ARGENTINA – Claudia Echenique and Cecilia Mata •
Rejoice, Mary! This is how the article that was published at schoentatt.org on September 8, 2004, began, and this is when the phrase “translated to Italian by María Tedeschi” first appeared. Since then and thanks to the numerous articles María has translated from the city of La Plata, the Italian section of the website has been a great contribution to the growth of the Schoenstatt Family in Italy. On Monday, 11 May, María turned 90 years old, and she continues to translate. The schoenstatt.org team is grateful to God and the Blessed Mother for her life and her work.
Cecilia Mata relates: “Last year, when I was proofreading some paragraphs of an article translated from Spanish to Italian, I noticed that one was missing. So I commented about it to María Fischer, and she said: “You can write to María Tedeschi asking her to send it to you; it can happen, María T. is already 89…” I did not continue to read the rest. I was paralyzed. It can’t be, I must have read it wrong. I reviewed the phrase…89 years old. I wrote to María T; I did not know how to approach it, far be it from me “to demand” anything! Yet I took the opportunity : “I would like to meet you,” I said. Then after apologizing for the omission (as if that were necessary!), she told me: “But let’s wait until the weather improves a little.” It was winter, and those of us who live at this latitude know that the winters in La Plata are very cold. I commented to Claudia: “we have to go see her. The months passed, summer passed and the much desired meeting was postponed.”
That great woman with such strength, such ability, such passion and love for what she does… so grateful to life
The Blessed Mother had prepared something special: During María Fischer’s visit to Buenos Aires, we went to lunch at María’s home in La Plata. We arrived on an April noon, the sky was cloudy, it was not cold, but the humidity and the probability of rain had diminished the intense heat of the previous days. When the door opened, we saw a beautiful and attractive lady (impeccable with her pearl necklace and print blouse), who welcomed us with great emotion and joy; she spoke slowly with that warm Italian accent.
María Fischer was finally able to meet this collaborator, with whom she has communicated for eleven years always by email and Skype, and now they were face to face! Cecilia and I were overcome with such tremendous emotion in having arranged this encounter that even today it is hard for us to recall the details of the conversation. We were so engrossed in seeing this great woman, with such strength, such ability, such passion and love for what she does; she is so grateful to life for the many years she has lived so fully…
“Does she think that I am not capable of taking it directly from the website?”
María Tedeschi came to Argentina at the age of 18. She raised a beautiful family, and she gave the Blessed Mother the most beautiful gift: a son, Father Ludovico Tedeschi, as a Schoenstatt Father. “I never worked,” she told us, as if being a wife, mother and housewife was not a great task. Years passed, the children grew up, grandchildren arrived, and she was always completely dedicated to her family. One day her husband departed. She was left without her life partner, and she felt that her life did not have meaning.
It was then when the brilliant idea emerged to offer her the opportunity to translate to Italian for schoenstatt.org. She told us that María Fischer had told her that she would send her the article in Word format to make the task easier. To which she replied: “Does she think that I am not capable of taking it directly from the website?” She is a pioneer of self-development and one with a true courage of faith! And she did not stop. Year after year, she continues to delight us with her contributions in the language of Dante.
Happy Birthday María!
A few months ago she had to interrupt her prolific activity because of a health problem. During the visit, she told us that it is difficult to lift the dictionaries she uses to carry out her task, and that she truly feels bad that she cannot contribute at her usual rhythm of three or four articles per week! To improve every day, she is exercising her fingers on the keyboard by translating a book, so she can return to the course of action soon. Before bidding us farewell, she committed to translate “at least one article per week.”
María Tedeschi was 90 years old on 11 May. From the deepest part of our hearts we say: “Thank you for being a beacon and example, for prompting us to improve ourselves, to give more each day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARIA!”