MEXICO, Ricardo and Denisse Santos •
Finally the day arrived for the long awaited gathering – the Family Branch of Guadalajara’s annual retreat on 7-8 November 2015. At approximately 9:30 a.m., people began arriving at the house where they would experience the family weekend retreat. The leaders and those in charge of the group began to prepare by setting up tables, chairs, projectors and everything that was needed in order to welcome the families and begin.
The well-supplied registration table with tablets, posters, lists, etc. was ready, and of course there was a big, warm smile of welcome.
Adviser Fr. Guillermo Muzquiz celebrated Holy Mass beginning the gathering-retreat. It was a very special Mass where Christ opened hearts to begin the work.
Afterwards they went to the main terrace with their children to learn about the place’s general layout and the weekend schedule.
For the growth of every family
This gathering – retreat provided a time for the growth of each family in the three lines that they are working on as a branch:
- To deepen and to assess inner life
- To strengthen and re-enkindle married life
- To prepare their hearts to live Schoenstatt’s reaching out
These lines were worked on through subject matter that stressed the great value of the Sacrament of Marriage, learning about challenges that are faced as a family (and those of their own family), and how in unity through love with a love that heals, they can generate concrete answers as Schoenstatt families. They finalized a resolution and the 4R’s plan (from the words all beginning with R, in Spanish) as support for the families.
The 4R’s are the same ones that the Mexican Family Branch pedagogically applies to the couple, but in this gathering it applies to the family:
- To pray – together daily (whatever it is)
- To re-enkindle – weekly (set a day and time weekly to do something enjoyable that revives family spirit)
- Review – monthly (also set a day to assess progress: what we have done well, what we can improve)
- Renew – yearly
For parents and children with exhibits by both, the subjects were developed separately. There were times when the entire family carried out dynamics activities: games, a rally, and setting up tents where they would sleep and many other activities.
It was a great weekend. God’s and the Blessed Mother’s presences were strongly felt. There were many blessings and a great family of families’ spirit. They took one more step in living their motto: as a family, love as a project of life.