Posted On 2017-04-02 In Covenant Life

An afternoon retreat in the school of Mary, an experience of Belmonte

ROMA BELMONTE, by Fr. Rolando Montes de Oca •

The Church Fathers described Lent as an ascent of a hill towards Easter. This is a forty-day journey where renew our strength so that we don’t give up or choose the wrong path. On Sunday 19 March, about 30 Schoenstatters came together at the International Schoenstatt Centre Belmonte to walk with Mary, so that we can learn with her how to remain firm at the foot of the Cross.

We were welcomed by Sr. Giulia.  In her opening talk, Sr. Guilia alluded to the Gospel story of the Samaritan woman and reminded us of the large well of graces and meetings that the Schoenstatt Shrine is for us.

Encounters that provide inner life

The Belmonte Rector, Fr. Marcelo Cervi, led the main reflection. He was inspired by one of Fr. Kentenich’s talks: “We come to pray to Mary, to study her life, learning from her and offering her our contributions to the capital of grace (…) we are a family with a special charism; we have a treasure that is still waiting to be discovered, used and shared.” This message, which is also an invitation to prayer, points to the mission of the Schoenstatt Family in Rome.

Fr. Marcelo presented the Italian “ad experimentum” version of a selection of prayers form “Heavenwards.” The rector invited the participants to comment on the current translation, so that one day soon, there can be a better and more complete translation of the “magna carta” of our spirituality.

In what was a kind of community “premier” of “Heavenwards” with the original title in German, “Himmelwarts” which was preserved in the Italian edition, Fr. Rodrigo da Rosa, from the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests, presided over the “Way of the Cross of God’s Instruments.” The prayer ended with a time of deeper prayer in the Shrine.

Alejandra from the Secular Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt prepared Sunday Mass, which was celebrated by one of the priests of the Federation of Diocesan Priests. This was the high point of an afternoon of reflection, prayer, confession, and encounters that deepened our inner life and manifested itself as commitment and action.


A harmony of communities

It was a grace-filled afternoon that focused on the work and service of the priests belonging to the Institute and Federation, the Schoenstatt Fathers, the Sisters of Mary and the Ladies of Schoenstatt.  It was a true harmony of communities belonging to our great family.  “This communion among us not only pleases our father and founder,” said Fr. Cervi, “but I am certain that it is also a sign for Schoenstatt throughout the world, because this Bemonte’s mission.

After the retreat, there was some time to share a wonderful and diverse display of Italian cuisine, to which everyone contributed.  The meal gave everyone an excuse to talk, get to know one another better and to grow as a family, always in the shadow of the shrine.

Original: Spanish, 21.03.2017 . Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa

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