This image was taken at the Schoenstatt Confidentia Shrine in Lamar, Texas. It is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited. It’s as if that place was made just for me: It combines my love of beachy/tropical things with my love of heavenly things. It is simple. It is family-focused. It is Catholic.
Our family attempts to visit the shrine at least once a year for the family retreat offered by the Schoenstatt nuns. Attending the retreat offers us much needed rest from daily life and the rejuvenation to jump back into the daily grind with the passion and love that life deserves.
My husband and I both made our Covenant of Love at the family retreat in March 2013. We are so grateful to have found and embraced a spirituality that encourages us to grow together in holiness, and provides us with the tools we need to help our children do the same.
When I was in graduate school, I studied the documents of The Second Vatican Council in depth. I absolutely fell in love with them. To me, they were more than just documents, they were a spirituality. When I discovered Fr. Kentenich’s (the founder of Schoenstatt) writings, many of them sounded as if they could have been written by the Council Fathers at Vatican II. Interestingly, his writings preceded the Council. Nonetheless, his writings, his movement, Schoenstatt, was the Vatican II spirituality that I was looking for.
Schoenstatt offered a way for me to embrace the Council’s universal call to holiness with my husband and to engage in the New Evangelization primarily with my family, and, subsequently, with the world. Certainly, Fr. Kentenich didn’t word his mission quite like that, but, as I said, he proceeded Vatican II. My desire to live faithfully to the documents of Vatican II and my desire to raise a close-knit, holy family found their perfect juncture in Schoenstatt. As such, I can think of no better image to represent who I am to the world than this little snapshot of the humble Confidentia shrine and the palm tree that grows beside her.