María Fischer •
Until the end of September 2021, every Monday I received an email from Fr. Antonio Cosp in response to the weekly newsletter with the articles published during the week on Schoenstatt.org. “Thank you, Monina and Maria. It is a pleasure to receive your information…How many blessings our beloved Schoenstatt gives us! Blessings, Father Antonio.” Or: “Hello Maria and Monina, what a great job this last mailing. The information is so attractive that it took me a long time to read it. Thank you very much for your dedication! Blessings, Father Antonio.” —
How much the MTA is doing and continues to do
Once, noticing a reduced number of articles, he asked: “and… why so short?”, and offered: “Put me on the list of proofreaders… Especially, if it is an event in Paraguay. I can see from up close the many events… Naturally without exaggeration, how much the MTA is doing, and continues to do.”
“You will have seen the abundance of life that the schoenstatt.org collaborators collect week by week,” he wrote in 2016. “That amazing life would be hidden to many if we did not have that page that with some pride labels itself as “MTA reloaded.” There we can discover Father Kentenich’s style of communication.”
I cannot think of schoenstatt.org without Fr. Antonio Cosp. Without his support, his blessing, his “marketing”, without his challenging requests to do distance workshops on communication in the style of the MTA magazine and later international workshops in Tupãrenda and talks… But more than passionate, supportive, protective, encouraging, blessing, Fr. Antonio was someone who understood, really understood the mission of schoenstatt. org, the value of communication and the key role of the MTA magazine for the time of Schoenstatt’s founding and re-founding. “Everything starts, first, from the ability to ignite the initial fire for all subsequent transmission; second, that this fire be in selfless service to the life of others; third, to tell stories and not sermons or non-vital rational contributions; fourth, the life that awakened the Artusrunde (King Arthur’s Round Table) is the way to reach vital agreements”.
The magazine “Tupãrenda”
My first encounter with Fr. Antonio (except for one in Münster when he was still a seminarian and I as a 7-year-old fell in love forever with these Latin Americans and their songs and for months sang “Gloria canten toooooodos”) took place at Mount Sion in Schoenstatt, at a meeting of the directors of the Movement of the largest countries, I think in 2000. What is now schoenstatt.org was one year old, and Fr. Beller, then director of the German Movement and initiator of this page “that wants to be the new MTA magazine”, insisted on presenting not only the page, but also me (dead embarrassed). As I presented what at this moment was more wish than reality, Fr. Antonio, with a big smile, said: “Excellent… excellent”. At that same moment he took me out of my insecurity in front of the “great ones” of Schoenstatt and he made me understand that we were in front of something great…worthy of giving everything for it. He proudly gave me some issues of the Tupãrenda magazine and he promised me: “I will send you what can be published from the Nation of God, Heart of America. Always.”
“The Tupãrenda phenomenon”
So he did. He did it for more than 20 years. He became a correspondent of schoenstatt. org, he would send reports about foundations and projects in Paraguay and every October 18 a note would arrive entitled “The phenomenon of Tupãrenda”, which spoke about the phenomenon of the thousands and thousands of pilgrims who came to the shrine, the phenomenon of the shrine, the phenomenon of a church built for years…and I understood that behind all that there was another phenomenon, the phenomenon of a founder, a father, a visionary, an organizer with a heart as big as the enormous property of Tupãrenda.
“May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace”
He had me give two series of distance workshops on Kentenich communication for Schoenstatt communicators in his Paraguay, before the days of Zoom or Google Meet. He did great “marketing” for schoenstatt.org, opened doors, talked about looking for synergy, showed new horizons when we were lost in the daily tasks of looking for translators, authors, proofreaders and money to maintain this communicative adventure… always with a “Blessings, PA” at the end of his mails or WhatsApp, or when he noticed some more serious concern, when it was about taking steps to new lands, with Aaron’s blessing:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
What touches me most and I remember with gratitude from these years is the personal and paternal concern he had for this person in charge of this project, so many times under fire. The most important thing was always knowing that he understood the mission of schoenstatt.org. He really knew and understood it.
“Hello Maria and Monina! Thank you so much for the continuity and richness of Schoenstatt dot org….
You manage to discover the richest and deepest of Schoenstatt’s new riches.
May it shelter you and give you the gratitude of the readers. Hug and blessing, PA,” he wrote to us on June 18, 2019. His gratitude and blessing to us now becomes mission, in gratitude to him.
“Doesn’t it seem to you that I deserve your visit to Paraguay while I am still director of the Movement?”
“Don’t you think I deserve your visit to Paraguay while I am still director of the Movement?” he asked me at the end of 2014. “Yes, Father Antonio, you deserve it,” I answered him, and in March 2015 he was waiting for me with open arms in Tupãrenda. In his Tupãrenda. He wanted me to experience, know and understand Schoenstatt Paraguay and especially Tupãrenda. “Never forget Tupãrenda,” he asked me, as he did several times later.
A year later, in 2016, I returned to Tupãrenda to give an international workshop on Kentenich communication. Fr. Antonio organized it and participated from the first to the last minute.
We met for the last time in September 2018. The longed-for subsequent meetings were ruined by the coronavirus.
Fr. Antonio, I was planning to greet you again in April in Tupãrenda. I will never forget Tupãrenda, I promise you, as in these minutes the funeral mass begins in your church of the Holy Trinity in Tupãrenda. I will never forget my father Antonio. I carry on. I count on your blessing.
Video: Nelly Ramírez
Original, Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org