Alicja Kostka

Born in 1971 in Olsztyn, Poland. Doctorate degree in theology in 2006 with the theme: “Spirituality of women in the vision of Joseph Kentenich” at the Catholic University of Lublin. Taught from 2008-2020 the discipline of Spiritual Theology at the Lambert Seminary in Lanterhofen. As a lecturer on topics of theology in the Women Apostolic Federation in Vallendar, is a  researcher on the first woman in the history of Schoenstatt, Gertraud von Bullion, whose beatification process helps to organize. Since 2017 has been a spiritual counselor in the diocese of Trevis and accompanies pilgrimages and retreats.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

For me it was above all the experience of beauty and complement that can take place between people, between men and women, and which leads to the growth of the person and personality. I was always fascinated by the potential for creativity and fruitful cooperation. Intuitively I took a path that looked that looked at a more spiritual complement. It was always a pleasure for me to experience how much we can give each other in the different forms of perception and complement of capacities. The natural attraction that exists between the sexes became a praise for the joy of the complement.
This complementation also found expression in many projects that I carry out. Among other things I quote the long collaboration with the Brother of Mary, Lambert Schrödter (+2014), focused on the person of Joseph Engling, in addition to retreats and pilgrimages that I organized with priests, with scientific work with colleagues , when we project and organize symposiums. In all places I could experience the joy of reflecting together. This common vision and joint action of women and men is very positive for the final result. 

At what points in your life did you experienced God?

It is surprising when I look at my biography how God led me through the individual stages of my life and continues to lead me.  On the other hand, it is about external conduction through which I came into contact with forgiveness, and places that were important to my vocation, in truth, they were decisive. On the other hand, God spoke through the desire that he put into my heart. Letting yourself be led  and involve  by the desire to go where God already awaits me is very characteristic of the experience of God. 
The experience of God was also given to me through Mary. In the pilgrimage places where I liked to go, here specially to Ditrichswalde in my homeland in Emland, in Niepokalanow (“City of the Immaculate”), founded by Maximilian Kolbe, and in Częstochowa, I found my way to Mary. In Schoenstatt this experience and bonding to Mary intensified and unfolded, it became more intimate and alive. The experience of being guided found a theological explanation and an existential deepening in the spirituality of Schoenstatt in the practical faith of Divine Providence. 

What is the challenge you see for women today?

As a challenge, I see that today’s women know, affirm, and develop their feminine forces and that it is precisely with the forces that make a decisive contribution to the formation of society, the Church and culture. Many times these values are noticed at first glance, such as the perception of the atmosphere in the conversation or in a room, the deeper understanding of the needs of the people. Looking more closely, these capabilities turn out to be quite “important to the system” or even “necessary to the system”. Among the strength of women are the “person- to-person relationship” of women, and the spiritual sensitivity to people, the feeling of life and being comprehensive care. Especially at a time where we are in process of thinking and acting in a more ecological and therefore more comprehensive way, these qualities and capacities of woman are increasingly in demand. For this aspect, a particularly essential aspect, which Father Kentenich calls “inspiration” and which I interpret as follows:  pay attention to the spiritual dimension of people, things and processes in encounters, conversations and decisions. 

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

I want to base myself on the deepest sources of feminine being and acting. Here the Mother of God is especially a model. She was fully committed to the living God. She did not have much to offer other than being a woman. She used this in the decisive game of the history of the Salvation of mankind. Pope Francis speaks of Mary, that she started a revolution in Bethlehem, the revolution of tender love, which forever changed the history of humanity. I wish to contribute to continue this revolution, precisely as a woman, in covenant with Mary and supported by her.