Anna Schwaderlapp

29 years old; Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and European Studies; Master’s degree in Charitable Science and Christian Social Teaching; Current occupation: House management in the House of the Families in Schoenstatt.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

I used to be a participant and later a leader in the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth. These meetings were often like a little source of strength for me, so that I could return to my everyday life with renewed energy. There was an atmosphere of complete acceptance where I could feel that it is good to be in the world. I felt completely free there. I learned to assess my temperament, discovered my strengths but also my weaknesses and was motivated to work on them. I can always fall back on this experience, even when things are not going so well in my life.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

I experience God in many small but also bigger things in my life. For example, there was my first job, which prepared me well for my current position. At that time, a door simply opened that I was not looking for myself. Or the conversation with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while and who helped me to close other doors in my life. There was the visit to an elderly couple, where I realized how much joy one can bring if one just gives a little of one’s time.

What do you see as the challenge for women today?

I cannot say what I see as the challenge for women today. There are so many different ways of life for women and I think each one has its own challenges. I think it’s important that each woman decides for herself which life she wants to lead and what fits her own vocation. It could be a challenge not to compare yourself with others. Each woman has her place in the world. She should be free to find it and to work there.

What do you want to change in this world through your life?

For a long time I had the need to “save the world.” To achieve something big, something that can help many people. I didn’t have a concrete plan, and I couldn’t have had one – because how is a person supposed to create something like that and where should you start? There is so much suffering in the world. Many things do not work properly. From my experience, this state of affairs can paralyze you somewhat. Then I started to concentrate on the little things. I know that I can do something for the environment with my personal behavior, for example by flying less and trying to avoid plastic and things like that. I can donate money or invest in social enterprises. However, it is also very important to me to make the world a place where the love of God can be felt. To pass on this love in my personal relationships and my behavior towards others has become my plan, with which I can’t save the whole world, but maybe I can make it a little bit better.