ARGENTINA, María Teresa Martino •
Where to begin? Everyone knows that we women have a tendency to look at magazines from back to front, and so I would like to continue that method by savoring the final fruitfulness, enjoying “the picture,” and announcing to everyone that in the light of the looks and the warmth of the embraces, the echo of transformed hearts could be perceived.
We arrived from various places, but we all said goodbye from the same common place- home: the certainty of the shared mission, the unanimous conviction of having been chosen for this mission and being together traveling God’s path and involved in his response for the times: to be, to live and to give family.
Huerta Grande was our lodging
During the three days – from the 13th to the 15th of August 2016, the territorial community of the Family Federation, with its varied and marked regional nuances, increased its experience of unity. 108 families with their children of all ages participated: more than 350 people in total. The vigorous rootedness in the common mission and the vital inclusion in the embrace of brothers and sisters allowed us to nourish ourselves and enable ourselves to continue on the journey.
Every four years we carry out these territorial conferences to elevate the climate of attachment and the awareness of mission for our community, especially gathering the different generations, courses and regions. The place: the Córdoba mountains, a special place in the center of the country. This province is the cherished homeland of Father Brochero who will be canonized on October 16th as the saint of mercy, the first Argentinian saint.
In Santiago de Compostela, you learn that the way of the pilgrim is lined with inns. There, generous innkeepers feed, shelter, heal wounds, surrender their hearts and encourage pilgrims to continue on their journey. The inn is not a place to stay, but a place to pause and then to continue. There is no inn without generous brothers, there is no inn without prepared food, without sharing what one has, without shared confidence that the Lord is the guide, he waits and redeems at the end of the journey.
Huerta Grande was our inn. We are grateful to all, who with the soul of an innkeeper, sheltered us and took care of us so that this creative pause on our life journey and mission could take place.
How was this pause?
I relate it for all who were not able to be here and for us to recall this journey filled with surprises and blessings.
The main ingredient: the participants. From there you can perceive the experience of living together: many children, babies, small children, adolescents and youths– a spontaneous party and joy. There were no boundaries for the dialogues and for the participation (only at bedtime). Our invited guests joined in, identifying themselves fraternally: Rosa Maria and Josef Wieland, presently International leaders of the Family Federation who came as invitees from Germany to experience the family with us.
Of no less importance, five stars to the legion of organizers. Attentive, solicitous in the entire development and having foreseen with great experience all situations. To this legion also belong all the Family Federation members who fulfilled the tasks of constructing specific areas for the meeting: liturgy, music, lights, workshops, dynamics, activities for children, and places for prayer.
A milestone: the panel of testimonies
I summarize the essential notes with the words of Rosa Maria and Josef Wieland who enjoyed the gathering and encouraged us to make the experience known because they found it unprecedented. (Wowww!)
They were impacted with the deep Schoenstatt identity: the mission of Schoenstatt, Father Kentenich’s charism is what is essential and is present every moment. The religious family atmosphere that is always a desire of conquest for all federations. Youthful codes of communication. It is noticeable how the youths, who have joined each region, are the ones who renew the communication codes and create a dynamic and jovial climate for the gathering. Leading roles of the regions.
“Life engenders life:” at the heart of the Conference, there was an event to which some have attributed the characteristic of a living milestone for our community of families: the panel of life testimonies from three of our brothers and sisters from course 1, course 17, and course 31 whose lives have been strongly touched by pain and by the immense mercy of God.
María Inés de Masi and José Epele
To allow oneself to be flooded by mercy and then go out to be merciful
I want to summarize the impact with a request made by our Father and Founder , in our country, to the Blessed Mother in 1952 when he blessed the Father Symbol for the interior of the national Shrine (Florencio Varela): “We want to petition God that He gives us men and women who not only know how to speak well, but who understand the power and the weight of this immense mission, which was given to us by God for today’s times, and that they are disposed to surrender their lives for it.” This petition was an expression of his concrete desire for Argentina, and we can say that the promise is being fulfilled today in our ranks….. God has given us those people, and today we are all witnesses. Our territorial community has been blessed with great examples, some who on this opportunity, we have been able to meet and to celebrate. In everyone’s moving silence, the desire to grow and to identify with this model of sanctity grew: to allow oneself to be flooded by mercy and then to go out and be merciful.
With joy we see that this Conference reactivated our federation mystery with interest. In this sense, the apostolic projection, abundant, concrete, broad and fruitful in all areas of influence in all regions, had a place of special attention. The overexcitement of the interior life was evident when we recalled our Family Federation members in Heaven, praying to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the children’s Mass, and for the special presence of the first Argentinian saint who will be canonized in October: Father Brochero. The profound and clear reference of Fr. Ludovico to the Pope’s exhortation “Amoris laetitia” especially highlighted the dimension of our mission framed in the Spirit of the Church. All of the workshops collaborated to add new perspectives for the conquest of everyday sanctity and style of living marriage and family.
With Rosa Maria and Josef Wieland
The message from the Wielands
Finally we heard from the Wielands.
Proposal and petition: for the next Conference, invite families from other countries to have this experience with us.
Special gift: The Constitution of the International Apostolic Family Federation (ad experimentum) that after ten-years of work saw the light in the recent 2015 Chapter. The Edition is presented in five languages and is meant for each Family Federation member in the world. A compromising notice for everyone: we are the largest pars motrix community in Schoenstatt, and also the largest in Argentina. In terms of founding responsibility, it places us in the place of transcendent projection.
A fundamental summons: to celebrate 100 years of Hoerde, especially in the territory, but adhering to the international celebration in Schoenstatt on the week of the 20th of August in Original Schoenstatt and in Hoerde with the entire Schoenstatt Work,
To be, to live and to give family
Closing the Conference from María Inés and José Eduardo, our leaders, we received the words for sending forth, prioritizing gratitude, renewed decision for the mission and the invitation to make our own the motivation for the retreat in each region and in each course: to be, to live and to give family.
Also aware of the Jubilee Year that is near and the transcendence for the re-foundation in the heart, in the Shrines and in the country, the Apostolic Schoenstatt Federation, we are open to the proposals and projects, which may arise in the entire community to continue the genuine spirit of this celebration.
Original Spanish. Translation: Carlos Cantú, La Feria, Texas USA/mj