Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Women Committed to Following Christ in the World
The Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary are the oldest secular institute of the Roman Catholic Church. As early as 1926, the community was founded by Father Kentenich, the founder of the Schoenstatt Movement. Women had already joined the Schoenstatt Movement during the First World War. At that time there was no legal basis for this new type of community of women, who later banded together to become the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. One of the first Sisters of Mary and co-founder of the community was Sister Maria Emilie Engel, whose beatification process was initiated in 1999.
The community follows in the footsteps of Christ according to the example of Mary. The Sisters of Mary aspire to work in the midst of the world where people rejoice and have hope, where they live in grief and fear, where they shape their lives and their world and are confronted with the great questions of life.
They work in their own community, but also in ecclesial and civil institutions, as well as in various fields of civic life. They hope to imitate and share Mary’s maternal love in selfless service to life and to people in every situation.
The Sisters of Mary do not take vows. Their consecration to God in the spirit of the evangelical counsels is connected with a civil contract which they formalize within their secular institute.
They work in twenty-nine countries worldwide.
There are house communities on all continents, e.g. in Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Spain and Portugal, the Czech Republic, Russia and Belarus; in Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Burundi, India, South Africa, Australia and the Philippines.