This motto wants to be a pedagogical aid that will remind us what our mission is for this particular year. We are encouraged to use the motto at every branch or Movement activity; it is part of the work we do.
In coming up with the motto, we first considered the gift of missionary spirit from the document, Schoenstatt on the Move, which served as an impulse to put us on the right track. This missionary zeal developed from our motto from the last two years, “With Mary we go, a new Pentecost for our times.” After this Pentecost we experienced the desire to go out. Our leaders were on fire for the gift of our mission and we spread this zeal amongst ourselves and embraced our spirituality and love for the Blessed Mother. Now, however, we wanted to define a more specific goal for our Schoenstatt branches, for our dioceses, and in the peripheries of the society we inhabit. We derived inspirations from the address that the Holy Father gave to the Schoenstatt Family in Rome, and the sending out address from Father Heinrich Walter at the Jubilee Celebration in Germany. These discussions and both addresses heavily centered on creating a Culture of Encounter by forming authentic attachments, strengthening our solidarity, and striving for sanctity through the Covenant of Love with our Blessed Mother. From the discussions at the Delegates’ Convention, the leaders narrowed it down to four themes: spirituality, unity, mission and culture of encounter.
These themes generated a direction for our motto. The leaders immediately recognized a deep need to go from our cenacle (A New Pentecost for our Times) and be missionaries for the renewal of our culture. We spoke at length about the emptiness of our culture, the deterioration of the family, the loneliness and the yearning for God in our society. At the onset, the leaders came to a consensus on the words “renewal”, “missionary”, and “covenant culture”. We realized that these words contained the spirit of the answer we were searching for. These words point to a fact: Schoenstatt serves to renew the Church and the world as missionaries by creating covenant culture. Like a family, we shared our perspectives, spent some time in prayer to the Holy Spirit, and engaged in some lively creative tensions. We were certain, however, that we did not want to come up with a passive motto. We wanted a motto that would create momentum, challenge us, but also be authentic and specific to what we want to accomplish. What was the end goal? To change our culture and renew our Church. And we knew that we could not do this alone—we remembered, “With Mary we Go.” She is the great missionary. We also wanted to strive to be “missionary-saints” and our style of sanctity clearly has a name: Mary.
The last struggle centered on the image of how to create covenant culture. We wanted something powerful yet relatable, specific and actionable. We considered words such as “forging”, “spreading”, “forming”, “shaping”, “living” and we finally came to the consensus that the word, “building” best described our mission. The action of building requires intensive effort and unified commitment. In this we also saw our efforts to build upon Father Kentenich’s legacy and the Shrine, the Blessed Mother’s workshop. After all the discussions, talks, and inspirations, we were honored to work together to unveil the motto that both identifies and motivates our life stream for the coming year: Missionaries of Mary, Building Covenant Culture.
At the Confidentia Shrine in Lamar, October 9, 2016
During the Marian Jubilee of Mercy