Marta Ramolla

Born in 1983, married, five children; master’s degree in neo-philology (Arabic and English); after years of full-time-employment stopped working to stay at home for her family; living in Opole/ Poland; together with his husband in noviciate of the Schoenstatt Family Institute.

What experiences have shaped me as a woman?

I cannot remember any dramatic experiences that shaped my womanhood. It is the environment of my family, especially my parents, who made me who I am now. And, I am sure, they acted together with Our Lady – perhaps unconsciously. My mother asked Mother Mary of Opole (our city) to take care of me, before I was born, and then I was baptized on the feast of Immaculate Conception, December 8th. I remember my childhood lived through in the air of love, faith, care and respect. I always felt beautiful and wise in the eyes of my mother and father. They let me make my own decisions, and bear the consequences.

When I was 14, my mother took me on a pilgrimage to Częstochowa, the Sanctuary of the Black Lady, the Queen of Poland. I met the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary on the way, and after that I joined a group of girls led by those Sisters. This is where my way of being a conscious woman started. Sisters told us a lot about childlikeness, virginity and motherhood of a true, Mary-like woman. A year later, when I was 15, I entered the Covenant of Love, where I asked Mary to educate me for Her instruments for the world.

It turned out that I lived just three kilometers from the Schoenstatt Shrine, and our youth meetings took place there. That is where I also met my future husband, and where we live now – just 300m from the holy place.

Where in my life have I experienced God?

I must say, that I can see God in the whole history of my life. All the steps that I made, which sometimes seemed to me weird, schools that I chose, people I met, places I visited – they all turned out to be a great story, led and narrated by the Lord. For example, when I was 6, my parents sent me to the music school to play piano. When I was 10 I resigned – and they didn’t push me to stay. Two years later I started the music school again, this time as a flutist, which was my own choice. I know it wasn’t a cheap thing, but my parents bought me a beautiful flute. And then, after several years, one Sister of Mary asked me to play “Ave Maria” during the feast of blessing the symbol of the Holy Spirit for the Shrine. And Klemens – my future husband, played the organ there! Although it took us almost 8 years to realize our love to each other, those years also were rich of such “coincidences”. I discovered that I had the ease of learning languages, and so I started to study Arabic at the University. Then – thanks to Klemens – I met some Indonesians, and I wrote my master thesis on their language. All those things gave me a really wide horizon and let me meet many great people. It also helped us find our place in the Schoenstatt Family Work – the Institute, which is an international society. I have some dear friends in Germany, Chile, USA…

All those things seem to be so carefully planned for me, and make me sure that God leads my every step, so I can feel that I am His very precious daughter, and may expect many surprises in my future life.

What do I see as the challenge for women today?

Well, I think the greatest challenge for women today is to be a real woman. I don’t mean stereotypes, like woman sentenced to stay at home, with many children, preparing meals for her hardworking husband. No. I believe a woman is a person who is created to love and to being loved. Women are those who bring heart and soul to every place they are – no matter where it is: home, school, workplace, church, even a supermarket. They are those who care about relations, who should make other people feel loved and taken care of. Every woman should be conscious of their worth. They should feel beautiful, but not like a doll to look at and touch for fun. They should feel beautiful inside, shining like a sun, bringing warmth and love to the world.

Being a real woman, for me, means being a real child (sincere and straight), virgin (pure and beautiful) and mother (caring and loving) before God. Even when she’s not a biological mother. Somewhere I read that every woman has an empty place inside – that means a natural space for a child in her womb, but also a place in her heart that can be filled only by love, God’s love. She should know and feel that she is being exceedingly loved by her God – Father and Creator, and she should bear the love to everyone in the world. Sometimes it means living like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, helping the poorest; and at other time it means being a president of a huge company – not only making money, but hearing the voices of workers and clients, and helping them live better.

And a real woman is to support men to grow in their manhood. She’s not to be their servant, but a helper, as she was created in the Garden of Eden. She is to help him grow strong, wise and responsible. Many women nowadays want to be independent, they take all the responsibility from men. And men seem to like it this way – they don’t have to bear the burden. But at the same time men loose their real nature, their vocation to make the Earth subdue. Women want the men to be brave knights, while they take their sword away. Well, it’s true that sometimes we should be brave and tough like the Joan of Arc, but always listening to the voice of God – if that’s his real will. One wisdom I heard says that women are to take care of the good, and men are to fight for the truth. Together they are the greatest image of the Loving God.

What do I want to change through my life in this world?

God blessed me with a great husband and family. We are parents to five children, four girls and one boy. The oldest is almost 13, and the youngest 3. I believe this is where my place is now. I cannot make any worldwide action, like saving whales or something. I would like to change the very little place I live in, by helping my kids grow strong and sure in their vocation. I want to show our girls that being a woman means loving, caring for each other, being beautiful from heart, not from the make-up on their face. I want them to feel precious in our eyes, but also in the eyes of God. I want to make them believe that being pure and caring is not a weakness, but a strength. A strength and ability to give themselves to the others as a mother, no matter where they find themselves in their life. Just like Our Lady, Mary. She remained silent, but always near, to help, to comfort, to love.

For my boy, he’s only 5 now, I would like him to be a strong and conscious man. Brave, responsible and respectful – now for his sisters, parents, friends and teachers, and someday for his wife and any woman he meets. Like a real knight, tough in the fight for the truth, and being a hero for his princess. And, if the Lord calls him to be a priest, I would like to help him grow in the decision, to serve other people with respect and responsibility, ready to give his life for the Truth.

No matter what happens, I would really like the world to see and value women. And I would like women to value themselves. Not by a provocative outfit, hair or make-up, but by their hearts, themselves being a precious pearl in the eyes of the Loving God, their Father and Creator.