When the risen Lord began building His Church, He asked a single question. Not, “Do you believe in Me?” but, “Do you love Me?” For us sisters and the small group of brothers who began joining us twenty years later, how we answer this question is central to our daily lives. Love cannot be conserved. Spending time with Jesus each day renews our spiritual passion.
Committing to a life of discipleship in a community like ours is definitely a challenge: a life of celibacy with no claim to personal property, income or further education. Our lifestyle runs counter to today’s consumerism and is no easy choice. But Jesus never changes. He still seeks our love. And He is the only one who can fulfil our deepest longings and give us a joy that no one can ever take from us. His forgiving love awakens our gratitude and rekindles the flame of our love whenever it is in danger of growing dim.
The Lord’s last prayer was that His followers would all be one (John 17:21), and our community was initially known as the Ecumenical Sisterhood of Mary. In 1947 this was quite unusual, as denominational barriers were still high and often prevented Christians from really getting to know and appreciate each other.
In later years, however, certain strands of the ecumenical movement shifted their focus away from Jesus and aimed at bringing different religions together. Our founding mothers changed our name to Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in order to avoid misconceptions concerning our standpoint.
We welcome current moves towards unity that bear the hallmark of the Cross of Jesus bringing us together.
Why we are called after Mary?
We’d like to give Mary her rightful place, the place the Bible gives her (Luke 1:48), and to see more Christians doing this. Mary was faithful to Jesus from His birth to His death on the Cross, because she loved Him. A legacy of her unconditional commitment and trusting obedience comes to us through her words, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5) – a challenge for us to follow.