Noni Quiroz Heinert

Age: 69 years; Social Worker – Manager of the Children’s Village of Christ the King, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt

What experiences have shaped you as a woman?

– My mother. She made her life a willing “yes” to God’s will.
In my contribution I would like to emphasize the importance of my mother, because it is about “100 women”. My mother, whom everyone called Lola, came to the Schoenstatt Movement through a Spanish priest who was traveling to Chile. In Bellavista / Chile she got to know the movement better. My mother was 38 years old at the time and had 10 of her 11 children. Thanks to Schoenstatt, my mother could live and pray and suffer and rejoice. She loved. So she made school! That was fascinating for me and, according to my observation, for many. She was confined to a wheelchair for the last 10 years of her life. In the last year of her life, when she was already very disabled, one of my brothers offered to take her to the shrine. I know how much it cost her to accept this offer. When she got there, I went to greet her. I live next to the shrine. She said to me, “I am so happy to be here. I don’t want to close my eyes, so I know that I’m really here.” My mother has since passed away. In eternity, in “the eternal Schoenstatt”, she knows how true Schoenstatt is.

– That I was surrounded by good people all my life.

– To have always had the opportunity, in big and small decisions, to choose without pressure, accompanied in a lively manner by examples and role models in my environment.

– The MTA of Schoenstatt. Father Joseph Kentenich, with his convincing message about the contribution of women based on the order of being. And his teaching about the “greatness of being small”, that nothing is lost.

Where in your life have you experienced God?

In the question of my vocation, marriage was the very firm and only option until I was 25 years old. On August 29, 1976, I made the covenant of love. It was Sunday and the feast day of the martyrdom of John the Baptist. A few months later, a Schoenstatt Father with whom I worked with the children spoke to me about the possibility of dedicating my life to God in the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt. By this means he “disarmed” me. It was a community I didn’t know about. They didn’t exist in Ecuador. I didn’t enquire. I told my mother about it, who was part of the founding group of the Schoenstatt Movement in Ecuador (1960). She said to me: “Why do you mind that this Father dared to show you a way for your calling? He didn’t push you. He only opened a door for you. “

It still fascinates me to this day that my mother, who also did not know this community, answered me like this. I started thinking. God is present in secondary causes and in our minds and hearts.

– Almost in everything and in such a concrete way that it would be easier for me to report where I did not experience God.

– In the life of our family, 11 siblings: 8 daughters and 3 sons. All with a lively temperament. There was a lot of music, laughter and fighting.
– In our community, the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt. A supernatural view of everything natural.

-In the Schoenstatt Family of Ecuador, a country with a pronounced Marian and childlike mentality.
– In the shrine. I experience it like heaven itself. “I see heaven open.” I experience an open heaven there.

A very important experience in my life was the surprise that GOD wanted me for himself. Another experience has to do with obedience. When my father was dying, I had already planned a trip. I said to my mother: “I don’t want to travel. What should I do?” She answered me: “Do what is most difficult for you.”

What do you see as the challenge for women today?

There are many challenges. And in every situation! I think it is essential that the woman is convinced down to her subconscious of the plan of GOD as he showed us when he chose Mary: that the being of woman is necessary and that the woman knows how to fulfill this plan in complimentarity to the male being – without questions – in an attitude that heals – saves – uplifts.
“The task of our life is threefold: we must pray, work and suffer.” Father Kentenich

What would you like to change through your life in this world?

I would like to allow GOD to use me to satisfy this ambivalent longing, to extinguish it – on the one hand “elevation of nature through sacrificing nature”, on the other hand, atonement. Many today live from reaction to reaction, but not from an inner attitude. Schoenstatt invites us to become practical, with the recommendation of a spiritual daily order, shaped in the light of the personal ideal, and community ideal. I think the magic wand for this is: “I offer myself up for them.” Instead of burdening others, I offer myself.