My memories of the Maria Stein Shrine while growing up are many. I love the Shrine. It is a place of quiet, prayerful peace just six miles from where I was born. As a family we would go for visits on Sunday afternoon during Lent. We would make visits in the Relic Chapel and peek through the window to see if our teachers, Sisters Leanarda and Firmina, were in the main chapel. We really did not have a great view, but we were sure we heard their voices.
Years later when on vacation, I would go for the hour of adoration Tuesday afternoon from 2 to 3 with my mother, Agnes, and neighbor, Verona Schmeising. The hour of adoration became a high point of my vacations, listening to the now laity praying the prayers we Sisters used to pray during our hour of adoration. It reminded me of all those special night hours of adoration we had prayed over the years as candidates and novices.
I was profoundly influenced by the Sisters praying and my mother’s deep faith and the gift of prayer we joined in on as kids at Maria Stein. It was a part of our way of life growing up. The Shrine has the aroma of sweetness, an inclusivity about it that all are welcome to come pray and seek solace, peace, healing, reconciliation and for hope renewed. I know that I am on holy ground every time I enter the Maria Stein Shrine.