COSTA RICA, Carla Hidalgo Vega •
In recent days the First Retreat for Young Schoenstatt Couples in Costa Rica was held, in which 31 couples that have been married less than five years, participated.—
During this weekend, the couples learned about the importance of the Eucharistic life in an explained Mass and a talk that they received with great enthusiasm from Father José Luis Correa, advisor of the Movement in Costa Rica.
Throughout the retreat, they received the testimony of several couples from the Family Branch about various subjects, among them, their lives before and after entering the Movement and how to lead a full life as a couple in prayer and by the hand of God. This allowed the participants to feel inspired, identified and strongly committed by the values that Schoenstatt inspires.
We invite Mary into our home
One of the activities that touched the participants was the creation of a family altar, with the idea of inviting Mary to enter into their daily lives and also to have a place where they can meet as a family to pray. The altarpieces were donated by active couples of the Movement, who with great illusion wanted to share their love for the Blessed Mother with these young couples. “The gesture was beautiful, they gave us a blessed altarpiece with the Holy Family for marriage purposes” commented one of the participants.
A beautiful sunset accompanied the couples on the tour of the fifteen stations of the Marriage Way. “What we liked the most was to do the Marriage Way, because it allowed us to discuss subjects that we do not frequently discuss in everyday life,” indicated one of the participating couples.
The power to pray for others
With the objective of promoting the union of all the participants, they were invited to pray the rosary as a group, offering each mystery for the needs or intentions of a fellow couple. About this activity, some spouses commented: “That opens our hearts a lot and puts the needs of other people into context”.
After a day full of emotions, deep conversations and a lot of meditation, we closed the day with a bonfire and a movie in the open air under a night full of stars.
The next day, to finish in our place of grace, the couples were invited to actively participate in the Sunday Eucharist in our “Family of Hope” Schoenstatt Shrine. During the Mass, their new family altars were blessed and some of the family members who were waiting for them shared the moment with much enthusiasm.
Sheltered by the Blessed Mother
Long story short, this was a weekend full of grace and details planned with great enthusiasm and dedication by the entire team. Once again the unity of the Schoenstatt Family of Costa Rica was shown, they were always willing to collaborate, donating snacks, money for the altarpieces, rosaries, prayers, everything that was necessary so that these young couples would feel sheltered by the Blessed Mother. This is what other participants said: “The retreat made us pause in an accelerated world, to think about our marriage…We were delighted to notice in the Schoenstatt Family the signs of affection and the giving of self in solidarity with which they welcomed us at all times. The Blessed Mother was outstanding in her intercession for us”.
Carla Hidalgo Vega is a member of the Family Branch and a monitor of a young marriages group.
Original Spanish, February 8th, 2020. Translation by Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México