By Zach & Rebecca Willard
My husband and I made our covenant of love with the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt last Covenant Sunday, June 21, 2020, at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Waukesha
I knew Schoenstatt because my grandma had a home shrine since my mom was little. That is why I wanted to make the covenant of love, to eventually have our home shrine, too. My grandma had ten kids and they have all remain steadfast and very strong in their Catholic faith. I believe that our Blessed Mother has guided each one of them through their life because of this covenant, the home shrine, and the promises that come with it.
My husband and I went to a meeting at Schoenstatt thinking we could get a home shrine that same day we went. We quickly realized that it is a process and it takes time.
I still don’t have a home shrine, but our Blessed Mother knew that I first needed to learn about what Schoenstatt is all about, and through it, deepen my faith. Now I realize why. I not only learned much about Schoenstatt, but also about myself – and I actually now look at life differently.
I truly cannot tell you how much it changed me and everything I do. The big take away in my personal life is that I give my joys, sufferings, and sorrows to God through the hands of Mary in what we call contributions to the capital of grace. I learned all about this through the sessions leading up to the covenant. I learned that giving these gifts of love, I open my heart to receive so many more graces beyond what I can ever give. I learned that the Mother Trice Admirable is present in the shrine, and she is there to intercede special graces for us. I learned that our Blessed Mother cannot intercede these special favors without our cooperation, and that we can do so much more in our lives if we count on her power and kindness.
I cannot wait to dedicate my home to Mary and have a home shrine one day. It will be an opportunity to have our Blessed Mother help my family stay close in faith and lead us to follow Christ, lead us to heaven.
There is so much more that I could say about what I learned. If you are reading this and you are getting this feeling in your heart that you should make this covenant or look into it more, take the first steps right now and just call Schoenstatt. If you are reading this late at night you can always leave a message and they will get back to you. Life is so busy that you might forget about it. Do not miss this opportunity to grow deeper in your faith in a way you never have before. This will benefit not only you but your family as well.
In the initial gathering we met with one of the sisters and she gave us a packet. It was very organized and there was a topic for each gathering/session. There were seven sessions all together – about an hour long each. At the initial meeting we all agreed what day and time works best for everyone.
Before each session we had to read the chapter assigned. The reading was very short, but it was nice to read before each gathering so that we could ask questions about the topic. Each session had a different person presenting that was very familiar with the topic and had gone through the covenant. It was really nice to hear from different people and their experiences.
Things we had to do for the covenant were to write a letter or a prayer that we would read to the Blessed Mother. The instructions for doing this were found in the packet. We also had to decorate a candle — as a reminder of our baptismal covenant — which is also discussed in the packet.
Our covenant day was just beautiful! There is something called divine providence that you will learn about in one of the sessions and it truly was a day of divine providence for my husband and I. There were so many little things that we realized happened on our covenant day that made it more meaningful and really knew God had a part in picking this day.
My husband and I went through the process together to make this covenant. It is so amazing that our Blessed Mother has led us to receive this covenant. Our “yes” to doing this has given us so much joy, knowing our Blessed Mother is in our family. She wants to work with us and give us of her gifts and graces beyond what we can even imagine.
I believe that our family will get lots of gifts and graces from just receiving this covenant. Knowing the six promises and demands that are part of this covenant, we will now continue to strive to keep our part in this mutual bond with Mary. She will guide us and protect us as a family through this life and that makes us so happy.
Father Pushpa Antonysamy, Schoenstatt Fathers, officiated the rite of the covenant of love in the shrine.
June 21, 2020