COSTA RICA, Elisa Velásquez Yépez •
The National Leaders’ Conference was held in Costa Rica on June 4, at Saint Paul School in San Rafael de Alajuela, with the objective of integrating the leaders of the different branches and vocations belonging to the Schoenstatt Movement. For Father José Luis Correa Lira, national advisor of the Movement, it was essential that each one of the members of the Movement know the richness of the life of going forth that has been cultivated in the last two years. “The mission is life that is given”, said Father José Luis.
During the time of the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the Leaders’ Conference in person. However, this was not an obstacle for the School of Leaders to take place, for the first time in a virtual way, and to continue on the road of self-formation of leaders to grow with quality in the different dioceses of the country.
The meeting began with the Holy Mass officiated by the Bishop of Cartago, Mons. Mario Quirós and concelebrated by Fathers José Luis Correa and Eduardo Aguirre. In the homily of Bishop Quirós some messages echoed in the hearts of the participants: ” …we are called to love and serve”, he, in his own experience with the Movement, feels that: “we have seen the face of Jesus in Schoenstatt”.
Education, self-education, prayer
F. José Luis shared a talk where he invited the leaders to balance the life of education and self-education with the life of prayer. In reference to education, he emphasized that it is the basis for quality growth, that the leaders must be formally trained in the goals and pedagogy of the Movement and participate in courses related to their vocations and apostolates, cultivate their character, self-educating without losing sight of the necessary pause to be able to listen to the message that the voices of time and of being transmit to us. The call for the Costa Rican leaders is: “To fight against the activism of today’s world”.
Where new life emerged
Eight testimonies from different branches were shared in person and virtually.
Flora Rojas and José Luis Campos are starting in San Carlos.
They motivate and support the parishes that have been opening their doors to us so that the Madrugadores, the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, couples’ groups, men’s and women’s groups can be formed. This has happened in the last two years.
Initiatives were shared, such as the reenchantment of couples, young couples, the return of the engaged couples – today husbands and wives – who monitor the new groups of the Pastoral for engaged couples.
The Women’s Apostolic League opens a space for single professional women where they can live the principles and values of the Catholic faith with women with the same professional desires and challenges. The Ladies’ Branch (mothers) also emerged opening spaces for working mothers who needed a life group that could be carried out in the evenings and, finally, the gentlemen of the Men’s Branch and the Madrugadores’ life current who live their love for the Blessed Mother by going out to evangelize in their life environments and by being models of prayer and service in the parishes.
Schoenstatt’s current challenges
The conference asked the participants about the current challenges that is facing Schoenstatt in Costa Rica. As a summary, four great challenges were presented: growth with quality and depth, communication with the youth and new generations, virtuality and integration among the branches and an approach to the parishes to make Schoenstatt and its pedagogy known.
This year’s motto, based on the words of the Founding Father, Joseph Kentenich, was formulated as: “The greater the exterior challenge, the greater the interior growth”.
Photos: Amparo Ruiz, Elisa Velásquez Yépez
Original: Spanish 2022-06-11. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México