Bishop Hying joins covenant renewal

Madison, WI   | By Ann Ayala, Schoenstatt Diocesan Coordinator, Diocese of Madison

On the chilly evening of Monday, October 17, 2022 – the vigil of the celebration of the 108th anniversary of the founding of Schoenstatt – the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Rev. Donald Hying and the National Superior of the Schoenstatt Fathers, Fr. Mark Niehaus celebrated Mass on the grounds of the Founder Shrine in Madison, Wisconsin.

The event was attended by over 100 faithful people. We were honored by the presence of two Schoenstatt Sisters who were present at the dedication of the Founder Shrine 70 years ago (June 20, 1953)– Sr. Annmarie and Sr. Marihedwig.

The liturgy for this special Mass was the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Teacher in the Spirit. The readings were especially appropriate. Isaiah 56:1,6-7 spoke of the salvation about to come and the welcoming of foreigners who would become the servants of God, their prayers and sacrifices acceptable and God’s house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples. Isn’t that a wonderful and hopeful expression of the Schoenstatt Shrine?  The Gospel was taken from John 19:25-27. The reading contained the words of Jesus from the cross – “Behold, your mother”.

Bishop Hying’s sermon: Bishop Hying expressed his happiness to celebrate this anniversary of the founding with us. He remembered that the word ‘Schoenstatt’ translates to ‘a beautiful place’ and that Mary was that beautiful place where our Savior took on his flesh. He spoke about creation and that at the moment of the fall in the Garden of Eden, God prophesized that the son of a woman would crush the head of the serpent. Bishop Hying’s homily emphasized the crucial role Mary occupies in salvation history. Mary is the “new Eve” who gave her fiat, her yes to God when the original Eve disobeyed God, plunging all mankind into the darkness of sin. The New Eve gave birth to the New Adam – Jesus. Mary’s life was centered around her great love for the Holy Trinity. Mary is the sinless example for our living. She is God’s masterpiece, the first and best disciple, and the example for our living. We too are called to give birth to Christ in our world, to make Him manifest to others, to live a Trinitarian life as a child of the Father purchased by the blood of Jesus and temples of the Holy Spirit.

Following the Mass, a procession to the Founder Shrine was led by an altar server carrying the crucifix, flags of Schoenstatt and the Vatican, followed by Bishop Hying with Fr. Mark and with the faithful walking behind. The pews were removed to make more room in the shrine. Fr. Mark proclaimed the new motto for Schoenstatt in the Diocese of Madison –  

Arise! Lift Up Your Hearts! Behold Your Mother!

In Latin =

Surge! Sursum Corda! Ecce Mater Tua!

Arise! Lift Up Your Hearts! Behold Your Mother! He gave the following description:

Arise: Get up! Get moving! Have courage! In the Gospel, Jesus told those he healed to arise, take up your mat and walk or arise, your faith has saved you. We need to get up and bring healing and hope to a hurting world.

Lift Up Your Hearts: Words said by the priest at every Mass after the offering. Rise above your circumstances and set your sights on heaven. God is Love. Give Him your heart.

Behold Your Mother: The words of Jesus from the Cross. He gave His mother to us. It is up to us to give her to others. In Schoenstatt, we can bring her to others through the Apostolate of the Pilgrim Mother and by bringing others to the Shrine, her throne of grace in Schoenstatt. We can come here to encounter her, to behold her anytime. We are truly blessed!

We thank the Holy Spirit and the Mother Thrice Admirable for providing the inspiration of the motto!


Fr. Mark then led the Covenant Renewal followed by the singing of My Queen, My Mother. The Diocesan Representative of the Schoenstatt Family in the Diocese of Madison, Ann Ayala, spoke to Bishop Hying, speaking for everyone as she pledged support for the Bishop and his initiatives as well as offering the graces from the Shrine.

Ann Ayala, Madison Schoenstatt Family Coordinator’s text follows:

Thank you Bishop Hying and Fr. Niehaus for your presence here today. We are honored. Bishop Hying, I would like to assure you that the Schoenstatt Family supports you and your initiatives. Through Schoenstatt our Mother Thrice Admirable educates us to be disciples. She does this through…

Schoenstatt offers the founder…

The founder of Schoenstatt, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, offered prayer and sacrifices for the first Schoenstatt Shrine in the United States, our Founder Shrine right here in Madison. Next year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of its dedication. Fr. Kentenich said over 100 Holy Masses in the Founder Shrine. For Schoenstatt’s founder, the real presence of Jesus at Holy Mass was important. This reminds us to engage ourselves for the Eucharistic Revival initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Schoenstatt offers our Mother Thrice Admirable…

Chosen by the Father, Bride of the Spirit, and Mother of the Son. Behold your Mother!  She is OUR mother. She gave her fiat, her YES to God at every moment of her life. She is the perfect example of a disciple. Look at her standing beside her Son on the Unity Cross!  She educated the child Jesus. She can educate us. She can protect us through her powerful intercession at the throne of her Son. To Jesus through Mary…

Schoenstatt offers the Shrine…

Schoenstatt Shrines offer three graces to anyone who enters. The first grace is being at home. Many people experience homeless and being lost both physically and spiritually. The Schoenstatt Shrine is a place of comfort and stability. It is a place to discover God’s love for each individual and the purpose He has given for our life.

The second grace is inner transformation. Schoenstatt offers opportunities to grow in self-education and faith formation. Faith in Divine Providence is nurtured, increased, and lived.

The third grace is apostolic zeal. As the apostles were sent on mission from the Upper Room, so we too need to go out into the world to preach the Good News through our lives of faith in action. As, you, Bishop Hying have said – it is time to go out into the deep. It’s time to leave the safety of the shore, wade into the waters, and throw people a lifeline of living faith. That lifeline of living faith is Schoenstatt!!!

Sr. Isabel expressed Schoenstatt’s willingness to work with the Bishop for the growth of faith and formation in the diocese using the tools Schoenstatt possesses, most especially practical faith in divine providence. We try to do what the Blessed Mother did – to listen to God, interpret God’s will and to respond to it. She thanked Fr. Niehaus and Bishop Hying for their presence. Sr. Isabel asked that the Blessed Mother continue to bless us through Bishop Hying.

Barb Brochtrup gave gifts to Fr. Mark and Bishop Hying and assured them of our continued prayers and support.

Bishop Hying’s address in the Founder Shrine:

Bishop Hying expressed his gratitude for our support and his gift. He spoke about consecration to Jesus through Mary is to set aside our will, our desires, our plans and to take all of that with our possessions, our actions and our words and place all of that at the disposal of the Blessed Virgin. We want to offer ourselves to her as a daily, hourly, often minute by minute. We see Mary do this at the Annunciation when she gave her fiat. And we see this in the Garden of Gethsemane and at the cross as Jesus gave himself over to the will of the Father. In the eyes of the world, this consecration looks like a restriction of freedom, but spiritually, we know that in our consecration we find true freedom and find a joy that his world cannot give.

Bishop Hying prayed that through our consecration we may live more fully, generously, and joyously this spiritual path, this way of being Catholic; this way of discovery of the Blessed Virgin. We want to allow her to find us, to pray for us, to love us, and to lead us to Jesus.

Bishop Hying is honored to have the oldest Schoenstatt Shrine in the US here in Madison and prayed that many more people would be drawn here to discover what we have found here, but even more, who we have found here; God loving us through the perfection of Jesus and always through the intercession of his mother. For this he gives thanks and praise to God.

Bishop Hying is impressed that every Schoenstatt Shrine is exactly the same. No matter where we are, God’s love is the same, the truth of the faith is the same. Jesus is always our North Star pointing us to the Father. Bishop Hying has been to the Shrine of La Victoria in the Dominican Republic and the International Shrine in Waukesha. Coming to the Schoenstatt Shrine is coming home, coming to the Catholic Church is coming home where God’s love is waiting for us.

Bishop Hying thanked us and gave us his blessing.

Fr. Mark invited everyone to come to the Family room for refreshments and fellowship. Connie Mota and the people of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Apostolate helped set up, prepare the snack, and clean up. One also donated time and resources for cleaning up the yard and putting mulch and mum plants around. They also put spotlights on the shrine. The evening was enjoyed by all especially our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt in her Founder Shrine!