We are Pilar de Beas and José A. Alvaredo, a couple from the first course of the Spanish Family Federation. We both come from the youth branches of the movement. We have been married for thirty-three years, have six children and we are the founders and presidents of the Asociación Eduvida [Edulife Association] (http://www.eduvida.es), where we have taught courses for engaged couples for more than thirty years, family planning courses for fifteen years (we are monitors of the Sympto-Thermal Couple-to-Couple method) and courses of affective sexual education for ten years. We have been in Schoenstatt for more than forty years. Pilar was a leader of the Girls’ Youth in her youth, we are assistant leaders of the Family League, we were in the first League course and were the founders of the Family Federation in Spain. We continue to take groups of couples into the Family League •
Six months into the pilgrimage of the covenant of love’s second century…what is your dream for this Schoenstatt, in who we are and where we find ourselves in the Church and in the world, and in our mission?
We believe that the Jubilee was very important for everyone to be able to go on pilgrimage to the place of origin, which for many people involved learning about Schoenstatt International and learning more about Father Kentenich and his work.
For us, who could only go to Rome, the meeting with the Pope and everything that he told us there was especially important. I suppose I became more aware that Schoenstatt has to be at the service of the Church. We have to go out to the world and to stop navel gazing so much; each person should introspectively look within his or her own heart and contemplate “where and how” God wants him/her. Our response should be to take Christ to all the spheres possible and most of all, where daily life is the most difficult.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
We have to avoid enclosing ourselves in our small worlds. Our “great sin” is to remain comfortably in our groups and branches, mistakenly centering ourselves only in what Schoenstatt is, without thinking that our work should be “from Schoenstatt for the Church.”
We believe that Schoenstatt has to be open so that people from all the social classes and cultures can enter. We also think it is important to carry out the family ideal, because we feel that in Schoenstatt every branch is separated from the rest. We speak theoretically about the “family spirit” when we do not even know each other or relate among ourselves. We have to work together in apostolic projects that unite us, and where we can feel that we can carry out great apostolates from the same ideology: let us not forget that Schoenstatt’s main task is to go “o the world with Mary and by the hand of our founder.”
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
– More ministry and to go out, to the streets of Madrid, politics, Church.
– To have a meeting with the bishop; placing ourselves more at the service of the Church.
– To offer different apostolates where there may be people from other branches.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA