Sister María Auxiliadora Bohórquez Triviño

Born in Ecuador in 1959, five siblings, lawyer, traveled from her youth to many countries and learned several languages. After entering the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, she was for a long time co-responsible for the leadership of the Chilean province, active in various Schoenstatt communities in several countries, in national and continental advisory and coordinating tasks of the Schoenstatt Movement; she accompanied social projects, advised schools belonging to the community, and in her free time she enjoys drawing and watercolor painting.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

The unconditional love of my parents and siblings. In my youth, I was formed by the wisdom of my mother, who led me to God and to the good, respecting my freedom without me being aware of it.

I was shaped by the appreciation of my friends and the Sisters of Mary when I arrived as a candidate.

In the community I was formed by the experience that we are family. It was like arriving in a new home, not at an institution or in a building, but in a family, with new parents and siblings.

What also formed me was the attention I could give to people in different ways. Each person is a school. It is wonderful to experience family with women, men, married couples, youth, priests, in the Schoenstatt teams, serving a branch, preparing a jubilee, or accompanying a covenant community. I experienced intensely what a joy it is to love. When we create something together, we do not only talk theoretically about solidarity, but we rejoice in the beauty of lived solidarity. I am thinking of many precious moments in which we were able to add another stone to this wonderful work. It is a joy that does not fade.

And I was marked by the times of trials, the obstacles I had to overcome: a great deal of work, or when, without much experience, I had to adapt my daily rhythm to that of youth, or that of co-sisters or others. I experienced health crises that almost cost me my life. And I experienced hours of helplessness, when I didn’t know where to begin in order to complete the accumulated tasks. In those hours I ask God: Help me and let me become calm. And then it works.

This comprehensive formation that I have received is so strong that it gives me security for my way in this world. I have had the opportunity to travel often and on my own, to get in contact with people I had never met before. Because my family and my mission fascinates and fills me, some “worldly things” are not so attractive for me anymore, although I am as human as anyone else. This security comes from God, who has given me such an attractive family.

My relationship with Jesus is my rock. I feel like John, the beloved disciple. Jesus and I have a great intimacy. He loves me unconditionally – and the Blessed Mother and Father Kentenich too. But that would not have been enough if my community was not first and foremost a warm, beautiful home.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

In my childhood, in the hearts of my parents. The Advent and Christmas carols that we sang with my five siblings… From a very young age we sang in December, almost every day. It penetrated deep into my soul. Also the pictures of Jesus and Mary in our house and in my room.

I have experienced God in many: again and again in people who have accompanied me on my personal path, in Father Kentenich, in the shrine, in the Blessed Mother – who is my mother “at every moment and in every and situation”.

I experienced God strongly when I experienced suffering. As a very young Sister, I did not yet feel at home, because I had just joined the Sisters. I understood that it was a “family”, but I didn’t know if I would come to feel safe like a “bird in its nest”. And I understood that without this experience I would not have enough strength to carry through. I had been very independent. I felt a great insecurity, somehow hanging in the air.

I made the leap into the loving father arms of God and trusted that HE would make it possible. When I adhered to my “yes”, even without guarantees, I felt a joy that no one could take away from me. Even though it is satisfying to know that something will succeed, there is nothing better than jumping into the unknown when God asks you to do so, and trusting in His help. I did it because I felt Jesus telling me: I am always with you and you will have a home. And – what an effect! He never left me alone, not even for a moment. He has given me everything. He provided in abundance for what I could not. That is why I know that I will have everything I need until my death, because the one who promised me has never let me down. I, on the other hand, disappoint him sometimes. But he never disappoints. This is the immense and secret happiness of my life.

I have days with thousands of gifts, and days with difficult hours, misunderstandings, losses. It is the joy of love, the joy of having a wonderful nest that makes me extremely happy.

What do you see as the challenge for women today?

Having a nest, preserving it, beautifying it and GIVING it. Having a nest on earth and in heaven makes a woman blessed and strong, whether she is young or old, poor or rich, pretty or not.

To have a nest means to have persons who love you and whom you love with all your heart, and to have a mission worth living for. A mission also gives you a home, a family! In many cases the parents, brothers and sisters, a friend or husband, children, grandchildren, a community, this earthly nest. With them you strive for values and goals. In other cases this nest is formed by the collaborators in your mission, in your professional life, in your parish or in your “golden years”.

The family is the nest in an excellent way; you have it and create it for others. When it is perfect – wonderful! But it also remains a nest when it is not. Not even the one who lives alone lacks a nest, because God provides it in another way. Sometimes the nest is in your own soul, when you know that you are accompanied by HIM and his mother, or by someone who loves you. You can always maintain relationships, build an “extended family”. We can build nests wherever we are. Even if one person disappoints you, there are millions who will gratefully accept your closeness.

Woman needs this power of love. It is a challenge because the world demands multitasking from us. Moreover, the fragility of others makes it difficult to rely on them. And finally, in our time one often wants to avoid choosing family and fertility. The family is reduced to a minimum. But the woman must love in order to be happy. She must overcome narcissism and also a chronic state of exhaustion. I am happy to see how the women who come to Schoenstatt gradually find a firm nest.

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

That many experience what Jesus promised: I am with you always, until the end of the world. (Mt, 28, 20). I want to change loneliness into community. Starting from Jesus, who said that foxes have their dens, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. I want to be his companion so that he has something that is for HIM. And I want to be with people so that they feel that they have something, someone to lean on.

I like to be very personal, close, create warm relationships, little nests – of very different kinds and intensities, from a warm greeting to a very faithful fraternal relationship. I try to be there in important moments. I want to give peace, to avoid conflict, not to lose time with what divides, but to promote what unites. I am fighting this battle that fascinates me because in this way I can help the world to return to the heart of God.