For me this is the dream job!
100 years of the Women's Movement in Schoenstatt - A conversation with Sr. M. Linda Wegerer
December 7, 2020 - By: Sr. M. Anna-Simona Menz, Schoenstatt
Sr. M. Linda: Sr. M. Anna-Simona, we are sitting here together in the entrance area of the Marienland Conference Center – and that on a Saturday afternoon. Normally this would be impossible for you. Because you work here at the reception.
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Yes, you are right. But in the middle of the Corona Pandemic many things are no longer normal. This is also the case here in the house, which we had to close for the second time at the beginning of November.
Sr. M. Linda: How are you personally doing in this situation?
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Basically better than in the first lockdown. At that time it was just unbelievable for me. I thought: It can’t be that we can simply close Marienland. But it was! Some groups cancelled themselves, others I had to cancel. And cancelling people who want to come to us is the worst thing for me! I want to be there for the people.
Sr. M. Linda: Yes, I can understand that. Especially because I experience you here at the reception as a fellow sister who fulfills this task with great commitment.
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Yes, I really enjoy my task. For me this is really the dream job! I cannot imagine anything better. It is so versatile and varied. And imagine: Although I’ve been at this job for so long now, things still happen that I’ve never experienced before.
Sr. M. Linda: That is a good keyword. How long have you been here in Marienland, here at the reception?
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: I came to the Marienland Province House as a novice in 1999. In August 2002 I moved to the conference center – first to the service area. And from March 2007 to the reception. – So I have been in this job for 13 years.
Sr. M. Linda: You said that your task is very varied. What does it all involve?
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: The main task is the presence service. Our reception is open 12 hours a day. I am there for the arriving and departing guests and for many questions that need to be answered during the stay. Then my area of responsibility includes various administrative tasks, such as preparing invoices and the like.
Sr. M. Linda: But 12 hours of presence per day are not enough to do alone!
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Of course not! I still have employees.
Sr. M. Linda: You once told me that before you joined, you had already completed your training as a hotel manager.
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Yes, because I was raised in a country inn, so to speak. – For me it was already clear as a teenager that I wanted to do my training in this subject.
Sr. M. Linda: And yet you did not take over your parents’ inn, but ended up as a hotel manageress at the reception in Marienland! How did this come about?
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Even as a child I was allowed to participate in events of the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth. I really liked them. It went on like this for a few years – and later I also took on responsibility myself. From a certain point on, Schoenstatt was a natural part of my life.
In 1996, when I finished my training as a hotel manageress, I felt a certain uneasiness in me, despite my satisfaction at having achieved it: “And, was that it? Is that all you want from life? And – what does the dear God actually want from you?
Sr. M. Linda: Sounds familiar somehow!
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: I felt that I was about to make a decision: should I go on a virginal life path – and if yes, then I will become a Sister of Mary – or should / will I get married and start a family.
Well, now you can see which decision I made.
Sr. M. Linda: Were your parents very disappointed that you chose this path?
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: No! They gave me the freedom to go my way. My mother said, “If this is your way, then it is right.
Sr. M. Linda: Sr. M. Anna-Simona, we are also celebrating 100 years of women’s movement in Schoenstatt in this extraordinary year 2020. I would also like to ask you what you wish for this anniversary.
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: I wish all women that they will recognize more and more the value of being a woman and their personal treasure and that they will happily live their lives from it. And it is a great joy for me to experience that the stay in our house can contribute to this.
Sr. M. Linda: Many thanks for this conversation with you. But now we have to end. Because despite the lockdown you are not unemployed. I see you “working” in various places in the house.
Sr. M. Anna-Simona: Yes, thank God, it is so that we don’t become unemployed. – But I can also tell you: I have never helped as many hours as this year to bake Christmas cookies!
Sr. M. Linda: If that is the case, I don’t want to keep you any longer. Because I am really looking forward to these cookies!