The retreat center chapel was overflowing with parents and children – a good thing, not only because of the numbers themselves but because it was a cold, rainy spring night and we welcomed the warmth from the body heat. We were all there to witness the ceremony in which our sons and brothers would receive the various Marian awards they’d earned over the course of the past school year. Patches, crosses, flags, stars…all knighthood symbols of their work and strivings for our heaveny Queen. I’m not sure who was smiling more – the parents, siblings, or the boys themselves!

Last night’s event of the Schoenstatt Boys Youth not only filled my heart with pride because my youngest son was one of them, but also it filled by heart with hope for the future. Young boys turn into young men, turn into grown men, turn into fathers, priests, deacons, workers, government leaders, missionaries, and so on. I’m not so polyannnish as to think that none of those boys will ever go astray – we do have to deal with the effects of original sin – but the fact that the foundation has been laid for their journeys as knights of Our Lady gives me tremendous encouragement. Once we’ve entrusted ourselvs to the Blessed Mother, she neveer lets go – even if we do!

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