Today’s answers coming from: Fr. Denis Foley, Sydney, Australia, “answering as an Australian”, member of the Institute of Diocesan Priests, driving force behind the Australian Schoenstatt Movement`s commitment with the Shrine of all of us in Belmonte.
Six months into the pilgrimage through the second century of the covenant of love…what is your dream for this Schoenstatt in who we are and where we find ourselves in the Church, the world, and in our mission?
To get some wheels under Schoenstatt in Australia.
Facing the following challenges: We are seen to be in the church although generally speaking the bishops have some idea, the priests have little idea and lay people — even those who belong to Schoenstatt and have made the covenant — have even less of an idea of Schoenstatt`s mission.
Each branch needs to get on its own bandwagon.
Different cultures view Schoenstatt differently.
Many of movement members do a lot for the church but they don’t necessarily connect this with their mission from the shrine.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
We need to abandon the attitudes we have inherited from the so-called “Irish tradition,” which include not taking responsibility, leaving things to the priests and religious. We also need to abandon other “cultures” which have developed in Schoenstatt which are linked to the dependence over the last 50 that is characteristic of this “Irish culture.”
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
We need to develop an awareness that the covenant is not only a relationship with our mother and her son but also a relationship with others who have made the covenant love. There is also the need for each branch to be responsible for its own life with the assistance and guidance of the moderators appointed by the Central Inspirational Team.
We have a saying if it looks like a duck, if it swims like a duck, leaves a mass like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is a duck. If we consider the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate (Australian name for the Campaign of the Pilgrim Mother/Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign) and how it operates, then I think we can say it is a branch even though this is not the opinion of the General Presidium. It is simply a duck by another name.
To conclude, the Schoenstatt Movement in Australia needs to keep quacking.
Thank you Fr. Foley for your rich contribution. It’s true, not everyone in the Covenant is aware of Schoenstatt`s mission. The Covenant is certainly a relationship with others in the covenant love and a commitment with others who are Christ on earth.