ZIMBABWE, by Neil Peterson •
This year the Schoenstatt family in Harare, Zimbabwe was again very blessed to have Fr. Michael Hagan, originally from South Africa, guiding us through our “October Weekend” (so called as it usually takes place around 18 October, Schoenstatt`s Founding Day) of reflection and renewal. Fr. Michael, a Schoenstatt Father, travelled from Germany to direct the October Weeks and Weekends in South Africa and Zimbabwe. What a wonderful Jubilee gift from the MTA!
Approximately, eighteen members of the Harare Schoenstatt Family gathered with very short notice at the shrine in Sheila Coleman’s home. This was a joyous occasion for everyone there celebrating a house mass, as well as delicious meals, fellowship, guidance and instruction from Fr. Michael Hagan over a two day period.
The grace of discernment
The weekend retreat’s theme was using the grace of discernment to understand and live in the moment of the present situation both as individuals and as the Schoenstatt family here in Zimbabwe. Using the tools handed down to us by our Father and Founder of Schoenstatt, Fr. Kentenich, we can transcend our emotional reactions and become more responsive in a more compassionate, kind and spiritual way to the challenges we encounter in our daily lives and in the situations we find ourselves in our country and the world. Through observation and comparison as well as through contemplative prayer (reflect, review, rest and retreat) and through the intercession of our blessed Mother Thrice Admirable, we accept and hand over our current situations to our Father God. We also pray for the graces to live through whatever situation we encounter in our personal lives, in our country’s situation and in the rapidly changing world.
(Important: This attitude is complemented by what Father Kentenich calls practical faith in Divine Providence, an attitude urging us to ask ourselves what God wants us to do listening to the voices of time).
From the weekend’s teachings and reflections, the Harare Schoenstatt family looks forward to living and working at formulating their motto in the coming year.