eternal Light.
“In our world, often dominated by a secularized culture which encourages and promotes models of life without God, the faith of many is sorely tested, and is frequently stifled and dies. Thus we see an urgent need for powerful proclamation and solid, in-depth Christian formation. There is so much needed today for mature Christian personalities to be conscious of their baptismal identity, of their vocation and mission in the world! There is great need for living Christian communities! And here are the Movements and the new ecclesial communities: They are the response given by the Holy Spirit to this critical challenge at the end of the millennium. You are this providential response.”
(Saint John Paul II to Ecclesial Movements)