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Apostolic Movement

England: A group of women experiencing the Covenant of Love

By: Sr. M. Zoja Dombrovskaya

On November 25th a group of mothers had their first face-to-face encounter in Birmingham, England, along with Sister M. Zoja Dombrovskaya, advisor of the Schoenstatt Movement. For the past two years, the mothers have only been meeting virtually.

The women are Polish and have been living with their families in England for many years. On Saturday, November 25th, we spent the whole day in the Shrine with the wonderful ideal: “Your Shrine is our home”. Indeed, the grace of being in this place has a special impact. We were welcomed with open hearts by Schoenstatt Father Bryan Cunningham, who takes care of this unique Schoenstatt Shrine in England.

Ten mothers sealed their Covenant of Love with Mary that day and discovered their spiritual home.

30 women gather for inner growth

Sunday, November the 26th was a day devoted to the apostolate when the mothers organized an open encounter for women in the Polish parish of St. Michael the Archangel. Sister M. Zoja led the lectures and workshops on femininity, with about 30 women in attendance. It was a very important and valuable time with lively encounters.

After the Covenant of Love there was peace and serenity of heart

Anna, from Birmingham, talks about the Mothers’ League meetings: “I joined the Schoenstatt Mothers’ Group in Birmingham a year ago. The meetings with Sister M. Zoja truly help and guide me in my spiritual and personal development. I feel that I am growing as a mother, wife and woman”.

She also expresses that the Covenant of Love helped her to overcome her hardships: “In the last few months we have been preparing to seal a Covenant of Love with Mary. Two weeks before sealing the Covenant, I had a very unpleasant conversation, which weighed heavily on my shoulders. This brought uneasiness to my heart and doubts about whether I should continue my preparation. This was my state of mind when I traveled to Bolton. I felt at home in the Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable, I felt very comfortable and safe there. After the Covenant of Love, peace and serenity flooded my heart. All the difficulties I was carrying ceased to be a problem and I felt that Mary lifted the weight off my shoulders. My heart was reborn with faith and hope that what I was doing was good for women. I asked Our Lady to guide me in fulfilling my vocation. She is already working.”

I really felt at home there

Magdalena, from Birmingham, tells us about her first visit to the Shrine: “The whole day of the retreat was wonderful, I felt the joy of getting there, of being there in person. I had the feeling that something important and valuable was happening. The Shrine is in a beautiful place. I felt at home, I did not want to leave. I experienced the grace of settling there. It was a day we spent together, another day of service to others, where I also opened up to other women who are not from the community.”

Talking about the day after the Covenant of Love, she commented: “I woke up in the morning with so much joy and I had the feeling that Mary was constantly with me. Plus, I have this medal with me, which is a physical reminder of her spiritual presence.”

I hope my relationship with Mary continues to grow

Renata recalls that in her lifetime she has not been too close to Mary and did not consider herself a Marian person. But gradually, the Blessed Mother conquered her heart.

She shares her observations about the Schoenstatt Shrine: “I believe that here we all feel loved, cherished, cared for and needed. We experienced Adoration, Holy Masses, and formation intensely, but we also loved the walks, the shared meals and conversations over coffee and cake. The highlight of our time there was entering into a Covenant with Mary. I am quite enthusiastic when it comes to new challenges, so I entered into the Covenant of Love without hesitation. I didn’t realize the importance of what happened until the next day. I now know that it was definitely very important, and I thank God for allowing Mary to slowly lead me into this Covenant and to claim me. I hope my relationship with Mary continues to grow and I look forward to the next opportunity to visit her in the Shrine.”

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