The home shrine is at the center of our married and family life as a domestic church. We form our daily life according to the covenant with our Blessed Mother. We practice a dialogue with each other, with our children and with God and develop our own unique family customs. As parents and children we educate each other to an active responsibility for all tasks of life (job, school, parish, politics, etc.).
In order to keep our relationship with God and with each other alive we uphold the following:
- the celebration of the Eucharist,
- couple communication,
- study of writings by our founder
- regular periods of personal reflection.
As a Secular Institute within the Church we follow Christ according to the evangelical counsels. With this in mind we have developed appropriate modern family forms.
A further element of the community is the encounter with each other. We meet regularly to share and discuss how we are getting on in life. We meet for training as well as the chance to deepen our spirituality. This all provides us with direction, strength and motivation to commit to the areas within our own life.
We bear witness to a spiritual experience that God and the Blessed Mother are present in our home and are effective.
“Take the picture of Our Lady and give her a place of honor in your home. This will then become a shrine in miniature where the picture of grace proves the effect of its graces by creating a holy family land and forming holy family members.”
The well-known corner with a cross hanging in it in catholic-speaking German areas has its form transferred to our home shrine. The effectiveness of this home shrine is based on the reality of the founding event in Schoenstatt, Germany on October 18, 1914 where Our Lady took up her abode in the shrine and began to spread her graces from there. During his family work in Milwaukee/USA a mother once asked Fr. Kentenich: “Can we not ask Our Lady, as in the original shrine, to take up her abode here, in our home, and work her miracles of grace?” This was the trigger for Father Kentenich to pick up the signs already present and to found the home shrine.
For many, many families this has now become a spiritual experience of the presence and work of God and the Blessed Mother in their home.
One custom which has developed over the years is to bless the originally styled home shrine and to include in the consecration prayer all the family’s intentions. This then becomes the central point within family life and the children grow into this world. It is here that the year of the Church can also be experienced with its many different customs in a family-like way.
This also bears significance apostolically, to all those who enter the home and experience the radiating warmth from this home shrine. Life around the home shrine has become for our families a major help to cope with an ever increasing pluralistic and Godless world. In the middle of their daily lives this helps them to experience God and in His covenant and form their lives accordingly.