"Your Mission, My Mission"
Journey of Leaders 2007 in Paraguay
PARAGUAY, Norma and Victor Gómez/ Javier Vera. This May 5th and 6th in Tuparenda, more than 300 Schoenstatt leaders from Paraguay gathered to discuss the motto of the Year: "Here I am Father, your mission, my mission" for the purpose of embodying the ideal, the mission, and the thinking of Father Kentenich, Schoenstatt’s founder, in the Schoenstatt Family of Paraguay. These leaders felt called to deepen their spiritual attachment to the person of the Father and Founder and to firmly fix their loyalty to his mission.
The first morning of the conference, Father Cosp began the journey by asking the participants to hold up their hands simulating a toast. He told them to ask themselves how full their glass was of Father’s spirit. Silently, the majority realized that the contents were scarce, and that at this meeting it would be appropriate to get to know and love the Father and Founder even more. Father Cosp continued by giving witness about Father’s life with the very important Adsum (here I am), what it means to be his children, and what everyone wanted to hear the most was his special and brief moments that he shared with Father Kentenich during his studies in Germany. He also showed some photos that the Boys’ Youth had shown previously in a video, and his autographed Heavenwards. This was very moving especially for the younger ones who were present.
Heirs of the Founder
During the conference, Father Antonio invited everyone to discover Father’s spirit by reflecting on their definition of "vocation and instrument of Mary". Father Kentenich was conscious of a great mission that was manifested in the guiding ideal of helping to form the new man full of spirit and life, marked by his ideal, and the new community with a strong universal apostolic character. The way to achieve this mission is through Mary: "She is the great Missionary, She will work miracles".
Taking on Father Kentenich’s mission as his heirs, we must identify with his person, and be the vocation and instruments of Mary. To provide continuity in the mission as fathers and mothers, we must give life to new Schoenstatt children, who will be our future heirs. The present Schoenstatt Family considers themselves founding-children and parents of the Nation of God, fruit of the recent celebration of the Silver Anniversary of the Shrine of Tuparenda: "Nation of God, heart of America".
Fire of His Fire
The group work -prepared by the Mothers’ Branch- consisted of twenty-six familiy groups with each group identified by a trait or virtue of the Founding Father. In response to the question: "Father, how do you want your family from Paraguay to live this virtue?" each family reflected on the virtue of Father Kentenich that identified them. Javier Vera experienced this work as an enormous challenge and the one that was the most fruitful: "It was impressive how within the groups, at least mine (which is the one I can share) very few felt that connection with Father Kentenich, and they asked themselves why, the following emerged: How can it be that we want him to be canonized, if we barely feel his fire?
Then we proposed to do it, by truly living this mission of the Founder that is obviously Schoenstatt, obviously it is to take Mary to each heart and to make her present. To always be a happy child, that small ray of sunshine that radiates warmth everywhere.
Not only to know Father theoretically, that is, not only by reading books and learning; rather, by putting his teachings into practice, so that others can also admire him and in this way our glass was filled more and more with the spirit of the Father."
There was also a panel with testimonies from members of the different branches of the Movement that described their attachment with Father Kentenich and the implications that their covenant as a "child of the father" has had on their lives. The common thread was… the great love of the Father and Founder and the strong commitment to his work!
Sister Maria Marta presented "My mission, Your Mission" that was chosen as the main theme and motto for the journey and the one that represented the Father and Founder’s appeal to each of his spiritual children who continue his mission.
Just as at all Leaders’ Conferences, there was a healthy competition between the Girls’ Youth and the Boys’ Youth which gave a special and fun-loving touch; this is the life that should grow.
The fruitful conference, Journey of Leaders, had a magnificent ending with a lively Eucharist that included a ceremony of commitment to Father Kentenich in which each participant wrote their personal commitment on little cards that were sent to "heaven" attached to balloons in the national colors as an expression of "Making Your mission, Our Mission". A photo of Father Kentenich was also launched into the air so that he will land wherever the wind takes him.
Everyone returned home filled with enthusiasm and with a renewed commitment to act as an heir to the inheritance of the Father and Founder and his mission.
Schoenstatt in Paraguay tells Father Joseph: "Our hearts, our thoughts, and our hands are yours…ecce adsum, mitte me – I am here, send me!
Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA /amj