IMG_5297

Hello Everyone!

Greetings from the great state of Texas! My name is Beth Crawford, and I am the North Texas Diocesan leader for the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth and Young Women, and I am also currently on the National Team.

I hope that everyone had a blessed Advent, a holy Christmas, and a happy New Year! Down here for the SGY, during the month of December, we had an older girls Advent Retreat. The theme of our retreat reflected the motto of the year with, “The time is now, be a little Immaculata!” The retreat happened to fall on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and so it happened to revolve around not only Marian theology, but also about how to reflect the Blessed Mother in our lives as little Immaculatas.

We started the day with opening prayer. Following opening prayer, Sr. Danielle Peterson gave a talk on the theology and history behind the Immaculate Conception. We had a break for discussion and reflection among the girls, and then we preceded to the next talk by Sr. Mara Medina on the Immaculata Spirit and how it influences all parts of our lives. After her wonderful talk, we all headed over to Holy Mass, and then had lunch. A guided meditation followed, as the girls pondered on the Blessed Mother’s yes and how they could say yes to the will of the Lord in their lives. The capstone of the beautiful day was with a group dedication of new girls to Schoenstatt. The group name they decided on was Daughters of the Cross, for they hope to bear suffering joyfully in their lives as did the Blessed Mother.

It was such grace-filled day, guided by the Mother Thrice Admirable! She truly was present, helping to smooth things over and even choosing the day for the retreat (long story).

I hope that your Christmas break was holy, joyful, and restful, especially as we move forward into this year filled with school, work, or other responsibilities. And despite the unrest and uncertainty that seems to be in the world right now, may we always know that our Mother and Queen is guiding us and she will never abandon us.

The time is now, burn fearlessly!

Beth Crawford

On December 1st, 2018, standing in the Schoenstatt Shrine in the humble town of Sleepy Eye, I made my covenant of love and began my Schoenstatt mission that would change my life. However, this isn’t where the story starts. The story starts with the formation of a girls’ group back in 2010. After 8 years of monthly meetings that formed the hearts, minds, and souls of us six girls, Sister Faustina decided it was time for us to make our covenant of love. We began our immediate covenant preparation the night before with a lovely dinner full of laughter, jokes, and delicious food. After that, we listened to testimonies of girls who had already made their covenant. I was finally beginning to understand just what I was getting myself into – and I was so excited! We decorated what would be our covenant candles and in them, you could see the personality of every girl; personalities that would soon be joined with the personality of our Blessed Mother. After nearly an hour of beautiful adoration in the Shrine and the writing of our personal covenant prayers, we settled in for a night of peace before the big day. I was so excited that I woke up early to spend time with my Christ before committing myself to His Glorious Mother. Then, the ceremony began. As we read our covenant prayers and declared our promises to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, to our families, friends, and fellow participants in the covenant, my heart began to grow with the love of my Mother. I could sense her very real presence and feel the joy of committing myself fully and totally to her and her Son. What I share with Mary now is a total exchange of hearts. The covenant is so important to me because it has changed the way I live. I am so much more in love with the beauties of this world and so much more intertwined with God’s divine will for me. There is nothing quite like the covenant of love. To receive the heart of Jesus’ mother and to give your heart to her is to seal a vow to strive for sainthood. Because of all of this, I can truly say: I have been changed; I am no longer the same.  

Written by Regina from Minnesota.

miami
I thought the talks were good.  They explained how to live as Marian Apostles in everyday life.  We need to go to Mass every week and on Holy Days.  
We need to pray the Consecration Prayer every day.  We need to use good media instead of bad media.  Using good media means to read and watch the good things and not the bad things.  The weather can tell you if there is a tornado or storm and you can call someone if something is happening and they should be prepared for it.  We need to give everything we have to the Blessed Mother to become a Marian Apostle. Just to do something like smile can make a bad day into a good day, or hold a door or do something at home without being asked.  The motto for this weekend was “Marian Apostles, the time is now!” Fr. Kentenich is saying this – he is saying the time is now to be a Marian Apostle, not later.  The Girls Youth motto for the year is “The time is now, burn fearlessly!” We need to be Marian Apostles without being afraid.  I really enjoyed the weekend camp it was a lot of fun.  I really enjoyed making new friends and going to the Shrine everyday. It was a lot of fun.

 – Maria Doll, age 9

Note by Emmaline Gappa (communication Representative):
 “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And  whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” (MT 18: 2-6)
Girls celebrating Covenant day

As Minnesota Youth, we are pretty scattered throughout the state. It can be a trip to visit either the shrine or each other. But still we wanted some way to unite to renew our Covenant. So, as the leaders, in celebration of Covenant Day we united together in a renewal of the Covenant. We had a common prayer and song that we all prayed in our own little places.

And on the 14th, a few of us were able to actually meet and burn our Contributions to the Capital of Grace that we had collected in our room shrine over the past month! We had to wear our winter jackets – and it was hard to tell whether more smoke came from the dying fire or from our breath – but it was very nice!

Prayers and blessings to you all from Minnesota!

~ Cor Unum in Patre! ~

On September 29, the feast of the Archangels, during a special Mass in the Shrine – we were happy to be able to welcome 6 beautiful young ladies as official members of our MN SGYW! A group of our young ladies from Ham Lake, Mn sealed their Covenant of Love! Please keep them in your prayers as their hearts burn with the new light of the Covenant!

(9-29-18)

Here’s a thought for you in this month of the Covenant. Right now we are in a time of renewal, we are to Burn Fearlessly so that Schoenstatt may be brought to future generations. Our hearts must be set on fire anew – so that we can go forward with confidence. What is the fire that should light our hearts? Our Covenant! This shall be our guiding star! So – a challenge to us all. How often do we renew our Covenant? During the War, Joseph Engling would renew his covenant 10 times daily! This was in the midst of a war. We are in a very similar position in our world today. How often can we renew our own Covenants? How many little moments do we have throughout the day that we can lift up our hearts to our Covenant partner in a little contribution to the Capital of Grace or say a “My Queen, My Mother” ?

Shrine in the snow

Greetings from Minnesota!

I hope that you all have been having a fantastic Month of the Rosary and of the Covenant! This is Covenant Month ‘18, truly a time filled with plenty of extra graces for the asking! Our Mother is offering graces in abundance – she waits in the shrine with open hands overflowing with graces that she longs to share with her beloved children! Don’t be afraid to ask for as many as you can – the month is nearly over! The Time is Now! 🙂

I don’t know how it’s been for you, but here in Minnesota we have been experiencing some fun weather! We have gotten some snow already! Nothing has stayed, but we’ve gotten some anywhere from fun little flurries to about an inch! It’s been a beautiful little warning to enjoy the last few warm days we have left to us!

 

Snowflakes

Author Anonymous

 

Here I stand in in awe;

With snowflakes all around.

Dancing in their pretty way,

Until they reach the ground.

 

Their journey could be long,

The wind blows them as it please.

On adventures through the sky;

Past hills and lakes and trees.

 

The world is big and scary,

For a tiny, frail snowflake.

But it has a great mission,

It’s goal to undertake.

 

For our Father saw his children,

Trembling in the cold.

Miserable and lonely,

In a world that He behold.

 

He had given them this season,

To rest simply in His Love.

But worrying about the weather,

They forgot to look above.

 

So God fashioned a little beauty,

A masterpiece so fine.

And sent it with a message,

“Beloved you are mine!”

 

“I hold you in my hand,

Never should you worry,

For I your Father send my love,

With each and every flurry.”

 

So if from this little poem,

There is something that you take.

It’s to look beyond the cold and snow,

And enjoy the beauty of each flake!