Towards the Youth Synod: “Hey, young person, Francis wants to hear you” •
Hi everyone. My name is Fabián Daniel López Cuevas, I am 26 years old, and I’m studying Accounting at Our Lady of Asunción Catholic University. I am part of the Apostolic Schoenstatt Movement and I’m preparing for marriage. This is how my story begins.
From a very young age, I had a deeply Catholic upbringing at home. Everyday, we would gather to pray the Rosary with my siblings and my mom. I’ll admit, dad didn’t join us very often, but he was always a good Catholic. He goes to Mass every Sunday, does works of charity for the needy and he always tries to walk on the straight and narrow, as he likes to say. In our small living room, we had a picture of Our Lady; I didn’t know what image it was, but I knew it was Mary. In our neighbourhood there was a woman who would gather all the children to pray the Rosary every Saturday in front of the same image. Afterwards, she would offer a snack to those who went, as a “reward” for having gone to pray.
“I’m part of this really cool group…”
When I became a teenager, I stopped going to the Saturday meetings. We stopping praying the Rosary at home but I always went to Mass. At school one morning, a friend came up to me and said: “I’m part of this really cool group, it’s at the Schoenstatt Shrine. Let’s go! They also play soccer after the meetings.” From then on, I started going with him to meetings and since 2004, I have been a part of the movement. The funny part is that when I entered the shrine I saw a big picture of Mother and said: “I was praying to her all this time and I didn’t know!” Now, my friend who brought me to the MTA (as we say in the movement), is in the novitiate in Germany to become a Brother of Mary (consecrated layman).
The Schoenstatt Movement gave me tools that I didn’t know about and invited me to live a heroic life; nothing extreme, just doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well. I quickly fell in love with the teachings of Fr. Kentenich’s (Founder of the Apostolic Schoenstatt Movement) and I decided to give myself completely to the Schoenstatt Work. At the time I wondered: “What if my vocation is the priesthood?” I spoke with a priest at my parish where I’d been an altar server for a long time and also with my spiritual advisor in the movement at the time and they encouraged me to pray about it and be certain of my decision before taking such a big step. I was invited to join the Schoenstatt Family Mission in 2011 and I used this opportunity as a special time to complete my discernment. In a very holy environment, on mission with family, I realized that marriage was my vocation. When I shared with the many families who had left behind their jobs, homes and their concerns to come and serve, I saw in them a reflection of the Holy Family and this gave me deep peace in my heart. This is when I decided to serve the Kingdom of God through family life.
We just need to leave our boat in his hands
From 2011 until now, I continue to work as a missionary on various missions, and in 2012 I joined the Pilgrim Mother Campaign. Through this Campaign, I understood the real need of the world that there are people who dedicate their time to taking the Word and a message of encouragement to others. And, almost without thinking about it, I found the woman that I am going to marry. It is funny and wonderful how the MTA worked out everything that would happen. I am certain that all this was her doing! She was sculpting my heart and preparing things by drawing me to her Shrine and getting to know Schoenstatt. As we often say, “with gentle violence.”
I invite everyone not to be afraid to follow Christ. Together with Mother, He will prepare our lives so that we can draw closer to him. Ask for nothing in return, we only need to leave our boat in his hands and He will lead us to God. Simple, isn’t it?