Schönstatt - Begegnungen

"Universal Church in miniature"

5th General Chapter of the International Institute of Schoenstatt Families

5. Generalkapitel des Internationalen Institutes der Schönstattfamilien

Stunde des Gebetes im Urheiligtum

(Monika Arndt) The 5th General Chapter of the International Institute of Schoenstatt Families is presently (July 16 - August 6, 2000) taking place in the House of Families in Schoenstatt, Germany. Since July 16, approximately 30 families representing all regions and delegationds of the Institute came together to discuss and decide crucial issues regarding the style of life of the community.

Various languages are heard: German, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and Czech. In some cases, the participants even communicate with each other in French or sign language. This also is a sign for the internationality of the Institute .... As a "family of families" being a "Universal Church in miniature". Of course, the different languages cause communication problems, but thanks to a committee of translators and technical means, constructive work is nevetheless possible. This would not be possible without the volunteer work of three Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary and some Instutute families.

Processes of Growth

It's understood that children and youth are also present for such a get-together of families: altogether 12 from Germany, four from the Czech Republic, three from Chile, two from Argentina, two from USA, and one from Portugal. Meanwhile they learned that it is possible to understand each other despite the language barriers and to have fun together. One Institute family volunteered to prepare and provide child care during the meeting.

All Chapter members are very much aware of the fact, that during their work the processes of growth is not always smooth. All of the participating families from the different countries have a unique history, and particular experiences. The couples entrust their work to the Holy Spirit, and confident in HIM, they work with a great sense of responsibility and love in order to more clearly understand the Founder's vision of a Secular Institute of Families, and to find appropriate forms to apply practical every day life.

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