Hello Everyone!

Greetings from the great state of Texas! My name is Beth Crawford, and I am the North Texas Diocesan leader for the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth and Young Women, and I am also currently on the National Team.

I hope that everyone had a blessed Advent, a holy Christmas, and a happy New Year! Down here for the SGY, during the month of December, we had an older girls Advent Retreat. The theme of our retreat reflected the motto of the year with, “The time is now, be a little Immaculata!” The retreat happened to fall on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and so it happened to revolve around not only Marian theology, but also about how to reflect the Blessed Mother in our lives as little Immaculatas.

We started the day with opening prayer. Following opening prayer, Sr. Danielle Peterson gave a talk on the theology and history behind the Immaculate Conception. We had a break for discussion and reflection among the girls, and then we preceded to the next talk by Sr. Mara Medina on the Immaculata Spirit and how it influences all parts of our lives. After her wonderful talk, we all headed over to Holy Mass, and then had lunch. A guided meditation followed, as the girls pondered on the Blessed Mother’s yes and how they could say yes to the will of the Lord in their lives. The capstone of the beautiful day was with a group dedication of new girls to Schoenstatt. The group name they decided on was Daughters of the Cross, for they hope to bear suffering joyfully in their lives as did the Blessed Mother.

It was such grace-filled day, guided by the Mother Thrice Admirable! She truly was present, helping to smooth things over and even choosing the day for the retreat (long story).

I hope that your Christmas break was holy, joyful, and restful, especially as we move forward into this year filled with school, work, or other responsibilities. And despite the unrest and uncertainty that seems to be in the world right now, may we always know that our Mother and Queen is guiding us and she will never abandon us.

The time is now, burn fearlessly!

Beth Crawford

On December 1st, 2018, standing in the Schoenstatt Shrine in the humble town of Sleepy Eye, I made my covenant of love and began my Schoenstatt mission that would change my life. However, this isn’t where the story starts. The story starts with the formation of a girls’ group back in 2010. After 8 years of monthly meetings that formed the hearts, minds, and souls of us six girls, Sister Faustina decided it was time for us to make our covenant of love. We began our immediate covenant preparation the night before with a lovely dinner full of laughter, jokes, and delicious food. After that, we listened to testimonies of girls who had already made their covenant. I was finally beginning to understand just what I was getting myself into – and I was so excited! We decorated what would be our covenant candles and in them, you could see the personality of every girl; personalities that would soon be joined with the personality of our Blessed Mother. After nearly an hour of beautiful adoration in the Shrine and the writing of our personal covenant prayers, we settled in for a night of peace before the big day. I was so excited that I woke up early to spend time with my Christ before committing myself to His Glorious Mother. Then, the ceremony began. As we read our covenant prayers and declared our promises to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, to our families, friends, and fellow participants in the covenant, my heart began to grow with the love of my Mother. I could sense her very real presence and feel the joy of committing myself fully and totally to her and her Son. What I share with Mary now is a total exchange of hearts. The covenant is so important to me because it has changed the way I live. I am so much more in love with the beauties of this world and so much more intertwined with God’s divine will for me. There is nothing quite like the covenant of love. To receive the heart of Jesus’ mother and to give your heart to her is to seal a vow to strive for sainthood. Because of all of this, I can truly say: I have been changed; I am no longer the same.  

Written by Regina from Minnesota.