PANAMA, Fr. José Luis Correa / María Fischer •
A couple of days ago, we were able to enjoy the experiences of the Schoenstatters from all of Panama, on their first National Conference, Saturday, February 4, 2023, thanks to the article by Carmen Franco. —
The speeches of Fr. José Luis Correa, National Advisor and Central America, Continental Coordinator of Schoenstatt America, awakened much life and great commitment to grow in numbers, spirituality and presence in service to the church. We share some ideas from these speeches that are valid for each Schoenstatt family in foundation or re-foundation.
1. Gratitude to the founders and the “ardent nucleus”
Fr. José Luis began with sincere gratitude, the basis of every growth: gratitude to Fr. Rómulo Aguilar, a recently deceased diocesan priest, who carried forward the nascent Schoenstatt of Panama for many years. He also thanked the founders, all of whom are now elderly, for their loyalty and fruitfulness.
He thanked the organizers, the “ardent nucleus” of committed collaborators. Everything depends on them, on those who burn the most, who burn so much that they can inflame others, who are so convinced of what they say and do in the name of Schoenstatt, that they know how to convince those who approach.
He thanked all the participants, who came from David, Penonome, Chitre, Colon, Panama City. He emphasized that they are the real life of Schoenstatt Panama.
Schoenstatt Panama does not live in a cloud of its own, far from the rest of Schoenstatt, the Church, and the world. It is called to live in the midst of the church (because it is the church), to contribute its life, its accents, its “color” to the universal Schoenstatt and to allow itself to be motivated and challenged by it; it has the task of sharing the longings, pains and joys of the world, living in full communion (or let us say, in covenant), with those who share this moment of history.
Fr. José Luis highlighted the universal ecclesial context with the 10 years of Pope Francis’ pontificate, the Synod on Synodality, and the World Youth Day in August 2023.
In the international Schoenstatt context, he spoke about the Pentecost Congress in June 2022 and its importance, the international encounter of the Schoenstatt Youth before World Youth Day, as well as the International Congress of the Family Work in May 2023 in Paraguay, with the participation of one couple from Panama.
He commented: Luis Ponce Gil, a Panamanian who sealed his Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother in the Original Shrine in Germany, works in the Youth Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life. ch (this is fundamental for the Bishop). To be integrated into the CAL (Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity), which includes the Movements.
There is a desire for a Shrine in Panama and it is necessary to cultivate it, understanding that it is part of a growth process. This growth consists of:
- Numerical growth
The number of adult groups (couples, ladies, men) and youth, the number of missionaries of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, the number of Madrugadores communities in the parishes should grow.
- Spiritual growth
It is the challenge to be formed, to read, to study Schoenstatt literature and to offer to the Capital of Grace.
- Growth of presence
“It is necessary to be present in social media and networks, in the diocesan and Schoenstatt media: send information, photos, brief notes of meetings, apostolates, conferences, Masses, to Maria Fischer (www.schoenstatt.org).
Be present, be noticed. We exist. Here we are, this is who we are, this is what we do. These events we attend; these Shrines we visit on our travels. Google to find out if and where they are”.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org