PARAGUAY, by Fr. Antonio Cosp •
While the more than 24 participants of the Kentenich Communication Workshop prepared their “24 stories of the same Holy Mass on 1 May in Tupãrenda,” they received an inspiring greeting from Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio, the president of the Schoenstatt General Presidium:
“I am very happy that you have gone ahead with this Kentenich Communication Workshop. I want to congratulate you and encourage you for this initiative for all who are participating and those who have made it possible.
Often it pains us that Schoenstatt and Fr. Kentenich’s message are not better known. And the truth is that it should hurt. Moreover, it should make us reflect on today’s methods of communication. We have so much to say but don’t know how to say it. The story of faith is the story of its transmission and communication: The same Jesus is the Word of God that is communicated to us, the “Good News” that the evangelists and apostles – the “messengers” and those who were “sent” – spread throughout the world. This is why St. Paul explained: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Rom 10:14)
It’s obvious that we have to be convinced in order to transmit our message, but we also have to be convincing. This demands an attitude, but it also requires knowing how to do it.
Communication is as much as science as it is an art and a skill. Communication requires space for freedom, respect and creativity. Fr. Kentenich knew how to communicate his message: he knew how to do this in a personal face-to-face encounter, in small groups or on a public platform. He knew how to approach youth and adults, men and women of different cultures, stages of life and conditions. He know how to encourage and console, how to inspire and motivate, how to speak with both great and small and always proclaim the truth, even when it demanded prophetic courage and to bear the consequences. Without a doubt, his word awakened life: awakened life because it was born from life, it was supported by life and brought to life. And his words fostered bonds, created networks, generated community, made culture.
I wish you a fruitful meeting that helps to communicate our message, that is, awakens life, builds bridges and creates networks. In this way, may communication be at the service of communion, of a culture of covenant and encounter.
May the Blessed Mother bless you from our Original Shrine, yours,
Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio”
Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio urged Maria Fischer to transmit all that she knows based on her thesis: “Josef Kentenich und die Zeitschrift MTA. Eine Studie zu einem untipyschen Typ von Religionspublizistik” (Joseph Kentenich in the MTA magazine, a study of non-typical religious journalism) which she defended at the Faculty of Philosophy and Media in Münster, 1997.
The meeting at the Retreat House in Tupãrenda took place from Friday night to midday Sunday. It was a gift to Fr. Kentenich in memory of 5.3.1916: 100 years since the first edition of the MTA magazine.
The workshop focused on applying the system Fr. Kentenich used to remain close to his sodalists, serving as soldiers in a war. His type of communication ensured that during their holidays they didn’t forget to go past Schoenstatt to deepen their bonds to Fr. Kentenich and fellow sodalists. The MTA magazine had between 100 and 200 co-authors who related stories of real life. Life awakens life. Our Easter faith was also transmitted in this way.
There were 24 participants, including a Chilean and a Brazilian. All in very good Spanish and a folder of material to work through, that will be very useful later on in review.
1) The ability to be on fire, from the initial flame needed for transmission;
2) This fire must be at the selfless service of the life of others;
3) Tell stories and not sermons or lifeless, rational treatises;
4) The life generated by Fr. Kentenich’s Arthurian roundtable is a model to reach life-giving consensus
Maria’s style is life-giving, many images were enkindled in the participants. I say only this: mandarins.