Mothers LeagueMothers are the heart of the home
Our founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, realized that all mothers have both a special charism and a special obligation to the family, to the Church, and to the world.
The mothers’ branch of the Schoenstatt Movement was founded in Germany in 1940, and came to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the 1960s. Under the guidance of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt, mothers learn about and grow ever more fully into their mission as heart of the home.
The Schoenstatt spirituality is unfolded through monthly small group meetings along with retreats and days of recollection that are sponsored by the mothers’ league each year to help deepen the covenant of love and commitment to the Church and to the goals of Schoenstatt.
Schoenstatt mothers serve in a variety of roles in their parishes: They are Directors of Religious Education, they teach Christian formation classes, make hot lunches for school children, sit on the PTOs or PTAs for their parish schools, set up Eucharistic adoration, aid grieving families with funeral planning and meals, clean churches, play instruments and sing for the liturgical celebrations, lead the rosary, visit the sick, are Eucharistic ministers, plan and help run parish and school fundraisers — in short, just about any job that has to be done in a parish somewhere, a Schoenstatt mother is doing it!
The LIVING MONSTRANCE is the symbol of the Schoenstatt Mothers’ branch. The mothers strive to be Christ-bearers, Christ-bringers, and servers of Christ. Their ultimate goal is to be another Mary in their family, in the Church, and in the world.
The Schoenstatt Mothers’ League is open to all mothers, married women, widows, and grandmothers of any age.
Covenant of Love in Salem, Oregon
March 27, 2021
Two Covenants of Love in Salem, Oregon: The sun shining brightly and the “Mary” blue sky added to the joy of the celebration when Elaine Higgins and Mary Jo Nyssen made their covenant of love with Our Mother Thrice Admirable on March 27, 2021 at St. Joseph church in Salem, Oregon. Mary Jo’s brother Monsignor Richard Huneger dressed in gold vestments was a reminder of the great treasure our Mother’s League Schoenstatt family is as we love and strive together to be “little Mary’s” – living monstrances, who bear Christ to our family and community. The other members present renewed their dedication to Mary. The ceremony was followed by a time of fellowship and tea at a nearby restaurant.
Holy Water Project
Feb 12, 2021
Holy Water Project: Schoenstatt Mothers in the Cincinnati Archdiocese: Because parishes can’t have holy water available during the pandemic, the idea came up, couldn’t we offer families holy water in their own bottles to take home and use. With our large group of mothers we are donating little Holy water bottles to the parishes. On the bottle is a label that says “a gift from the Schoenstatt Mother’s League.” Many parishioners complain because of no holy water so now they can have their own personal bottle. We’re really excited about this project and the priests are very positive. Holy water reminds us of the renewal of our baptismal promises which is what the covenant embraces. We may need to order many more because the parish priests are very happy about this!
Celebrating Father Kentenich’s Birthday
Several years ago, I visited Schoenstatt Germany with Schoenstatters that came from all over the USA. We gathered to walk in the footsteps of Fr. Kentenich (1885-1968) for the 50 anniversary of his death. Experiencing the Original Shrine and places where Fr. Kentenich was born, baptized, lived, and taught was filled with so much grace. After our trip, several of the travelers decided to form a book club reading the Brushstrokes book series about Fr. Kentenich’s life. Ever since, we’ve been reliving our trip and Fr. Kentenich’s life in a profound way! In November, we decided to do something novel and have a celebration; a Thanksgiving Zoom Brunch. This would accommodate the difficulty of travel (some come 6 hours to meet at the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin), Covid issues, and bad weather.
Everyone received an invitation with celebratory napkins, nametags, and cards with inspirational quotes from Fr. Kentenich. We each were also given the option to invite another to join the festivities.
On November 14, we gathered via Zoom and began with a rosary celebrating our MTA. After prayer, we conversed, and ate our prepared brunch dishes or sweet treats so Fr. Kentenich would surely be with us! Instead of a book club discussion, we shared updates about what has been going on in each of our lives.
I decided to share the adding of my Father Eye to my Home Shrine wall. This seemed fitting because each of us were given a Father Eye at the site of Fr. Kentenich’s death and is where his final resting place is found, in the Founder’s Chapel in Schoenstatt, Germany. Additionally November is the month of Fr. Kentenich’s birthday (Nov. 16, 1885) and baptism (Nov 19, 1885).Happy 135th Birthday Fr. Kentenich!
Happy Thanksgiving! And in gratitude for God our Heavenly Father watching over us we prayed:
God Our Father
I know you are my Father!
I feel secure in your protection.
I do not ask the way you lead I blindly follow your direction.
And if you placed it into my hands my life that I myself direct it,
I then would say: O, take it back, you’re trusting child is well protected.
I know you are my Father!
You gave your Son for our salvation, the Sole – Begotten,
Light from Light, who by his death brought us redemption.
Your love, O Father, has no end.
How could I doubt since you go with me!
And as you lead through thorn-filled ways, I trust you, Father, without worry.
I know you are my Father!
Your love gave me a caring Mother,
The Mother Three Times Wonderful, that she may lead me to you, Father.
Like Mary, I pray trustingly: your faithful love cannot deceive me.
I want to do your holy will, for I am yours, and you are mercy. Amen.
With Mary Walking in Trust – Outdoor Retreat
What do you do when there are COVID restrictions, but you really want to have a retreat for women at the Schoenstatt Retreat Center? You help organize an outdoor retreat. October can be iffy, but we only got the idea at the end of September. So, on October 17, 2020, eight women from Wisconsin and Illinois participated in the outdoor retreat. The weather was very windy, but we found a sheltered place outside the front entrance of the retreat center. We sat, socially distanced, bundled up in blankets, as if we were at a football game, and shared in the presentation on the theme: With Mary, Walking in Trust. The Schoenstatt Mothers’ group, Mary’s Joyful Hands, shared insights on how Mary has helped them to grow in trust during this COVID time. One mother shared:
Mary, as the handmaid of the Lord, has been given the task from God to help us. With her help, the impossible becomes possible. All treasures of grace are available. She has all we need, we just need to ask.
My take away from this is: If I am open and cooperative with God, Mary intercedes, and I’m confident that with her helping hand, there is nothing we can’t overcome. This is where trust enters. I believe that I don’t walk alone during crises, fear, anxiety, or even in times of joy and peace. During my day, Mary is next to me, guiding me with her inspiration, education, example, and motherly love.
The rest of the retreat activities included an outdoor rosary walk by the Stations of the Cross, adoration and Holy Mass in the shrine, and time for confession outside by the car of the priest who helped with the retreat. October 17 is the anniversary of the dedication of the International Shrine of the Father Kingdom in Waukesha, which took place in 1964, so it was a treat to have our Holy Mass in the shrine almost at the same time of the dedication (5pm).
Next year we would like to have another outdoor retreat, but we will start out a little earlier with planning so that the retreat can take place in August or September.
Cindy, Anne, Ruth, Carlene, and Ruth
Mary’s Joyful Hands
Membership Dedications in Ohio
On the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15, 2020, which is also the day on which we commemorate Father Kentenich’s death in 1968, representing eight different parishes throughout Ohio, eighteen Schoenstatt Mothers made their Membership Dedication as part of the Schoenstatt Mothers Branch! They had studied for three to five years in preparation. The Holy Mass and ceremony was at St. Michael’s Church in Ft. Loramie, Ohio.
One of the requirements for the membership dedication is to write a “blank check” to the Blessed Mother. We had fun with this by doing a short skit, explaining how we give all (through our MTA’s hands) to our heavenly Father. Father Kentenich said in 1952, “Do you want to become mature, rich, joyful and happy (and make others happy)? There is no better way than the blank check!” This is a way to grow deeper in Schoenstatt’s spirituality and holiness. On our Spiritual Daily Order it says: “I sanctify myself for them.” Jn 17:19. We do this not only for our own sanctity, but for those we love. We strive to become the original ideal God created us to be! We do this all for love of God and for his glory.
The membership candles were designed and drawn by a local artist. It depicts our MTA holding a monstrance with the words, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Imitating our Blessed Mother, we strive to become Christ bearers, Christ bringers to all we love. On the back of the candle, there is a picture of Fr. Kentenich blessing each one, with the words, “He loved the Church.” Another local artist designed and crafted the medals, which replicate the monstrance which the Schoenstatt Mothers League gave to the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt, Germany.
Schoenstatt Mothers – Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio
COVID – Christ Offers Victory Instead of Defeat Retreat
The Schoenstatt Mothers helped with a Schoenstatt gathering on Friday, June 19, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, and Saturday, June 20, the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was a very providential time, and was much needed and enjoyed by eight mothers. Mass, rosary, talks, and sharing took place until the 3pm ending with the Divine Mercy chaplet, which we prayed in the adoration chapel with Jesus. On Saturday, we prayed the rosary and had a talk and sharing on Mother Mary from 9-11am. Jokingly, we gave this retreat the name of C.O.V.I.D., meaning Christ Offers Victory Instead of Defeat. One of the mothers had gotten this idea from an Idaho parish.
We had the Auxiliary Shrine with us and, providentially, we decided to re-crown our MTA, since we did not have our annual crowning on May 31. We have crowned our Mother for 20 years on May 31, and recently we discovered that this date is the feast of the Mothers League, since it is the Visitation of Mary – the day on which Mary, as Living Monstrance, visited her cousin Elizabeth. That is so neat.
So, we crowned her with the petition to lower all of our anxiety. In return, we promised her that we will pray daily for the hierarchy and all leadership, both in the Church and in our civic society.
Take all of us here in eastern Oregon to the shrine, please.
Marge Rolen and Deanna Leonard
Schoenstatt Mothers action during 2020 pandemic
During this time of the Covid-19 stay-at-home order, the Schoenstatt Mothers across the USA have joined in the different initiatives of the Schoenstatt Family: Crowning the MTA in home shrines especially on March 25 and April 15, attending the Holy Week Online Retreat, joining the re-dedication of our country on May 1, virtual May Crowning, and most importantly being a living monstrance in our homes and from our homes. Some of the mothers have been courageous in trying to meet via digital media. Some meetings such as covenant and membership preparation have been postponed but will continue soon. The Ohio pilgrim covenant preparation has their candle image that includes the hands of the Father holding a rose with the words: I have you in the palm of my hands. What a fitting expression of trust during this time of uncertainty. All large and small deeds, prayers, and sacrifices have filled the capital of grace of the last two months. Let us walk like you through life, let us mirror you forever. J. Kentenich
Magnificat Day – Schoenstatt Mothers’ League – Madison, Wisconsin
March 7, 2020
On a sunny Saturday morning, forty-four women registered and attended the Magnificat Day – Lenten reflection day for women at Schoenstatt Heights on the east side of Madison. Carol Mechler, from the Schoenstatt Mothers in the St. Louis area, presented on the 100th anniversary of women in Schoenstatt theme: Apostolic in Being and Acting. With in-depth research done on how the 1995 Beijing conference for women has unfolded in 25 years of lowering the image of woman and the human person, she showed that Schoenstatt’s founder, Father Joseph Kentenich saw already in 1966 that authentic womanhood modeled after Mary is what will help women and our society most.
The day included an opening icebreaker using the Magnificat prayer introduced by two women play acting one as Mary and one as her cousin Elizabeth, Holy Mass, confession, shopping, tour of the Founder Shrine, presentation on the June 27, 2020 event for the 100th anniversary of women in Schoenstatt (Waukesha, Wisconsin), door prizes, and a lively presentation on the USA motto with the title: Stop, Drop, and Roll. Everyone received a fan (faith – action – now!) to keep the fire going forward for love of Mary from her shrine. The day ended in the Founder Shrine with the renewal of the Covenant of Love and a final blessing.
Comments about the day:
Appreciate being with other like-minded women who are interested in making this world a better place for our children and grandchildren. The presentations inspired us to be more like Mary, our role model.
Womanhood, authentic womanhood, is under attack from multiple fronts, and the stakes are very high. But authentic womanhood is truly beautiful.
I can reflect Mary by doing mundane joys and drudgery with joy knowing those jobs can reflect love.
Magnificat Day – Schoenstatt Mothers League – Illinois
February 29, 2020
On leap day, the Schoenstatt Mothers from the Joliet and Chicago area met at Visitation Catholic Church in Elmhurst, Illinois. Thirty-six women attended the Magnificat Day that began with the parish Holy Mass at 8:15 am and ended at 1:00 pm. A brunch followed registration, and after the mothers settled in, presentations were given on:
The USA motto and how it fits with the June 2020 Motto
Mothers in the Domestic Church
Striving to live a Virtuous Life with Mary.
Time for confession was offered throughout the event. A short introduction about the importance of renewing the covenant of love was given followed by the Schoenstatt Mothers League Associates renewal of the covenant of love, as Living Monstrance, making up the final part of the closing benediction that took place in the upstairs church. Each table was decorated with three red roses and a framed image of the Year’s Motto card: United in Mary, on Fire we go forward.
Schoenstatt Mothers League: Oregon
In January/February 2020 the Schoenstatt Mothers in the state of Oregon held events during the visit of Sr. M. Deanne Niehaus. At the events the Schoenstatt Mothers and friends were introduced to the 100th Anniversary of Women in Schoenstatt preparation for the June 27, 2020 event with the National Mothers Leaders Workshop from June 25-28, 2020 at the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
The Schoenstatt Mothers in Salem held a morning of reflection on the theme of Authentic Womanhood. About twenty attended including some new women. The event ended with praying the rosary using the meditations recently published in a pamphlet from the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother. Since the Joyful mysteries of the rosary reflect the ideal of the Living Monstrance, these meditations were very powerful. Two new women could even be introduced to the praying of the rosary for the first time.
The Dalles, Oregon
A faithful group of the Schoenstatt Mothers League met in The Dalles and invited some women who attend a parish Moms group not connected with Schoenstatt. It was a time to share the riches of what Schoenstatt can offer for daily life – through witnesses of the Schoenstatt Mothers. Prayer was offered in the presence of the Northwest Pacific Auxiliary MTA.
Various gatherings of the Schoenstatt Mothers League took place including a Mothers league group meeting, a membership circle meeting, and a Mothers league retreat. One mother originally from Texas, recently moved to Washington State, attended the retreat and got to know the other Schoenstatt Mothers in the Pacific Northwest. The Schoenstatt Mothers, as the Living Monstrance, are the soul of much of what happens in Schoenstatt in this area, for example: being coordinators and missionaries of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother (English and Spanish speaking groups), supporters and promoters of the Schoenstatt Girls Camp each summer, encouragers of the Schoenstatt couples group, and promoters of Schoenstatt where the MTA has been enthroned in local parishes.