Marcelo Luzardi, Paraguay, for Tupãrenda Magazine •
Maria Fischer is coordinator for the well-known site, schoenstatt.org – Schoenstatters online. We make use of her passing through Paraguay to listen to her points of view.
We could say that you are a frequent visitor in our country. How do you see Paraguay developing?
This is the third time I have visited Paraguay. The first time, I was invited by Fr. Antonio Cosp to experience its Movement with its projects and ministries that we shared sometime ago with the entire International Schoenstatt Family through our schoenstatt.org website. Last year I returned for the first workshop on Kentenich communication, which was our way of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the MTA Magazine.
This year is my third time in Paraguay. This is almost a “tradition” for me to meet with my friends anew: from the Paraguayan Schoenstatters in Encarnación, Asunción, San Lorenzo, Ciudad del Este, and even my friends, the youths in the Jail for Minors in Itaugua, in Casa Madre of Tupãrenda (as a German Schoenstatter recently called it “my favorite project”). I also take the opportunity to greet families who are now living in the 100 Houses of Solidarity (now more than 200), and to thank them for the joy they give others, as we build houses and thus create something that remains from the Jubilee of the Covenant of Love.
How do you see Paraguayan Schoenstatt?
I see it as a growing movement extremely responsible for its mission and with a high level of commitment. It is Schoenstatt on the way. Paraguayan Schoenstatt is present in the business world, politics, social and ecclesial, with new and prophetic proposals like the Ministry of Hope, Dequeni, the Mother House of Tupãrenda, to name just three sectors where Schoenstatt has been a pioneer and has opened horizons and created a model to follow.
What do you see as the lights and the shadows of our communication?
I believe that Schoenstatt in Paraguay should give more importance to communication in order not to deprive the world’s other Schoenstatters, the Church, or Paraguayan society of the this missionary Schoenstatt on the way, a Schoenstatt in solidarity’s inspiration and motivation from the life experiences in the Covenant and its projects.
I actually see a great deal of information on many Facebook profiles and pages, but for someone who does not belong to the Schoenstatt Family, it is hard to identify true information. Everything is shared with everyone and thus information is repeated, often without being able to identity sources in order to evaluate and check.
The Magazine Tupãrenda does a fantastic service. Missing is a national page with quality information on different projects and activities.
After a long time with this task of reporting from the Original Shrine, how would you define schoenstatt.org?
Schoenstatt.org is a communication project following the style that Fr. Joseph Kentenich cultivated since the beginning of his MTA magazine and works at the service of the international life of the Schoenstatt Family.
This medium relies on a team of collaborators from four continents who share the same spirit and who, with their abilities and talents, freely place themselves at the service of this communication project.
We are a free and independent body and do not represent any official entity.
For your thesis, you studied Father Kentenich as a communicator in depth. Which would you say are the fundamental traits of his style?
There are three: real-life stories, dialogue, and creating solidarity attachments. And all that as selfless service.
With the passing of time, what new aspects of Kentenich communication have you discovered?
New aspects are discovered at all the time. I think that the latest was the aspect of solidarity attachments…also the triad of sowing, sharing and facilitating life through real stories of each person. Theory neither involves nor commits. Real stories connect us with real life, with the real world. They commit, involve and broaden freedom. I believe that Father Kentenich with his style of communication wants to create these free spaces that are so important to “fly,” for generosity and creativity, but also to take the voices of our times to the heart of the Schoenstatt Family.
Principles of Kentenich Communication – interview to Maria Fischer in Costa Rica (Spanish)
Original Spanish. Translation: Carlos Cantú, La Feria, Texas USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA