Brazil's Apostolic League of Women turns 50.

Communication Team-Women's League Brazil

 The awareness of being more like Mary everywhere I go

Five decades have passed filled with multiple stories, challenges, conquests and special graces from the Queen and Mother. On July 18, 2021, Schoenstatt’s Apostolic League of Women celebrated its 50th anniversary of being founded in Brazil. United by virtual means as well as in person, the members of the Women’s League had a special program for the weekend.
On Saturday (July 17th) members from around the country prayed the Holy Rosary together. The Southern and Northeastern regions celebrated a jubilee encounter in which they renewed the MTA’s crowning. A jubilee mass was celebrated in Londrina/PR, the city where the league took its first steps.

Aguida Maria Lopes Magalhães, from the Northeastern region, said: “The Apostolic League of Women has allowed me to acquire a greater awareness of what being a Christian woman is. This awareness of being more like Mary everywhere I go, whether at home, with my family or at work, made me live and want to commit myself further to my self-knowledge and gave me the will to introduce our Blessed Mother to others.”




Thanks to the Apostolic League, I fell in love with the Movement

The celebrations took place in five Brazilian states. Magda Lúcia Caldeira Navarro, from the Southeastern region, stated “I learned to fall in love with the Movement with the Apostolic League of Women, then I began immersing myself in the wonderful world of the ideal of being a Living Tabernacle of the Most High. I cannot imagine my life without my complete “yes” to the Shrine, giving my life for the MTA and her work.”

In the Tabor Shrine of Freedom in the State of Minas Gerais, a group from the Apostolic Women’s League sealed their Covenant of Love during the jubilee celebration.  Carla Bianchetti is part of this group and states: “From today on we are a single Family. May we all become a ray of light and hope for other women. May we all remain true and faithful to our Covenant.”



We began the League in Brazil with five women

Natalia Kist, from the Southern region, expressed that this jubilee had rekindled her love and enthusiasm: “I feel that within each branch there is room for all of us, in every stage of our lives, and that we can (and should) evolve as women in society, but also as part of a group. Even with the difficulties, we have to give ourselves and blindly trust our Mother Thrice Admirable. This will always be the best and only way for me.”
Ana Becker lives in the city of Curitiba, Paraná, and belongs to the founding generation of the Women’s League in Brazil. She recalls: “We started the Apostolic League of Women in Brazil with five women. It is a great joy to be able to celebrate our golden jubilee today. I just want to thank our Mother Thrice admirable for this blessing, for this jubilee and hope for many more years to come for the Apostolic League of Women in Brazil.”

Flood Disaster – Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary are Close to the People

Sr. M. Anrika Dold

Sister M. Anrika Dold reports what she has experienced there

As we arrived in the place of the food disaster, at about 1:30 PM, a young man on a bicycle rode toward us and showed us the way. A man guided us while backing our car and then offered us his private parking place. He had a bakery here.

We had brooms and mops with us—also buckets. We soon realized that there was a need here. The buckets were gone within an hour and by evening there were no more booms, there were only some mops.

When we arrived with our things at the tent, we were first given an orientation by R, the on-site coordinator. Donations in kind arrived already while we were being oriented: large and small deliveries, packages of food, water, canned food, fruit, shoes, clothing, hand tissues, dishes, disposable gloves–Telecom also passed through and distributed some cell phones and powerbanks for free.

R. was responsible for the things that could and could not be accepted. R. had a flower shop, but it was destroyed. [He thought] it is better to pitch in here than to sit around at home. And that he does—from early in the morning until late at night, without enjoying any real break.

The Pilgrim MTA (Mother Three times admirable) was also there

– as she was at the wedding at Cana: “… and the mother of Jesus was there.” Without many words, I simply placed her in the corner of the tent where we could put our private things. Later a woman handed out roses and gave us one. I put it before the image of the Blessed Mother thinking: This one is for you, a rose for Mary!
In general, we experienced much openness and gratitude. We entered into conversation with so many people affected by the disaster.


–  For example, a young man who came into the tent with his very pregnant wife and her mother told us that he came home just five minutes before everything broke loose.  He managed to help his wife escape with him to the highest floor of the house just in time—they would not have been able to get out of the house because the water came rushing in so quickly and blocked all exists. He said that now they are staying with her parents.  I immediately thought of the image of shelter seeking* and we spoke shortly about that. How good it is that they now have a place to stay.

Our Lady understands every suffering

–  There were a few chairs in front of the tent and an elderly couple was resting there. The husband was sitting in the shade. He said that he has experienced so very many difficult things in his life. And tears came to his eyes as he told us how he lost both of his parents at the age of seven. His wife wanted to know to which community we belong. She had not heard of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. I showed them our image of the MTA on a small card and said, “This is our picture of grace.” I told them that the Mother of God understands every suffering. I told the woman she could keep the card. The man put it in his pocket very reverently saying, “The cross is still hanging in our cellar – everything else was washed away. I’m keeping it. You know, I could never discard a cross even if I’m not really a church-goer. My pastor explained to me that there is a difference: There is God and Jesus – and then there is the Church.”
“And this God is with us now, too,” I could tell him, “through all the people who are helping. He never abandons us!”

– Another man who came into the tent hardly spoke a word. With faltering speech he told us where he is staying now after this flood: His daughter and her family took him in. He was moved by how they all took care of him. And then he told us about all he had already mastered in his life: His wife was infirm and he took care of her for 40 years although many people told him he should obtain a separation from her. She died five years ago. Again and again tears came to his eyes. He, too, received a little MTA-card and gladly accepted it.

–  A woman who passed by told us that not until today did she learn that her two adult children are still alive. Until now she hadn’t had contact with them anymore—and she wiped her tears away. Devoutly she put the MTA card into her pocket and thanked us very much for it.

The time flew by. By evening I was really exhaused, but we still made a round through the city. We took with us little gifts that a kindergarten class left at out stand: Paper bags the children had decorated. Inside were little toys and sweets for children.

We had not gone 100 meters distance when we saw a few young people and a few children. We began to speak with them and gave the children some of the paper bags. The two young women said jokingly that there are also big children and they also received two bags.



And it’s like we’ve known each other for a long time….

Then they explained that they worked here in the bakery. A young man said that at the beginning of this year he had taken the business over from his father. And now everything was destroyed, the entire bakery was gone. “Do you want to look? You’re welcome to go in.”
We accepted his invitation and looked at everything. It was still a picture of devastation even though the worst mud had been removed from everything. Then the master baker entered with his wife. When he saw me he said, “We’ve met before!”
It was the friendly man who in the morning had given us his parking place. They are all going to stick together now and try not to get discouraged. They will stand by each other and together will make it. It is as if we had known each other for a long time.

They are simply there and do.

Yes, that’s my overall impression: In the midst of the disaster there is so much hopefulness — and it is visible by how much readiness to help exists in the depths of people. It is as a ZDF-documentary about the flood states at the end:

“Perhaps it is really true,
that the worst of times
bring out the best in us.”

Around 8:00 PM we returned home—the images of devastation and the fate of the people with us, but also the knowledge: It is important that we are there, that the Church is present.

Where else should it be now except near the people?


Source: Schoenstatt Sisters



International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest

Dr. Péter und Orsi Török, Sr. Gertrud-Maria Erhard

The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Budapest, Hungary, from September 5-12, 2021, under the motto “All my springs are in you” (Ps 87:7). The Congress was to be held in 2020, but, due to the pandemic, it was postponed for a year. It will be quite special since Pope Francis will be present on September 12, 2021. 

For two years the Schoenstatt Movement in Hungary has been preparing for this event, expanding on the awareness of the mystery of the Eucharist.

Using Father Kentenich’s approach, we sought the connection between theological truths and everyday life. Our annual Schoenstatt conference, in view of the mystery of the Eucharist and of the sacrament of Marriage as well, has formulated this year’s motto: “One with you“.


One with you

Love for the Eucharist and adoration has become a real current in our Movement in preparation for the Eucharistic Congress. Young people and families meet regularly for hours of adoration. At all the family gatherings that take place at our Schoenstatt center in Óbudavár during the year and especially in the summer, it has already become customary for those who wish to do so to come to the shrine for adoration before breakfast and before the evening program. This way we experience the blessing of having young people and couples praying together before the Blessed Sacrament.


Further development as a source of grace


As a contribution of the Hungarian Schoenstatt Family Movement to the Eucharistic Congress and to the Church in general, we see the need to explore, witness, practice and convey the connection between the sacrament of Marriage and the sacrament of the Eucharist. The desire to develop the profound connection between the two as a source of grace was given to us many years ago by Father Tilmann Beller.

Christ is present not only in the sacrament of the altar, but also in the sacrament of Matrimony. We genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament. This gesture of faith brings us closer to God, who is hidden in the Eucharist. Since Christ is also present in the sacrament of Matrimony, Father Beller once genuflected before every married couple at a family gathering. To this day, the passion and devotion for Christ in the sacrament of Marriage is still alive in these couples.


A New Marriage Route in the Light of the Eucharist


A spark ignited, spread, and gave shape to our lives. Thus, the idea of developing a marriage route in the light of the Eucharist was born. We were inspired by Father Kentenich’s organic thinking and the writings of the popes during the last decades. The route consists of 15 “stations”, with 15 panels, places where the text presented helps to meditate on a particular aspect of married life.

God gives himself to us in the sacrament of Marriage and in the Eucharist. Each station of this marital route focuses on an aspect of this connection. The God of life, who created us as male and female, wants us to experience affection and tenderness not only with our intellect, but with all our senses. We can experience God’s fire and the intimacy of love in marriage and in the mystery of the Eucharist. Just as the Church assures the presence of Jesus in the sacred Host, we are assured of his closeness in the domestic Church through the sacrament of Matrimony. This includes love and fidelity, the giving of life, time together, cross-bearing, care for sick and elderly relatives, ….  As in the Holy Mass, we also experience “life’s mass”: Sursum corda, Credo, Adoratio, Communio, Confessio, Passio, Dominus vobiscum, Ite missa est.             

15 panels of the new marriage route illustrate this. In Óbudavár, the Hungarian Schoenstatt Center, there is already a second “marriage route”. The panels are located around the Shrine, each with an accompanying pew, facing in the direction of the Schoenstatt chapel, expressing the longing to grow in the love of Jesus on the path of marriage.



The missionary cross as symbol of the Eucharistic Congress


he central symbol of the Eucharistic Congress in Budapest is a bronze cross, more than three meters high, containing the relics of 16 Central European saints. It is called the Missionary Cross and has been touring Hungary for two years for the cause of Christian renewal. This cross was made in 2007 by goldsmith Csaba Ozsvári, a member of the Hungarian Schoenstatt Family Federation, who died unexpectedly in 2009 after a solemn mass in Óbudavár. Csaba had offered his life for the spiritual renewal of Hungary at the Mass before his death.

On July 4, 2021, a replica of this cross was erected in Óbudavar. The cross expresses for us that we want to be united with Jesus, with the Church, and with our spouse, and this often means carrying that cross. The missionary cross is a constant invitation to apostolic work and to our renewal in the Eucharist, because: “All my springs are in you”.

You can also read:

The Matrimonial Route: Our way to the Shrine

Strengthen Your Marriage


The Blessed Mother in the new Marian temple in Costa Rica

Schoenstatt Costa Rica is preparing to cover the cost of the stained-glass window.


The news of the construction of a great Marian church and that one of its stained-glass windows would bear the image of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt has been very exciting for the Schoenstatt Family in Costa Rica.

This motivated the Family Movement in the East to set up a collection, which was very successful, to cover the cost of the stained-glass window. The person in charge of this great work is the engineer Juan Carlos Baeza, member of the Family Branch.


Covenant partner‘s contributions combined with the Blessed Mother’s contribution.

The Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt is now in the new church of the Immaculate Conception Parish, located in Union de Cartago, Costa Rica, 15 minutes from San José, the national capital, and about 40 minutes from the Schoenstatt Shrine. The MTA is part of a group of sixteen invocations in honor of our Blessed Mother, which are represented by different original icons created by the Costa Rican artist Paula en el Bosque. Each icon has been placed in a window measuring more than six meters. Together they make up the architectural framework of the temple, which was designed by architect Paul Barboza Agüero. It has an octagonal shape that represents the new creation, where Christians can assemble around the altar.


Juan Carlos Baeza, feels blessed to be the director of this great project together with Father Denis Féliz De La Cruz, who was called to build a new temple for the community of Concepción de la Unión thus having a larger space for the celebration of the Eucharist given the population growth.

Due to its characteristics, this will be a Marian shrine, which will allow the people to get closer to Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the new Ark of the Covenant. She carries Jesus Christ, the completed mandate which is love.


Important is always to give the best in all what we do

Juan Carlos Baeza expressed that he never imagined he would be able to work on such an important project in his life but is convinced that the Blessed Mother prepared his heart to give of himself in every detail with care and generosity for the honor and glory of the heavenly Father.


And he added: “During this whole process I experienced the mystery of Divine Providence, since every joy, problem or situation that has arisen is part of God’s perfect plan, because everything happens when it is time, which is often difficult to understand. Only when one has faith in the work that He entrusts to us, the time spent and all the effort are worth it”. He added that “it has been impressive to see how the work that has been done day by day has had an impact on so many people. That is why it is important to always give the best of each one of us in everything we do, because God is always at work”.


Finally, Mr. Baeza thanks all the people who have worked with him in different ways throughout the construction process and his wife Carolina, who has been an unconditional support during this task.

Every house is built by someone, but the builder of all is God”. Heb 3,4
And he finishes: “All the prayers, blessings, beautiful words, gestures, all the nice things that people have shown me, give me the strength to move forward and realize that this work goes beyond our present lives. I am sure that with the Blessed Mother’s intercession and everyone’s support we will soon see the completion of this Marian Shrine. I invite you to do your bit and be part of this great blessing”.


“Every house is built by someone, but the builder of all is God”. Heb 3,4


We are grateful for every donation to the Immaculate Conception Parish, which can be made by contacting the phone number +506-2279 5760. Also visit: Parish Immaculate Conception in Facebook.

More about Costa Rica:

Schoenstatt in Cartago, Costa Rica: a festive celebration

4th Anniversary of Schoenstatt Shrine in Costa Rica

Pope Francis prayed with Grandparents

Vatican City

Grandparents’ feast

On the occasion of the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, Archbishop Dr. Heiner Koch, chairman of the Commission for Marriage and Family of the German Bishops’ Conference, encouraged everyone to translate this celebration into concrete activities. Therefore, the Archbishop of Berlin, encouraged different generations to get together on this day to share stories and experiences. He further emphasized that older people carry with them a treasure of life experiences and faith that is worth sharing and keeping alive for the next generations, their grandchildren. Archbishop Koch’s proposal for parish pastoral workers is especially relevant. He suggests that they “summon and invite grandparents and the elderly to write down stories of their life and faith experience, collect them and publish them on their parish’s website” so that they can also contribute to the exchange.


Receiving a visit from an angel

In his message Pope Francis was very specific when he explains that the meaning of this World Day, after the long period of isolation we have been through, is that all grandparents, all the elderly receive a visit from an angel. “Sometimes these angels will have the face of our grandchildren, sometimes that of relatives, of good and old friends, or of people we have just met in these difficult moments.”

For its part, the Dicastery will grant the youth who visit their grandparents the plenary indulgence established by the decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary, and it could be an opportunity to watch together the Holy Father’s message or recite together the prayer that was presented on video and can be downloaded at


The official prayer

I thank You, Lord,
for the comfort of Your presence:
even in times of loneliness,
You are my hope and my confidence,
You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!

I thank You for having given me a family
and for having blessed me with a long life.
I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty,
for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for
those that are still ahead of me.
I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You
call me.

Increase, O Lord, my faith,
make me an instrument of your peace,
teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me,
to never stop dreaming
and to tell of your wonders to new generations.

Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,
that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the Earth.
Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,
that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,
the poor consoled and wars ended.

Sustain me in weakness
and help me to live life to the fullest
in each moment that You give me,
in the certainty that you are with me every day,
even until the end of times.

More information:

Pope Francis’ message on the 1st World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly (pdf).
(Source: Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life- website).


Pope Francis and his teachings on sports

The inauguration of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games took place at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. In his teachings on sports, Francis emphasizes values such as teamwork, unity, and fair play.

The Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo 2020 were delayed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, at the arrival of the athletes to the Olympic Village, positive cases of coronavirus were already detected. This triggered the Japanese organization’s anti-covid protocol.

Some of the measures taken to avoid Covid19 infections are as follows:

– There will be no spectators in the stands at the stadiums.

– Hugging between athletes is not allowed.

– Olympic winners will have to put their medals around their own necks to avoid any possible contact.


Pope Francis’ teachings on sports

Pope Francis has repeatedly underlined the educational potential of sports for young people, the importance of “putting oneself on the line” and the merit of “fair play”. He also emphasized the value of a defeat because the greatness of a person is more evident when he or she falls rather than in moments of triumph, both in sports and in life.

The Pope reminded the Special Olympics athletes that sports can be “a universal language that can overcome cultural, social, religious and physical differences, and it can unite people, rendering them participants in the same game and co-protagonists of victories and defeats”.

In an address to the Italian swimmers in 2018 the Pope reflected on the value of sports, saying, “regardless of the technical results, they offer a testimony of discipline, healthy competition and team play. They show what goals can be reached through training, which involves great effort as well as sacrifices.” Pope Francis insisted on the ‘team building’ aspect. It is true that swimming is mainly an individual sport, but by practicing it in a sports society, and at a national level, it becomes a team experience in which collaboration and mutual help are very important”.



The sacred fire of passion: the Olympic torch

In his Open Letter to the Vatican Athletic Team, Francis composed a very motivational speech for the athletes preparing for the Olympic Games. He made a comparison between the flame of the Olympic Games and the burning bush in the book of Exodus. “When I think of sports, I really like the image of fire: it is bright, clean, dazzling. When it becomes a flame, it no longer produces smoke: it is mysterious, brilliant. It is the sacred fire of passion, which heats without consuming.”

Throughout his open letter, the Supreme Pontiff encouraged young athletes to pursue their dreams of victory in spite of any suffering. Along this same line, earlier this year, in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, the Pope noted: “Victory gives you a thrill that is difficult to describe, but there is also something marvelous about defeat. Wonderful victories can be born from certain defeats because you unleash the desire for redemption after identifying the mistake. I would even add that winners don’t know what they are missing out on.“

In these Olympic Games, may the athletes discover the glory of trust in the team, the value of a hug not given or of a muffled applause. May we all appreciate the fraternity of those rings united and intertwined. And may the torch of hope be lit, like a sacred fire that will not be extinguished, in our hearts.


Angelus Prayer Pope Francis - 07.25.2021

Photos:, Pixabay (Günther Simmermacher; Anncapictures)


Like a child in the hands of God: Gabriel Oberle to be ordained deacon

Karen Bueno

The Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Fathers will celebrate this Saturday, July 24, at 10:00 am, the deacon ordination of seminarian Gabriel Felipe Oberle. Let us pray for Gabriel, for his vocation and for his new mission.


Who is Gabriel, the soon to be deacon?

Gabriel was born in Londrina and chose as the motto for this deacon ordination the phrase: “The child grew up and became strong, full of wisdom. And the grace of God was with him” (Lk 2:40).

The ceremony will be limited to a small group of family and friends due to the pandemic, even though everyone is invited to follow the celebration on July 24, 2021, at 10 a.m. (local time), through the Sion Shrine’s Youtube channel.

What follows is the interesting interview with Gabriel, in which he talks about this very special moment for the Schoenstatt family:

How did you get to know the Schoenstatt Fathers’ community and what prompted you to immerse yourself in this journey?

I had visited the Schoenstatt Shrine in Londrina with my parents since I was a child, but I did not know the Schoenstatt Movement. In 2008, a friend invited me to participate in the Covenant Circle to make a consecration to the Blessed Virgin, which I sealed on July 5th of that same year. A week before the Covenant, I was invited to take part in the University Missions that took place at the end of that same month. Since then, I began to participate in the Boys’ Youth (JUMAS) and a friendship with the Fathers and seminarians of Londrina was born.

I have always participated actively in the parish. So, the vocational issue was not something new for me, and it was also present when I joined the Boy’s Youth. I think that the casualness and friendship with the Fathers led me to go back to that question, and begin a new course of answers.

For you, why is it worthwhile to choose to be a priest?

I think it is worthwhile to accept the option that God has for us. Our life is in His hands, we just need to recognize it. God called me to the priesthood so that I could be happy and bring Christ to others, and I accepted that call. If I look at the story of my life, I can find many moments in which Mary was present by my side and helped me to find happiness. At the same time, I can recognize that my whole life journey was a path seeking happiness next to God.


When we look at our life as a journey of happiness, reality finds its true meaning.

Therefore, more than thinking about whether it was worthwhile to choose to become a priest, I believe that it is worthwhile to give my life to the path to which God has called me. This way, I can be happier and bring Christ to the people he places along my path.


“The child grew and became strong, full of wisdom. And the grace of God was with him” (Lk 2:40).

Why did you choose this motto for your deacon ordination and what do you expect from it for this ministry?

The ordination motto came through the same way, surrendering myself to God’s will. It was a journey of recognizing myself as a child in God’s hands.

During the ordination retreat with my course brothers, I found a picture in a book that caught my attention. It was a picture by Brother Roger (founder of the Taizé Community) of a child with a small plane in his hands. I kept that image in mind, but I changed the plane for a paper boat, a symbol that has been with me for many years. The little paper boat reminds me of that same surrender in the hands of the craftsman, it reminds me of the history I have written on paper, it reminds me of my frailties, it reminds me of the importance of art, etc. This is how that little paper boat in the hands of that child managed to represent several personal elements.

The second step was the one that led me to the motto. With the image of the child with the little boat already assembled, I got closer and closer to the image of the child Jesus, who learns to walk with Joseph and Mary, who plays in the garden at home, who helps Joseph in the carpenter’s shop, who runs to ask Mary for bread. A Jesus who grew up like any other child, who went through a whole journey of discoveries and development. I then looked for this verse which represents in a few words all that process that Jesus went through with the Grace of God.

Finally, I always trusted that I have a Guardian Angel who accompanies and protects me. Since my name is Gabriel, in a way the image of the Archangel Gabriel has always been present for me in God’s grace, I believe that I grew up with the presence of my Guardian Angel by my side. That is why I have chosen the prayer of the Holy Angel for this special moment in my life.



Photos: cathopic,

Mario Hiriart, a life of heroic sanctity

Fr. Eduardo Aguirre

His life’s journey: heroic sanctity

From the moment Mario came into contact with Schoenstatt, at the age of 16, he committed himself consistently and with fidelity. From then on, he began a serious evolvement in his religious life, identifying himself increasingly with Schoenstatt’s ideals. In his first annotations written in his personal notebook, which he began to write in 1948 and kept until his death, he already clearly expressed his serious aspiration for sanctity.

In order to do good, I need a basis, a foundation: spiritual life. To give glory to God I need to have prepared myself for this task; this preparation implies a spiritual achievement that allows me to stand above the environment I wish to influence; I must therefore sanctify myself. To sanctify myself I must intensify the fulfillment of my duties as a student, since the primary obligation of every Catholic is the exact fulfillment of his present duties. The faithful accomplishment of one’s professional duties must be offered to God as a sacrifice made for His glory and for the love of Him.”


Instrument in the hands of the Blessed Mother

Mario consecrated himself as a layman with the Brothers of Mary, as an instrument in the hands of the Blessed Mother. Gradually, Mario came to identify himself completely with Schoenstatt, with its spirituality and ideals, discovering in it his journey of faith, his way of participating in the life of the Church and his commitment as a Christian in the midst of the world.

As he participated in and assimilated Father Kentenich’s teachings, he became one of the founders of Schoenstatt in Chile where he was a member of the first youth group that emerged in Bellavista and one of its most determined, enthusiastic, and consistent leaders

Schoenstatt, my whole world

As he learned more about Schoenstatt’s spirituality and pedagogy, his admiration for the Founding Father, Father Kentenich, grew. In 1957 he wrote in his diary:


“Today is October 18, my tenth October 18 as a Schoenstatter. It has been 10 years of a total transformation of my whole life. Dear Mother, I do not believe that it is a simple evolution resulting from the end of adolescence: I believe I can say that I discovered myself in these years, that I discovered why I exist, that I found the reason for my life. Yes, dear Mother, that’s it. Before knowing Schoenstatt, the reason for my life seemed to be to read and study, but now, dear Mother, everything is so different!

These 10 years have uncovered a whole new world for me. I think I can say with complete honesty that Schoenstatt has become my whole world, an immense and marvelous world, from which I live and for which I live. My whole life, dear Mother, now has no sense without the little chapel, without you in it, our Covenant of Love, our Father Kentenich, the whole Family. I have found people who have given me a supernatural human love, I have found parents, brothers, sisters, I have found peace in moments of uneasiness. Dear Mother, I have been happy there because I have had all this being with you. Therefore, dear Mother, today I want to renew my Covenant of Love with you in your Shrine”.

Other quotes from his journal

On April 18, 1957, he wrote:

“Dear Mother, regarding the renewal of my consecration, which I will make immediately (exactly at midnight on Holy Thursday), I want to give it the character of an Act of personal Loyalty to Father Kentenich”.

And later, on January 3, 1958:

“… (I see the) need of being completely attached to Father Kentenich as the only way to bring about Schoenstatt in us, which he embodies. My dear Mother, you know how my attachment to him has increased in the last few years. I understand perfectly that he is the father of the Family, and that every member of the Family who wants to live it to the fullest has to be like him. The only way to be a true Schoenstatter is to assimilate oneself to the model of a Schoenstatt lifestyle, which is our Father and Founder.

That is also why it is necessary to create a vital personal relationship with him, because one can only imitate what one knows and loves. Therefore, it is fundamental for us to know and love Father Kentenich intensely, to establish with him the deepest vital relationship possible”.


From Bellavista, on July 8, 1956, Mario wrote to Father Kentenich:

“Dear Founding Father:  The path of my vocation, as I see it today, was my personal conviction that Christianity in our time imperatively demands an extraordinary degree of lay sanctity. This lay sanctity must be translated into a determined vocation to a profession and a mission in the lay world, upheld by a perfectly Christian and theocentric conception of the lay life and carried out with a heroism equal to or even greater than that of the greatest martyrs of the Church. The lay state of life must also be an ordinary way of sanctification.”
Mario Hiriart died of cancer in Milwaukee, USA, on July 15, 1964, where Father Joseph Kentenich, upon visiting him, gave him the last rites. His remains rest behind the Schoenstatt Shrine in Bellavista, Santiago, Chile.


Related video (in spanish): ⇒Mario Hiriart, un video que tocará tu corazón

Related articles: Mario Hiriart, a layman with the makings of a saint, Capital of Grace and serious aspiration for holiness



Mario Hiriart, a layman with the makings of a saint

Fr. Eduardo Aguirre

Mario Hiriart: Venerable Servant of God

The cause for the beatification of Mario Hiriart in its first diocesan phase was officially opened in Santiago, Chile on October 20, 1998. It was closed on September 2, 2004, and all the documentation was sent to Rome to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The second stage, the Roman phase of the process, lasted several years and finally, on February 21, 2020, Pope Francis declared Mario Hiriart “Venerable Servant of God”. This means that the Church considers that Mario:

  • Lived, on a personal, family, professional and apostolic level, allowing himself to be inspired always by the Holy Spirit.
  • Was always guided by faith, driven by charity, and sustained by hope.
  • Practiced the cardinal virtues along with many others in an exemplary and heroic manner.
  • Developed the Christian virtues in a constant, faithful and joyful manner according to his state of life and in accordance with his responsibilities. All this amid the challenges and difficulties of daily life and the environment in which he had to function.
  • Lived it all in an extraordinary way and to a greater extent than any good Christian would in the same circumstances.

Mario Hiriart: The makings of a Saint

The Church also recognizes and affirms that Mario has the “makings of a saint” and that his life is exemplary for every Christian, especially for the laity, throughout the world.

Currently, only the authentication of a miracle through Mario’s intercession is needed for him to be declared Blessed. Then, with a second miracle, he could be canonized and celebrated as a saint in the universal Church.

The Church’s recognition of Mario’s merits for our times offers us an outstanding model of lay life amid the world. It also conveys a great incentive to aspire to the ideals and commitment to the mission, according to the Schoenstatt charism.

Mario Hiriart lived the Covenant of Love in depth, maturing in his love for Mary, to whom he gave himself with a deep, warm, and intimate filial love, to the point of offering his life. He was deeply rooted in the Shrine of Bellavista, which became his spiritual home and the source of graces in his struggle for sanctity.

As expressed above, Mario fully identified with Schoenstatt’s charism and assumed it as his life mission. This led him to consecrate himself as a layman within the Brothers of Mary, seeking at every step to be an instrument in the hands of the Blessed Mother.


Lay and apostolic holiness in today’s world.

As a result, Mario Hiriart gained a clear perception of the challenges of his time and of the Church’s mission to evangelize today’s culture. He fully identified with Father Kentenich’s prophetic vision, which affirms that the present time requires lay saints, who by their actions and commitment, sanctify society and culture.

As he learned more about Schoenstatt’s spirituality and pedagogy, his admiration for the Founding Father grew – whom he met personally in 1948 and during Father Kentenich’s following visits to Chile – and whom he came to consider a charismatic, prophetic figure for our times. To the extent that he became personally attached to him, he recognized himself as his disciple and spiritual son.

Shortly before Mario’s death in Milwaukee, Father Kentenich commented to Father G. Boll: “Mario is an extraordinary man, I would say that he is the ideal of the manly man, the one we want to form in Schoenstatt; clear in intelligence, strong in will, with depth in the affective life and above all, with a depth of soul, penetrated by the grace of God"

Visit also: Schoenstatt Institute Brothers of Mary and Schoenstatt International Newsletter Apr.2020

Croatia – becoming a heart in the Father

Claudia Brehm

During his pastoral visits in Croatia, Father Horn always makes it a point to listen to the local people, to make joint decisions in meetings, to celebrate Mass with those responsible for the Movement, and to give them spiritual impulses. This also includes visiting the families of his co-workers.


When the earth shook

In Zagreb, where earthquakes killed people and destroyed many buildings in March and December 2020, the significant damage can still be seen. Churches, like the Zagreb Cathedral, cannot be used as places of worship for years to come, and some have been replaced by assembly churches. It is a good thing that the Schoenstatt Family in Zagreb is characterized by great cohesion. Through donations collected together, it was possible to help a family to rebuild their destroyed house. It is also helpful for this region that interested diocesan priests were found there who gladly support the Schoenstatt communities.



In Croatia – Landscaping at the shrine in Ivanovici

At the shrine in Ivanovici, which was inaugurated in 2018, it was possible to build connecting paths to the shrine last month. At the intersection of these paths, the architect depicted the well-known Schoenstatt symbol in a circle (see photo). The symbols of the Eucharist, chalice and host will also be added in the wider area.


A scepter for Mary

Pilgrimages of women and mothers to both Shrines took place in May with very good numbers of participants for pandemic conditions, 70 and 50 mothers respectively. They presented the Blessed Mother with a scepter (see photo) that Mary, with her maternal help, will take over the scepter in the manifold needs of this time, world and Church, will prove effective. Some mothers expressed their great confidence in her by sealing the Covenant of Love.


Preparation for the installation of the Father Symbol

On September 18th of this year, the Father Symbol will be placed in Ivanovici, an artistically designed eye that wants to point to God’s unconditional love, faithfulness and vigilant concern for all people and His earth. One year later, in August 2022, the Father Symbol will be placed in the Shrine of Mala Subotica.

Many local communities have gladly embraced and spread the “A Heart in the Father” retreat as a guide to life. Father Horn wrote seven reflections on the Father Symbol for the retreat theme, which were sent to a large number of members of the Croatian Schoenstatt Family on seven consecutive Saturdays. The addressees, in turn, copied the reflections for others or forwarded them electronically. In this way, these annual retreats had an amazingly wide distribution. Everyone received a photograph of the Father Symbol and the common preparatory prayer along with the contemplation texts.


Now new suggestions for personal conversation with God were added. Especially the group of women and mothers became involved in this preparation and now tries to find the traces of divine providence and guidance in the daily evening prayer and to become grateful for the daily gifts of Father.


Cooperation with the national pilgrimage place Marija Bistrica in Croatia

The 15th century black miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary in this shrine, which was declared a national shrine in 1971, attracts many thousands of people every year, some of whom come on pilgrimage on foot from far away.

In the forecourt there is a large field altar where masses are celebrated outdoors and confessions are heard. In the midst of this, a devotional space has now been created where adoration takes place on weekends during confession times. On a nearby hill, a large Stations of the Cross have been built with life-size sculptures. There Father Horn was invited to serve for two weeks hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. He writes: “It was an enriching experience for me, especially because in Marija Bistrica the ‘Croatian heart’ really beats and I could absorb many things. There were many contacts also with priests. I was very well received by the five who are constantly serving at the shrine.”



Read more: Croatia a family full of passion