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 published: 2004-01-23

Export heaven to earth

Making the Home Shrine popular is one of the projects of the Apostolic Schoenstatt Movement in Paraguay – a summary by Fr. Antonio Cosp, Director of the Movement

El Santuario de Schoenstatt en Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

The Schoenstatt Shrine in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

Schönstatt-Heiligtum in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

Foto: Cabral © 2004


Fiesta del 18 de octubre en Tuparenda

October 18 in Tuparenda

18. Oktober in Tuparenda


Maria vive en mi familia, Dios reine en Paraguay

May Mary live in my family, may God reign in Paraguay

Maria lebe in meiner Familie, Gott herrsche in Paraguay


Con María, la madre y educadora...

With Mary, mother and educator…

Mit Maria, der Mutter und Erzieherin …


P. Antonio Cosp (centro) en la Misa del 18 de octubre

Fr. Antonio Cosp (center) during the Mass on October 18

P. Antonio Cosp (Mitte) bei der Messe am 18. Oktober

Fotos: Tuparenda 2003 © 2004


Santuario Joven en Asunción

Young Shrine in Asunción

Junges Heiligtum in Asunción

Foto: Perez © 2004




PARAGUAY, P. Antonio Cosp. The new slogan of the Schoenstatt Family of Paraguay for 2004 is: "Mary lives in my family, God reigns in Paraguay." After a year of fruitful work inside the family, the politics, the media and the construction of the Church "Maria de la Trinidad" in Tuparenda, the family of Schoenstatt is, in 2004, concentrating in a project to spread the home shrines just like the times when they spread the covenant

Trying to export the heavens to earth... in the reality of the Shrine.

We build a Nation of God

"One morning God wakes up early as usual and remembers a long dream he had that night. In the dream he felt how profoundly his son and the spirit filled up his heart. And the angels put happiness in His heaven. But he needed to continue sharing this flow of love. From his main telescope he looked attentively at earth. Among all his creations this was the most beautiful, the one that best resembled the heavens. In his dream he decided to put there the human beings capable of receiving and giving love. Oh, yes, he dreamed of exporting the heavens to earth. That is, women, men, families and populations incarnating the Trinity and their mutual love.

That morning he told the angels about his dream. Talking all at the same time, they showed him their criticism and doubts. Lord, they said, how can they fill up their heavy matter with spirit and love? their feet, hands and body are heavy. You gave us wings. Everything pulls them down. They need food and they will fight for it. They need to care for their children and they will save only for them and without sharing their goods. They will want success and will get it by cheating. When they don’t understand something they are uncomfortable and will fight and kill each other. Their blood is weak and their heart fickle. Father, they said, it may all fail.

As an experienced architect he listened to these warnings. But he continued forward. He thought of a heart

into which he would blow the dream of an earth-heaven. In each human being he will put part of this dream. For this he would give them a mind to discover truth and justice. Hands to work of that mission. And still more, he will make man and woman choose each other forever in an almost divine love. They would embrace their bodies, their souls and their personal dreams to form a family-heaven. Thus the earth would become a kingdom of love and peace.

And he started his job. Formed the first man and woman. He put a lot of himself in their hearts. After some time the angels came to him saying: See, Father? We were right: look at the earth. It is a hell. And the Father went from the dream to the nightmare looking at the sad and confused hearts, selfish and violent of his sons on earth. Married couples living without dreams or embraces, with divorces. Countries deep in misery, boredom, lack of love, violence. The human beings soon forgot to embrace the divine source. And he sadly exclaimed: What have my children done with my dream of an earth-heaven?

He got another wonderful idea. He decided to send his son as ambassador, to give himself to the humans and to show them his commitment. He would give them his own mother as educator. This way all those joining the fertile love vine as small branches would be full of the heaven’s life. The angels looked at earth and saw many embraces."

That was the story. We can say that God’s dream had a wonderful realization in the first step of our evangelic history. As a memorial from those years we still have some temples, especially Franciscan, many carvings, some ruins and above all the heart of Saint Roque Gonzalez. The fire in his heart was such for the construction of the Nation of God in his mother land that the murderers tried to burn him without success, and his heart was left intact. The interior fire of the Christians and members of Schoenstatt today will keep us intact in this loveless moment in the world.

Some outstanding events

The year of general elections. Several members of Schoenstatt have been elected in Congress. A senator who just made his oath, was a member of the founding group of the Schoenstatt Boys' Youth in 1959. A new Paraguay may be born from them and other Christians. How can we help them in their difficult mission?

The slogan, the program, the particular purpose and the marks for action have been productive. We feel described in the old song: We love God... May God live in our hearts. May God live in each home... may he reign in our land. The spiritual line was kept at national level. The three shrines and the big celebrations have been places and moments of proclaiming the Covenant of Love.

The program and the slogan emphasized in the construction of the church Mary of Trinity as an expression, path and means of the construction of the Nation of God, broadening the walls of the Shrine. Of special significance was the celebration of the Mass for the youth at 11:30 on October 18, in the place were the actual altar will be standing. The past year was closed with the blessing of the foundations. Today great part of the structure is in place. We all contributed for the pillars.

We made very good contacts with the media. The press feels closer to us. We found a space in radio Maria: a weekly program and frequent transmissions of the Mass in Tuparenda. Our people are meeting different reporters and a friendship and a covenant is developing. We want to have more contact with ACCP (Media Association of Paraguay). Also with other catholic initiatives in the press world. Could it be possible to offer a retreat for reporters like the one for the teachers in Tuparenda? We are seriously working on this project. The CELAM assembly put Tuparenda in the Catholic world news. Cardinal Francisco Javier, member of Schoenstatt, was elected as its president.

The branches are becoming established with the normal ups and downs of life. We are happy for the meeting of international directors and the continental meeting of the Federatoin of Families in Tuparenda. The Federation of Argentinean-Paraguayan Mothers was autonomously formed. The two Youth branches have given vocations to the Schoenstatt Sisters or Mary and the Schoenstatt Fathers. They are always signs of a healthy Church giving fruits.

The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign has done the first national congress fixing their vision and program till 2011:

      1. May the sanctity of the 7000 missionaries be the foundation for a Joao Pozzobon from Paraguay;
      2. May the MTA establish herself in each home of Paraguay. A project has started with the hope of making the home shrines strongly popular;

The three shrines work for their own pastoral. Tuparenda has a new coordinator with Teresa and Anibal Arguello. The celebration of Oct. 18th in Tuparenda was beautiful, spiritual and deep.

Ciudad del Este has a new couple coordinator, the Molas, because Eduardo Nery Huerta has resigned to become member of the Parliament. They continue to grow and develop their own identity. Together with Asuncion they have than a great effort to form a national line from the work and the planning meeting of last year.

Other dioceses get established: Concepcion, Villarrica, Caacupe and San Lorenzo.

Looking at the future

  1. The Church in Paraguay celebrates in a special way the 8th of December, the 149 years of the dogma definition of the immaculate conception of Mary. It has a deep anthropologic meaning. Her neat, fine and harmonic heart is a model heart for each new man and woman.
  2. Our brothers are committed from their place of work and social/politic commitment for the construction of a new Paraguay. It is necessary to continue taking care of this great gift. Close lines to support each other and to increase the energy of some with the energy of the rest (synergy).
  3. The families are in the high risk zone. Separation and divorce is common and normal. If the major mean of attachments is not working we are heading towards the humanity previewed by our Father and Founder: a mechanistic world, that is the devils way to put God out of this world by putting him out of our hearts. What does the authorization to place the image of the Holy Family in the shrine in Tuparenda tell us?
  4. We continue building the church Mary of Trinity! Have we motivated our communities?
  5. The vocations are our pride as Family and as families. Nothing without you, nothing without us. We try to sustain this pastoral, perhaps the most important of all, reaching also to the dioceses. A new land depends on a new church and this one on its clergy.
  6. This will be a year of Pozzobon, 100 years of his birthday. It is a new chance added to the year of the rosary and inviting us to defy the Rosary Campaign that has its new pictures and willing to return to an evangelistic direction starting from the results of the congress.
  7. The new slogan, "Mary live in my family, may God reign in Paraguay’, has three annotations:

1st The natural family and the Schoenstatt family, a heaven on earth. It is expressed as a symbol in the image of the Holy Family for Tuparenda. As Family we want to do more in common. This is an answer to the sign of the times: looking for the easy way, the fast, the pleasure even if it is for just a moment, of the superficial friendship with the right of sexual intercourse, of the freedom that does not support a great love or a greater freedom, they all weaken the family attachments. There is no nurturing for ideals or for feeling responsible of one another. As members of Schoenstatt we have to live the family according to the divine concept and to be good communicators of this good news and to show its benefits. The Family Movement have put its mark here suggesting a meeting for weekly prayer as a family in the home shrine.

2nd The spiritual life requires a permanent deepening by living the covenant with the three contact points. We are answering the sign of the times of an emphasized paganism. We are like in Saint Paul’s times. Who does not grow in his interior life, who does not plunge and get soaked with Christ will be taken by the seduction of the external. The Center suggests conquering the self attitude by frequent prayer of the Angelus, which will make the Verb become flesh, may the heaven descend on each one.

3rd I am Schoenstatt! This implies adopting Schoenstatt from inside out and not only as an intellectual education that comes from outside and catches only a certain interest. For this we have the personal and group attachments, the lectures and above all the magic of a dream that moves me and motivates me.

Translation: Carmen Barruel, Belgium

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