COMMUNITIES, Claudia Echenique / Maria Fischer •
The International Federation of Schoenstatt Mothers met in General Chapter to officially establish its community and elect its first General Council. In a festive Mass, celebrated by Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio, concelebrated by three Schoenstatt Fathers, and with the presence of the participants of the General Chapter of the Apostolic Family Federation, the Founding Document was presented, and the Constitution of the International Apostolic Federation of Schoenstatt Mothers was celebrated. —
September 8, the Nativity of Mary, is also the anniversary of the founding of the Mothers’ Federation in 1950. The groundwork for the founding of this international federation began in 2002. The motto of the Apostolic Federation of Schoenstatt Mothers is: Mary, whoever looks at me, sees you.
The chapter (4.-10.09.2022) was attended by ladies from: Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA, Paraguay, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland.
The first International Council of the Mothers’ Federation was elected with five ladies, all from the Americas:
The new council is composed of:
|Head of the International Council||Kathy Colunga||USA|
|Deputy International Council Chairperson||Matilde Di Battista de Giménez||Argentina|
|1st Councilor||Maura Regina Santana de Jesus||Brasil|
|María Cecilia Brunner Moreno||Chile|
|3rd Councilor||Norma Pistilli de Figueredo||Paraguay|
The transmission allowed participation from many countries
The Mass celebrated in the Adoration Church on Mount Schoenstatt and transmitted by Schoenstatt TV, was attended by many Federation Mothers from different countries. The Mass was at times in German, and also in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
At the beginning, they explained that “the reason for the celebration was the official constitution of the International Apostolic Federation of Schoenstatt Mothers, after many years of intense preparation. It is a significant event in the history of the Schoenstatt Family and a milestone in the history of the Mothers’ Federation, to make a wish of the founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, that in many women and mothers there will be a little Mary, a reality.”
A highly active chat to greet and thank
The mothers who participated through the transmission were highly active in the chat of the transmission. There, messages multiplied to celebrate the foundation and greet the council members.
- “Thanks to all the Federation Mothers who have worked intensely for this important milestone for the International Apostolic Federation” – Graciela Cajide.
- “From the Garden of Mary Shrine, Tucumán, Argentina, we embrace these noble mothers who are taking on such a blessed challenge” – Carol De Pidutti
- “From the Tabor Maria Cor Ecclesiae Shrine, Porto Alegre, Brazil, I greet the Schoenstatt Mothers’ Federation. May God bless you in the mission, with the protection of the MTA” – Marcia Kazumi
- “Many blessings to the new authorities from Florencio Varela, Argentina” – Nancy Fernandez.
- “The Blessed Mother implore for the new council the Holy Spirit Creator. Thank you, Federation Mothers, for so much work and dedication” – María Isabel Mendizábal
- “Grant us the graces of fidelity, dear Mother” – Ivette Ferreira
To the acceleration of events, we respond with an acceleration of commitment
Fr. Juan Pablo gave his homily in German, English and Spanish. He referred to the Schoenstatt milestones and linked the apostolic federation that emerged in Hoerde in 1919 with the Mothers’ Federation as both a community and a school of apostolic leaders for the church.
Kentenich characterized the milestones of Schoenstatt’s history as moments of condensation of our history and also as moments of acceleration, a very typical word of Father Kentenich, who repeats it around the milestones. Just think of the Founding Document of October 18, 1914: it bears the title ‘Acceleration of our sanctification to convert the little chapel into a shrine, into a place of pilgrimage’.
And in all the milestones, and in this one we are celebrating today, we can see a triple acceleration: of the facts, of the challenges and of the difficulties. We can see it in these times we are living in the world, in the Church and in Schoenstatt.
To this acceleration of events, we have to respond in the Covenant with an acceleration
- of our dedication
- of our commitment
- of our contribution to the capital of grace
- of our aspiration for sanctity
- our spiritual, communitarian and apostolic commitment
- of our magnanimity
- of our internationality
And for all this, we hope for an “acceleration of grace from heaven. May the Blessed Mother intensify her action from the shrine in you and through you, mothers of federation, in everyone. May the Blessed Mother pour her blessing on all the men and women of our time”.
Welcome to the federation community
At the offertory, along with the bread and wine, the document of the founding of the international federation and seventy-two roses symbolizing the 72 years since the founding of the Mothers’ Federation on September 8, 1950, were brought to the altar.
Before the final blessing, the acceptance of the mission and consecration took place. To the proposals of Fr. John Paul in German to take this step by assuming the charism and mission of the founder, each one responded in her own language with her prayer and personal commitment. “As heiresses of Hoerde, we commit ourselves to assume the charism and mission of our father and founder with responsibility and fidelity, (…) to work together in respect and diversity of cultures so that the mission of the founder will be known in all the areas in which we act…”.
At the end of the Mass, Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio and the new heads of the Apostolic Family Federation congratulated the mothers and welcomed them into the community of internationally constituted Federations.
The new council of the Mothers’ Federation together with the priests went to the tomb of Fr. Joseph Kentenich to place and offer there the founding document and the task that begins from now on.
Video of the Mass of 8.09.2022
Sources consulted: Schoenstatt TV. Collaboration: Paz Leiva
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org