Hermanos de Maria

Posted On 2024-01-29 In Covenant Life

A young layman decides to consecrate his life in the midst of the world

ORIGINAL SHRINE, Roberto M. González • 

Schoenstatt and the Church rejoice when a young layman decides to consecrate his life in the midst of the world, because today it is not easy to understand this decision and especially to take the risk of living as a Schoenstatt Brother of Mary. The Family of the Brothers of Mary, in a simple but touching ceremony, received a new novice into their community. —

On January 20, 2024, Ignacio Suazo, a Chilean sociologist, was admitted to the Novitiate of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary, where he will participate in the life and internal formation of the community for two years.

In an intimate ceremony in the chapel of the Mario Hiriart House in Schoenstatt, the central house of the Institute, the reception was broadcast on Schoenstatt TV and was attended by his parents, who traveled from Chile for the occasion, as well as other relatives and friends who were connected via Zoom before and after the Mass to greet him.

A community founded in the Dachau concentration camp

The Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary has a deep connection with January 20, because without Father Kentenich’s decision to go to Dachau in 1942, the Institute of Families, the Brothers of Mary, and the International Work would not have been founded.

Therefore, on January 20th, Ignacio Suazo took Mary’s name and incorporated it into his own, committing himself to live the three evangelical counsels and according to the norms of the Institute.

As a Secular Institute, there are both rights and duties for each member, but first and foremost it is a matter of living holiness in daily life, living the profession in the midst of the world, without neglecting moments of prayer and formation, because it is not a matter of working all day, but of living a balance that allows one to “unite earth with heaven”, as well expressed by the Venerable Mario Hiriart, who was a Schoenstatt Brother of Mary.


A small community that leaves its mark on all of Schoenstatt

The vocations of the consecrated laity are not unknown in Schoenstatt, since the entire structure is based on them, although the vocations of women are better known through the Sisters of Mary, the Ladies of Schoenstatt, and the Women’s Federation. The Brothers of Mary are a secret of Schoenstatt, a community that has given and contributed much to Schoenstatt, to which Ignacio M. Suazo belongs today.

This is how Ignacio began his journey as Brothers of Mary, where he had great models to draw inspiration from, not only from Venerable Mario Hiriart (1931-1964), but also from other confreres, such as Hermann M. Arendes (1925-2014), who was the spiritual companion of John Pozzobon and who encouraged him in his project with the Pilgrim Mother, in Paul M. Rothgerber (1927) who was present at this Saturday’s ceremony, who for a long time was at the head of the Goldsmiths of the Brothers of Mary in Vallendar, designing many crowns, tabernacles and thousands of other symbols for the different Shrines of the world; and teaching so many other people this noble craft and whose teachings continue today in the Goldsmiths of the Sisters of Mary in Santa Maria Brazil; also in Paul M. Hannapel (1932-2013), thanks to whom we have Joseph Engling’s personal diaries and who promoted all the work around the Shrine of Cambrai; and to name one last in a list that we could continue more in Manfred M. Worlitschek (1958-2019), who for a long time took over from another confrere Ernest M. Brandstetter (1938) in the factory and carpentry in Santa Maria where more than 50 Altars for the Schoenstatt Shrine in the world were made. The family of the Brothers of Mary may be small, but it has left and continues to leave its mark on the history of Schoenstatt.

We accompany Ignacio M. Suazo with our prayers, that this will be a time of much growth and deepening in the charism of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary, as well as for the community that has welcomed him into its family. Not forgetting, of course, to pray for more vocations to the consecrated life in Schoenstatt and in the Church.


Photo: Harald M. Knes

Video of the live broadcast – Schoenstatt TV

Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org

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