PARAGUAY, Sebastián y Concepción Martín •
The Ayolas, Paraguay Schoenstatt community shared a gathering of great joy and fruitfulness on the road to their Covenant of Love with the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt. On September 2, Fr. Tommy Nin Mitchell, the Schoenstatt National Director in Paraguay, celebrated a double ceremony, and Fr. Esteban Chaparro, the pastor of Ayolas, con-celebrated.
In the two and a half years since the Ayolas’ Schoenstatt Family Branch founding, there are already three working groups with a total of thirty couples. The first group, Missionary Hearts from la Barca with eight couples, has sealed their Covenant of Love. The second group, Blessed, Yes Vis Mater with nine couples, made their group commitment, and the last one, with thirteen couples, are preparing to join the Movement.
Joyful and filled with happiness that flows from the heart of allies, these couples from Ayolas are already living their Covenant of Love with Mary…
Absolute confrontation with reality
On the eve of sealing their Covenant of Love, one couple lost a son in an accident. Their life community, as they call their group, accompanied them from the first moment, and they did not abandon them. This made a deep impression on the community: “See how they love one another?” The couple was asked if they were willing to seal their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother, after going through this sorrowful experience. They said, “Yes,” without hesitation. “Now more than ever since we saw how Mother Mary sustained us in this painful situation, we cannot help but seal our Covenant, which we had made some time ago in our hearts, although we do not understand God’s designs, we lovingly accept becoming her allies, because she already conquered our hearts…
Fr. Kentenich understood that Dachau, with all its cruelty, as an absolute Covenant of Love confrontation with reality. In that place, the Covenant of Love touched the most extreme aspects of life – illness, death, hunger, injustice, abandonment, loss of rights, freedom, warmth and of having a home. After passing this test of his aptitude for real life, Fr. Kentenich began to spread it throughout the world with a conviction that nothing or anyone could question. Today, it seems that every Schoenstatter, every community, every project in Covenant should come down from the clouds at some time and it should pass through the test of daily life and the test of a personal or communal Dachau…and this is how it also was in Ayolas.
This extraordinary testimony of life impacted this community.
The members of the Family Branch are already thinking about the couples they want to invite next year and about the creation of a Boys’ Youth.
The seed that the sower planted, continues to produce good fruits in the city, which is the headquarters for a Paraguayan hydroelectric power plant built with the Republic Argentina: Yacyretá.
Original: Spanish. 13 September 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA