PARAGUAY, Fr. Pedro Kühlcke •
In Paraguay every year, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. It is not only a tribute to biological fatherhood, but for all those who act as father figures. On the occasion of Father’s Day this year, Fr. Pedro Kühlcke dedicated an article in Revista Tuparenda to… no, not directly to the fathers but rather to Pepito. Pepito? Yes, Pepito, his friend Pepito is in the juvenile detention center… the Pepito who has searched for a father his whole life.
Benefits that are not beneficial for Pepito
The other day, Pepito told me that before entering the jail, he worked “in the forests.” I looked at him perplexed, because I did not understand what he meant. Then he told me that toward the east of the country, he would hide among the forests, there are many illegal marijuana fields. There they offer very attractive work for poor youths, without education, without prospects for the future, without parents who would give them the example of honesty and clear principles. They paid them 100,000 Guaranies per day, and moreover, they offered them “food, beer, cigarettes, marijuana, girls…” everything free. Recently, now in jail, he began to think that all that easy money and free benefits were not really beneficial for this life. But the only alternative that he saw, was to continue working on the miserable small family farm, plant manioc and seeing that all his friends earned much more money than he…
After that conversation, I was sad and concerned. Could it be that there are no other alternatives? On one hand, here is a society that does not offer opportunities, but certainly many temptations; on the other hand, a dysfunctional family, without a father to help his son confront temptations, overcome adversities, and struggle to grow and train himself professionally: how can Pepito not fail?
A good father’s double task
My own father, who is not a very religious man, has a very clear principle, which always remained engraved in me: “Everyday I want to act in such a way that the following morning, as I shave, I can look in the mirror without feeling ashamed of myself.”
In the Pre-founding Document (18) Fr. Kentenich told the youths: “But now we must learn to act on the basis of firm, clearly recognized principles. Everything within us may waver. Times will surely come when everything within us may waver. Religious exercises can no longer help us then. Only one thing can help: our principles. We must be firm personalities.” (Fr. J. Kentenich, SCHOENSTATT, The Founding Documents, p. 20).
I believe that a good father has a double task; in the first place, he has to make his children know he loves, values, and encourages them, and he loves them without distinction or preference. But he also has to educate them with “firmness and tenderness,” setting clear and just limits, challenging them to better themselves and to fly high, instilling that fortitude, those “firm principles”, that will someday allow them to face all the temptations that today’s world serves us on a silver platter.
Many “Pepitos” struggle today to someday be the fathers they never had
I can joyfully say that at “Mother of Tupãrenda” House we already have many “Pepitos” who want to leave those temptations behind and struggle to someday be the excellent fathers that many of them never had.
Congratulations and blessing to all Father’s, who are an example for their children!
Photos: the youth from Mother of Tupãrenda House celebrating Fr. Pedro Kühlcke’s birthday. A father for them.
Would you want to be the first ever Schoenstatt Member from the english speaking world to donate for Pepito? Imagine … a pair of sandals, a treasure for Pepito, is just 2 Euro/US$…
Don`t know to do it online?
Account in Europe (transfers from SEPA are free)
Schönstatt-Patres International e. V.
IBAN DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26
Intended use: Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, Casa Madre de Tuparenda OR Prison Ministry
Thanks for everything, Fr. Pedro, I now have a new life thanks to you.
Original: Spanish, 4 June 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA